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Magdalena Kozená: Lettere Amorose
Magdalena Kožená explores the early Italian Baroque music of Monteverdi and his contemporaries with rewarding results. Inspired by the improvisational nature of much of this music, Kožená reveals yet another aspect of her musical personality.
Teamed with the six string-instrumentalists and percussion of the acclaimed consort group Private Musicke, Magdalena Kožená delivers an album in a fascinatingly different setting from any of her previous Baroque recordings.
In music ranging from simple lamento to rollicking dance tunes, Magdalena Kožená unleashes her refined vocal and expressive abilities to convey every nuance implicit in the music and the texts.
“The Czech mezzo . . . produces one of the loveliest sounds to be heard on the world’s stages – a flowing, spring-water-like tone that evokes the term ‘luminous’.” (Opera News)
“She soars the heights and plumbs the depths with fitting ardour...it is hard not to be swept away by such intensity felt and highly dramatic readings...[Pitzl] and his crack instrumental ensemble enrich the spare simplicity of the written scores with endlessly varied and inventive realisations...These are vibrant, virtuoso performances, never slacking in their spontaneity and energy.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010 *****
“Her voice...is as mellifluous and pliable as ever, light and translucent in the upper reaches while brooding and dark in the lower ones...[Private Musicke] provides an imaginative and inventive accompaniment.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2010
“If you agree that all interpretation is improvisation...then Kožená's thoroughly dramatic approach to the texts, enhanced by tasteful ornamentation, displays just as much freedom and ingenuity...In short, this is an exceptional release, the beauty and flexibility of Kožená's voice perfectly complemented by Private Musicke's intimate yet colourfully extrovert accompaniments.” International Record Review, December 2010
BBC Music Magazine
Choral & Song Choice - November 2010
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Italian monody in the early 17th century
Rosa Domínguez (mezzo), Mónica Pustilnik (archlute, Renaissance guitar & organ) & Dolores Costoyas (theorbo & Baroque guitar)
LUXURY DIGIPACK 56pp booklet.
Recorded in Santa Giulia in Caprona, Pisa, September 2008
Seldom ever have ‘new musics’ demonstrated the freshness and boldness as shown at the beginning of the 17th century. In 1602 Giulio Caccini proposed, in the essay prefacing his Le Nuove Musiche, a new relationship between music and text; this could be summed up in the term sprezzatura, according to which the text moves to a primary position of importance. In combination with the emergent basso continuo, Caccini thus sowed the seed for the startling development of vocal genres in subsequent centuries.
This recording presents various facets of the new vocal art, beginning with works by Caccini himself, moving via stylish composers such as Girolamo Frescobaldi or the madrigalian miracles of Sigismondo d’India to exhilarating works by the poet-composer Benedetto Ferrari, active in Venice and Vienna in the middle of the 17th century.
Rosa Domínguez interprets these works placing special emphasis on the text, prominently and enthusiastically stressing the ‘I’ of these poetic creations, generally the victim of amorous sufferings. The plentiful stanzas of these songs, dressed by an extremely flexible and imaginative basso continuo permit the telling of complete stories. By utilising a limited means of support (just the two plucked strings instruments), the full deployment of vocal expressivity is encouraged, bringing into existence as a result new musical spaces in the line of what was imagined by Caccini and his ‘nuove musiche’.
“Rosa Dominguez has an attractively light and lyrical voice, warm in the middle register and bright in the upper one. Her phrasing is sensitive and improvised ornamentation in an appropriate style has been discreetly and thoughtfully added...Altogether a delightful advocate for some forgotten masterpieces.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Caccini: Madrigali, Arie & Canzoni
Paolo Cherici, Tania d´Althann, Hans Ludwig Hirsch
Accademia Claudio Monteverdi, Hans Ludwig Hirsch
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