This week, I was pleasantly surprised to find an envelope from La Cieca in my mailbox. Inside I found two contrasting CDs of soprano arias, one of Verdi and the other of Mozart. As someone who thinks Verdi is the greatest composer who ever lived and who feels pretty meh about Mozart, I expected to love the Verdi and be bored by the Mozart. I wasn’t far wrong.
When Norman Lebrecht is declaring on an almost daily basis that classical music is dead, it’s perhaps heartening that four of today’s prominent tenors have recently recorded what might be called fluff/vanity albums.
Joseph Calleja released an album of eclectic love songs, named (what else?) Amore. Hot on its heels is Vittorio Grigolo’s foray into an equally eclectic mix of religious songs, Ave Maria. On a slightly less fluffy level are Rolando Villazón’s album of Mozart concert arias, intriguingly entitled Mozart, and Juan Diego Flórez’s foray into the French spinto/heroic repertoire, named, naturellement, L’amour. Read more »
The finer performances of Tristan und Isolde have a way of sounding like a four-hour improvisation, the fruit of a single moment of inspiration that makes one forget how emotionally manipulative and painstakingly crafted the music really is.
A 2009 revival from Glyndebourne on the festival’s label does quite nicely in this regard, balancing secure and expressive singing by Torsten Kerl, Anja Kampe and Sarah Connolly with a transparent accompaniment by Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic that captures the opera’s shifting moods and the beguiling musical lines. Like Marek Janowski, the Russian maestro is less concerned with overwhelming the audience with epic sound or tragic intensity than with letting Wagner’s melodic ideas and forceful climaxes tell the story. Read more »
My impossible wish would be to hear one of the great castrati who dominated opera for most of the 18th century.
Marek Janowski’s survey of Wagner operas on PentaTone so convincingly captures the pulse and dramatic flow of many of the works that the music-making at times sounds almost effortless.
Mr. Ian Rosenblatt is a London solicitor and patron of charitable causes in Britain primarily focused on classical music.
I’ve always had a fondness for Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and apparently so did he since he often referred to it as, “among the finest of my children.”
Beneath the pageantry, the paeans to German art and the self-referential allusions to the creative process, Die Meistersinger is a story about a community and human qualities like love, friendship, envy and hatred.
The crossover album: a hint that that an artist has either exhausted all the repertory at her command and owes her record label a new release or that her waning vocal resources really shouldn’t be taxed much further than an octave.
I suspect most New York City opera-lovers had long since given up hope that the fascinating soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci would ever return to their city.