This recording is truly Cecelia Bartoli at her studio best. I say "studio best", because I've always enjoyed tapings of her live performances more than renditions such as these. This "portrait", however, is a collection of extremely appealing selections of operatic and classical music. Importantly, she stays within her realm here. Miss Bartoli has the sometimes unfortunate occasion of going beyond her considerable talent in the music she attempts, but not in this case. There are no harsh high notes unwisely attempted. Mellow and beautiful are the words to describe her renditions. I've owned this compilation for almost six years now and still enjoy it!
In the soaring climax of 'Bel Raggio Lusinghere', she seems to be taking flight to heaven, and in her stirring aria from Maometto II, she goes down to the depths of sadness. The music chosen is also to be complimented, because of its varied styles that never tire the listener.