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The Vivaldi Album Blu-specCD

4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Cecilia Bartoli, Il Giardino Armonico
  • Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
  • Audio CD (Nov. 9 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Blu-specCD
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00002CF52
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Dell'aura al sussurrar
2. Dopo un'orrida procella
3. Di due rai languire costante
4. Qual favellar? ...Andero, volero, gridero
5. Zeffiretti, che sussurrate
6. Alma oppressa
7. Dite, oime
8. Sventurata navicella
9. Sorte, che m'invitasti...Ho nel petto un cor si forte
10. Tra le follie...Siam navi all'onde algenti
11. Gelido in ogni vena
12. Anch'il mar par che sommerga
13. Di trombe guerriere

Product Description

Product Description

Includes Dell'aura al sussurrar; Dopo un'orrida procella; Di due rai languir costante; Alma oppressa; Dite, oim+¨; Sventurata navicella; Gelido in ogni vena; Anch'il mar par che sommerga, and more.


Mezzo Cecilia Bartoli could easily rest on her laurels as one of today's most charismatic, character singers for her lively portrayals of Mozart and Rossini heroines. But it's been particularly exciting to observe her growth as an artist in exploring the exuberant world of baroque opera, with its range of pyrotechnic demands--both vocal and emotional. Bartoli's show-stopping virtuosity in a Vivaldi aria from her Live in Italy recital gave a tantalising sample of her finesse in that style. For The Vivaldi Album, Bartoli conducted extensive research into the composer's manuscripts (a documentary tracing her quest is planned for subsequent screening). Although he's best known for his concertos--in typically baroque fashion, two of the arias in fact recycle material from The Four Seasons--Vivaldi was a ferociously prolific composer of operas for the cutting-edge theatres of his time and the arias gathered here demonstrate the word-painting magic of his music, from the sylvan setting of duetting flageolets in "Di due rai languire costante" to the storm-tossed passions of "Anch'il mar par che sommerga", where Bartoli spins out ripples of rapid-fire coloratura with a gravity-defying accuracy that will leave your head spinning. In addition to many such examples of vocal acrobatics, Bartoli brings exquisite nuance and limpid tone to the delicate echo effects of "Zeffiretti, che sussurrate" and there's no better test for the remarkable flexibility of her range--full and dusky at the bottom and thrilling at the top--than the huge intervallic leaps of "Dopo un'orrida procella". With her naturally large voice, Bartoli can at times tend to histrionic excess (in the recitative to the short aria from "L'Orlando finto pazzo"), but the expressive colour of her phrasing is wonderfully matched throughout by Il Giardino Armonico's lively panache. All power to Bartoli in her goal of reviving this neglected aspect of Vivaldi's output. --Thomas May

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Nov. 4 2003
Format: Audio CD
I was amazed with this album of super fine music. I had known all my life that Vivaldi wrote tons of operas, but finding them, or the scores of them, was nearly impossible. In time I found a few, and was I ever amazed and disappointed. The published scores that were available were what was common practice of that time: there were the vocal lines and a figured bass and nothing more. There were no indications of orchestration. Even with that little bit, I was shocked with the intensity and complexity of this vocal writing. This man knew how to write for the voice. Until singers are willing to research his works, we, the public, will know him for a very orchestra suites and nothing more. The result will be a very stilted view of what the man had to offer.
Now getting to the performance by Bartoli. She really loves this music, as you can tell. Yes, she is mannered in some of the things she does, but that is her way of seeing the music. Her technical skills are amazing, and her interpretations (the "drama" behind the music) is just as intense. Some think Bartoli has a strong voice. Actually, her voice is very small, if you have heard her in performance (they weren't even sure she would be heard when she sang at the Met), and it has a very delicate quality, even when being "brash." Recordings give you the impression she has a much larger sound than she does, but that is because small voices record truer and better than large ones (the industry still can't capture large voices at all). However, even with a small voice, in performance she is breathtaking. She makes the music live.
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Format: Audio CD
This has been a successful commercial release. What has happened is that Bartoli has recorded a number of Vivaldi arias that have not formed part of the popular repertoire. She also filmed a television documentary that was based on her singing this obscure but interesting material. The documentary in retrospect was probably a good promotional vehicle. The CD itself comes in a small book which contains material on Vivaldi and Bartoli with lots of illustrations. It is an attractive package, and I note that Bartoli has repeated it with the recent release of a number of obscure arias by Gluck.
The first two arias on this CD are the standouts. The first is Dell aura al sussurrar which used a tune from spring one of the four seasons. The second is an aria written for a castrato Dopo un orrida procella which has an accompaniment of two french horns and has a driving pace and is a great test of any voice.
Over all it is an enjoyable CD and it recovers a style of music which although not lost has not been part of the mainstream. Even my mother and sister like it.
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Format: Audio CD
Like all Bartoli fans, I was ready for some fairly remarkable things when first informed, more than two years ago, that the "Vivaldi" project was in the works. Cecilia's inspired treatment of "Agitata da due venti" on the "Live in Italy" album. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the journey in store on this CD. The familiarity, (thematically, at least) with the opening number,"Dell aura al sussurrar" only begins to open the door to vistas even dedicated Vivaldi lovers had never seen. Proceeding through the set, which, by the way, includes no fewer than SIX world premiere recordings, Cecilia stuns with the rapid-fire coloratura of "Sventurata navicella" and "Anch il par mar sommerga", brings her luscious, focused sound to "Zeffiretti che sussurate" and "Dite oime", and in between, brings to life songs which, while never achieving the poetic heights of those by some other composers, nonetheless provide a musical challenge which only a singer of Bartoli's particular talents (or perhaps someone like Natalie Dessay?) could surmount. Having had the good fortune to see her do most of this set live in Boston in October,2000, I find the comparisons between the live recital performance and this ablum inevitable but the recording, benefiting from the virtuosity of the musicians of Il Gardino Armonico, is more satisfying sonically. No one can match Cecilia Bartoli for sheer excitement on stage, her charisma is unmatched, but this CD is as close as one can get to actually being there for one of the most exciting performances in recent memory.
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Format: Audio CD
Most reviews of this CD effectively end up as reviews of Bartoli. She has been deified and vilified. Taste is a wonderful thing.
Personally, I enjoy this CD for the fascinating vocal technique. I've never heard any recording where a singer exhibited such technical skill. Bartoli goes from rapid-fire melisma to fully- controlled trilling and back with such ease that I'm still completely amazed after dozens of hearings. **IF** you are a Bartoli fan, and IF you like dazzling vocal gymnastics, don't pass this one up.
The comparison of Bartoli to Callas is intriguing, and I welcome more details from that reviewer. To me, Callas' strengths were verismatic: dramatic strength, coloratura, and emotional verbal depiction. Bartoli's are more technical, and displayed in this CD with incomparable skill: vocal finesse, melismatic agility, and near flawless accuracy of pitch. It's a difficult comparison, but an interesting one, and I'd like to hear more comments.
I'd also like more explanation from the reviewer who feels that Bartoli's vibrato is overpowering. I detect only a light, calm vibrato, within (to my ears) accepted Baroque technique; and that only occasionally, since her trills are so omnipresent. As dominating and controlled as her trills are, they do occasionally sound like vibrato, especially her Baroque-style (staccato) ones. If such trills are what that reviewer is referring to, I agree -- that aspect is quite excessive. But, accepted Baroque style allows an abundance of various types of ornamentation, and when you're the best at a particular aspect of any skill, you set the style. Would Dr. Naismith roll over in his grave watching Michael Jordan drive the lane? Perhaps. Would any fan of Jordan's care, however educated she/he may be in basketball history or technique?
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