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Cecilia & Bryn ~ Cecilia Bartoli duets Bryn Terfel
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti
Cecilia & Bryn ~ Cecilia Bartoli duets Bryn Terfel
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Superlatives don't do justice to this priceless and incomparable collection of duets by opera's two most charismatic singers, whose interpretations are brimming with nuance only the truly gifted could capture. However plea...  more »

      
   
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Amazon.com essential recording
Superlatives don't do justice to this priceless and incomparable collection of duets by opera's two most charismatic singers, whose interpretations are brimming with nuance only the truly gifted could capture. However pleasing Cecilia Bartoli's renditions of Cherubino and others in Mozart Arias, the depth of Susanna's emotional life that Bartoli conveys has yet to be even imagined by other sopranos, as she rips through opera's boundaries, creating her very own Fach and threatening the jobs of soubrettes the world over. Once she and Bryn Terfel draw you into their world of stellar, multidimensional creations, there's no escape from pleasure; in their talented hands, recitative becomes as interesting as any aria. The duo's inherent charm overcomes Bartoli's difficulties with German and the dramatic Terfel's with coloratura; however, their sincere attempts to meet these challenges are most endearing. --Barbara Eisner Bayer

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CD Reviews

That is what it's all about!
tenor_in_training | 05/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The kind of collaboration, friendship and joyous love for the music evident on this CD is exactly what opera should be. It brings a ray of sunshine to us listeners, particularly to those of us who haven't yet gotten a chance to see Cecilia and Bryn live. (Thankfully, there is a video account of their splendid "Le Nozze di Figaro", selections from which are featured here.)The CD is clearly subdivided into Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti sections, with Mozart given a priority in terms of number of selections. Both artists are blessed with a gift for opera buffa, their personifications are very funny and very accurate without exaggerations. They may go full-out on stage (e.g. the way Suzanna hits Terfel's 6'6" Figaro is hilarious) but it does not distort their exemplary vocal lines. The recitatives included are extremely important and the lines are tossed back and forth with unrestrained enjoyment. Conductor Myung-Whun Chung gives the singing actors plenty of space to express their ideas, my favorite example being "Il Barbiere" where the tempi slows down as Rosina and Figaro work out the details of their plan.The booklet does not include libretti, but since the selections are from well-known operas, it's not a problem. But it does include marvelous pictures of Cecilia and Bryn, this alone is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Like the reviewer from San Francisco, I also loved the ice-cream shot.After listening to this album, all I could say was "I want more." I hope these wonderful young artists would get together real soon and give us another album to treasure. By the way, if you liked this one, check out the one from Olga Borodina and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. They also shine, but in a different program (Dunque io son being the only common number) and they have completely different but also lustrous voices. But from pure fun standpoint, I've never heard a more delightful album than Cecilia and Bryn. Don't delay and get it now!"
Jack Kessler, kessler@well.sf.ca.us
Jack Kessler, kessler@well.com | San Francisco, CA USA | 03/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This mix of The Beautiful Italian with The Jolly Celt is magical. He teases her, she giggles, the two of them burst out laughing... You can see it in the printed insert in the CD -- charming photos of Bartoli's glorious smile being brought out by Terfel's mischief, including an unforgettable one of the two of them plus Myung - Whun Chung all cracking up eating ice cream -- scuse, gelati... It all comes out even better in the wonderful music: Barbiere, "La ci darem la mano", Nozze di Figaro -- definitely not the occasion for the deadly / deadening stuff which so often is pushed out as "classics" -- the wonderful personal chemistry here makes all this very fun material also a lot of fun to listen to. Even the production / direction gets into the spirit: instead of the "aria after aria" overload, which most singing fans have to endure on CDs, here there is context -- a little of the preceding narration and exchange is provided to set the tone, and there even is a wonderful bit where Terfel's voice teasingly bumps along with Bartoli's as she is singing and you can just see and even hear her beginning to grin. And wait until you hear Figaro revealing to Rosina -- "poverina" -- just who loves whom... Terfel and Bartoli are _some_ actors, well worth any opera ticket price... A plea to Cecilia and Bryn: give us more duets! Verdi!"
Joyous
Jack Kessler, kessler@well.com | 07/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Simply a joyous listening experience. However, I am quite certain the Cecilia is not of this earth. Bryn knows this, but isn't saying anything, and is having quite a good time trying to keep up. No previous opera experience needed."