Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gioachino Rossini, Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Pier Giorgio Morandi|
Ewa Podles - Rossini Arias for Contralto
One generally looks to the Naxos label for inexpensive recordings of the standards by minor European orchestras, and for competent performances of rarities--usually by forces that do not spring to mind as natural fodder ... more »
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One generally looks to the Naxos label for inexpensive recordings of the standards by minor European orchestras, and for competent performances of rarities--usually by forces that do not spring to mind as natural fodder for recording stardom--that the bigger labels are afraid to touch. So this remarkable album came as a complete surprise, because the Polish mezzo-soprano Ewa Podles is real star material. The sound has a contralto quality; the range is astounding, the flexibility of the voice incredible. This album has been a best-seller for Naxos, and rightly so. The chorus, orchestra, and conductor are adequate; buy this one for Podles, and for Podles (and Rossini) alone. -- Sarah Bryan Miller
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Member CD Reviews
Osa O. (Thurzdaynext) from ELLICOTT CITY, MD
Reviewed on 9/8/2006...
A beautiful recording by a wonderful mezzo.
A Virtuoso Voice!
M. Ramos | 12/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How many times I have seen this CD on the record stores without been interested in buying it! But when I heard the wonderful Ewa Podles in the complete TANCREDI with Naxos, I knew that this recital will not be dissapointing. Podles is a real contralto, with a dark huge voice, with solid low tones, and a stunning range and flexibility that takes her up to a high C. These qualities make her an ideal singer for the music of Rossini. This recital takes the listener to a fascinating display of vocal fireworks, singing that has also character and personality. Probably her voice sounds too mature for characters like Rosina or Cenerentola, but the exactness of her scales and roulades makes the listener compensate for the lack of freshness. But the voice fits perfectly for Isabella and the pants roles. Among the best numbers is the aria from Semiramide, Di tanti palpiti from Tancredi (that sounds even better than her interpretation of the whole opera, her final cadenza more spectacular, with her final middle F ringing with force until the last bar of the orchestral postlude). But the crowning glory of the recording is Non temer: d'un basso affetto. This is an incredible tour de force going from low, chesty G's and A's up to brilliant high B's, with accurate vocal jumps from the lowest to the highest registers. The orchestra and chorus are adequate, but they are not a distraction to Podles' singing. And if we add the factor of the incredible low price, there is no reason for lovers of great singing to have this CD. I hope to hear much more recordings of Ms Podles very soon!"
Brilliant virtuoso singing
M. Tietjen | Syracuse, NY, USA | 06/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When looking for an aria recital disc of Rossini mezzo/contralto recordings, I always figured that my choices were limited to Marilyn Horne and Cecilia Bartoli. However, the brilliant contralto Ewa Podles could drive them all out of work. Never letting her coloratura lag behind the orchestra, or rush ahead, Podles's big, operatic voice puts the competition to shame. I must agree with the other reviewers in naming "Non temer" as the brightest jewel on this album. I have heard others sing this aria, including Horne and Jennifer Larmore, and, although both the other versions have merit (Larmore in particular has some of the best mezzo-soprano high notes I've ever heard although her coloratura is usually just a hair behind), Podles exhilerating performance tops the list. I also agree with another reviewer who mentioned Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as another great non-soprano. I wish she would record a Rossini album, after hearing her "Nacqui all' affano.""