Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Antonio Vivaldi, Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco|
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One of the best Vivaldi Recordings
M. Montenegro | mexico | 05/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the past five or six years, the recording industry has been very generous with baroque opera, in general, and Vivaldi's operas in specific (despite the well known crisis of classical music recordings). It has to do with all the research that has been done about this field and the Vivaldi's operas that have been found... Motezuma is the latest recording addition to this operatic side of Vivaldi's music and it is presented as a first world premiere of the original opera with some reconstruction for the recitativos. (In 1992 Jean- Claude Malgoire's make a recording of a pasticcio with the name of Montezuma, using music from cantantas, serenatas and other Vivaidi Operas).
To be honest, I was not expecting very much of the recording. Motezuma was written and performed in 1733, and, at this time, Vivaldi was concentrated more in pasticci and adaptations of earlier works than in composition of new music... Well, Motezuma is an exception: almost the entire score was composed for the libretto and the music is Vivaldi at his very best.
Il complesso Barocco and Alan Curtis need no recomendation, but in this specific work they are in great form... it may be the fact that they are really making new music, and you can feel it.
Now the singers. All of them are up to the challenge, and this is music of extreme virtuosity. Vito Priante has and imposing bass-bariton voice and sings fluent coloratura. I am not sure if Vivaldi wrote the part of Motezuma for low male voice insted of a castrato, but it works very well. Mariana Mijanovic sings the part of Mitrena, the emperor's wife. For me, she is the less effective of the singers in this recordings. She sounds to virile for the part. She is a contralto with a very androgenous voice that worked very well in Giulio Cesar with Minkowski but in this specific work, a more feminine and agile voice would be more appropriate, but, anyway, she is exciting! Roberta Invernizzi sings Teutile, the princess. She has very beautiful voice and fits the arias perfectly. Maite Beaumont sings Fernando, the spanish invader, and she could not be better. Her arias are very difficult with a very wide range and she is great! Romina Basso sings the small part of Ramiro, Fernando's brother, she has few moments but those are done very well. Inga Kalna sings another small part: Asprano, general of the mexicans... and surprisingly, I think this is the most difficult part in the entire opera. Few arias, but what kind of music! And Inga Kalna excels in it. You can listen to this prodigious singer in Rene Jacobs Giulio Cesar, where she takes the opera for herself... I wish she would record more often.
The story of the opera is an european-baroque-view of the conquest of Mexico but with interesting details: Motezuma and his wife are presented as a regal and loving couple willing to sacrifice themselves in the sake of honor... there is also a love story between the mexican princess and the brother of the invader.
Very recommendable recording. One of the best of the year. If you love baroque music, this is an opera you must have... if you don't love this genere, I am sure this recording will change your mind."
R.S. | 03/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just a few words : great performances ! I agree with the reviewer who says that all the singers are up for the challange. However, I must disagree with the ones who say that Marijana Mijanovic's voice is too androgenous for Mitrina's part. Miss Mijanovic is one of the best current contraltos, her voice is of the most instantly recognizable and originale and her technique is simply brilliant. Some will say that her low register sounds a bit "metallic" and that her breast register is not well "intergrated". I will answer that the somewhat countertenorish way she uses her low register doesn't denote a flaw in technique, but is actually a personal choice ! In Bajazet, for instance, in the aria "Svena, Uccidi, Abbatti, Atterra" she chooses to sound resort to her breast register at the begining, but doesn't do it any longer in the da capo by the end, showing that she's fully capable to sing in a more "traditional" way, but that she does it on purpose when she chooses to sound more like a countertenor. Now, regarding the comments according to which her voice is too "masculine" for Mitrina's part, I'd simply answer that not all the most enticing and attractive women are overly feminine : a touch of androgeneity is often perceived very attractive depending on the woman. Therefore, I'd say that she fits the role perfectly and I'll even say that she's probably the most effective singer of the cast : her dramatic involvement is just breathtaking whatever the role she takes on, and this one is no exception. I think it's time to stop being overly conservative and accept and be open to it, when an artist dares to take some risk, especially when we're talking about an extraordinary singer and actress like Marijana Mijanovic !"
F. Rupert | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I concur with the other positive reviews, except to emphasize the extreme virtuosity displayed in some of the arias. You will look a long time to find a baroque opera recording with singing to top this. If you admire florid singing, this set should be a "must have" in your collection."