The 17th-century Italian art song repertory traditionally reserved for novice singers is given new life via Bartoli's artistry. With impeccable diction and evocative phrasing, she captures every innuendo of these simple, b... more »ut passionate, pieces. No two repetitive phrases are alike; she chisels every line into a landscape of interpretive magnificence. Scarlatti's simple "O Cessate di Piagarmi" becomes a testament of innocent pain and plaintiveness. Giordano's "Caro Mio Ben" is transformed into a tender cry for love. All embellishments are imaginative and well executed. Accompaniment by György Fischer is equally appealing, sensitive and precise. Every singer questing for the art of singing should study these. --Barbara Eisner Bayer« less
The 17th-century Italian art song repertory traditionally reserved for novice singers is given new life via Bartoli's artistry. With impeccable diction and evocative phrasing, she captures every innuendo of these simple, but passionate, pieces. No two repetitive phrases are alike; she chisels every line into a landscape of interpretive magnificence. Scarlatti's simple "O Cessate di Piagarmi" becomes a testament of innocent pain and plaintiveness. Giordano's "Caro Mio Ben" is transformed into a tender cry for love. All embellishments are imaginative and well executed. Accompaniment by György Fischer is equally appealing, sensitive and precise. Every singer questing for the art of singing should study these. --Barbara Eisner Bayer
"I have always appreciated the lower voice ranges infinitely more than the higher ones. Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli is one of the most interesting talents to have come along during the past years in that department. This album is comprised of the so-called 'Arie Antiche', and of all her recordings, it is this album which is the most dear to me. Here she presents to the listener a programme of Baroque composers, with the exception of the Parisotti aria (19th century), which has for long been attributed to Pergolesi. The featured composers are: Scarlatti, Giordani, Lotti, Cesti, Paisiello, Marcello, Caldara, Caccini, Parisotti, Cavalli, Vivaldi and Carissimi. The 'Arie Antiche' are often dreaded by singers and may well serve as a test case of their vocal abilities. Cecilia Bartoli pulls it off beautifully, and this is the kind of repertoire which I love best. She imbues her performances with such warmth and intelligence! Bringing out every colour and nuance of these songs which deal with love, loss and heartbreak. Her rendition lends the 'Arie Antiche' a freshness as if the composers had just written these for her. Since respect for the composers and musical integrity are always central to her approach of music and song. Gyorgy Fischer lends her a fine, sparkling and attentive support on piano. The accompanying booklet contains information on the 'Arie Antiche', the Italian texts and English translations.
Some favourites are; 'Gia sole del Gange', 'Caro mio ben', 'Pur dicesti, o bocca bella', 'Amarilli' or 'Vittoria, Vittoria'. In my opinion, an indispensable album for admirers of Cecilia Bartoli and the Baroque period.
by stardustraven "
Once tired songs made beautiful again!
Leonard Gladden | Imperial, MO United States | 03/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As an accompanist for the past 20+ years, I'd come to believe these songs - many contained within the (in)famous "24 Italian Songs and Arias" were stricly for the high school/early college vocalist to butcher while learning the basics of good singing and Italian.
Boy was I wrong!
Cecilia Bartoli takes these songs and makes you ache, rejoice, and desire right along with her. I never thought I'd be moved by ANY performance of "Caro mio ben" and yet I nearly wrecked my car the first time I heard her on this recording. Magnificent! As is each and every track on this disc. It's inspired me to be a better accompanist and coach, as well as an ardent admirer of all things Bartoli. Many of my choral/vocal music teacher friends have received this disc or bought it after hearing mine. BUY THIS RECORDING!
The only downer is that I may never feel complete if I don't get to accompany this lady on the title track before I die. Oh, well - I guess you can't have it all!"
Incredible, touching ability.
Bron Barnacle | Turkey | 09/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
I have rather ecclectic tastes and this is one of my all time favourite albums.I understood it is a classic sampler of songs (about ? 2/3 are on the album) collected centuries ago to cover all required singing technique & is used as exercises.I can relate to the comments of the previous reviewers.I am NOT an "opera buff" and find some of Cecelia's albums a bit tedious - but not this one.
When I first heard it, I went straight out and bought it.Why ? Enjoyment - most of the songs are very pleasant and easy to "hum / la,la,la along to".
But mostly because of her astonishing technique.
If this was an exam, I'm sure she'd get a perfect score.Her breathing is incredible. As an untrained singer, I KNOW how good she is, believe me !
I was, and still am, completely flabberghasted at her ability to vary volume - especially "without breathing".I have, on occasion, asked friends who actively dislike classical singing to hear certain examples only to consider her ability and in every case they have been very impressed.I also find some of her renditions extremely touching - even devastating: her "expression"is very skilled & genuine.My father (opera buff & amateur singer) was astonished at her age when she recorded it - I think approx. 26 or 7 - he felt she sounded far more "mature" than that on this recording.The accompanying piano is the only instrument and is sensitively and well - played.
The overall impression is of calm with a few lively bursts to break it up. And all the while, excellence.If you are NOT into complete operas or grand, orchestral performances BUT appreciate & enjoy classical music and singing, you should give this a listen."
Opera's easy-listening arias performed with utter sincerity!
Armindo | Greece | 04/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cecilia Bartoli is indisputably one of the best representatives of Italian singing nowadays. In a time when many singers sacrifice clean-cut singing for screams, sobs and other tricks, Bartoli's straightforward approach stands out. Her instrument is not the most powerful but because of her solid vocal training she can be heard in the last rows of a theatre. She can tackle the most difficult coloratura but also sing a legato line with great warmth and exemplary evenness of tone. The arias she sings are simple but never simplistic. Standard arias for a young singer but listening to Cecilia here makes me wonder how many legendary sopranos or mezzos would be able to sing these pieces so skilfully, expressively and with beauty of tone. Listen for example with how much intelligence and expressiveness she handles Paisello's "Nel cor piu non mi sento". Each song has its own character and Bartoli knows exactly how to sing it. Truly a lesson of Italian singing! The only aspect that I sometimes find less pleasing is her occasional aggressive singing. This however only occurs when she embellishes a lot. I greatly admire Bartoli not only for her operatic achievements and tastes (she's a ardent Tebaldi fan) but also for her devotion to classical singing only (she refuses to become a crossover singer). Don't miss this lovely recital!"
Songs not just for students
booby20532 | Yonkers, New York United States | 11/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The "24 Arias" are known by every singer as the beginner songs, and the fact is that many students butcher the songs because they find them very boring to sing. Therefore this is a recording for any beginner. Cecilia's coloring, vocal line, diction and basic interpretation are what an aspiring singer should aim for. Even the "boring" songs are brought to life by this versitile singer. How many times has one heard "Se tu m'ami" and just thought, "Not again." Well Cecilia brings new life to timeless songs and hopefully she will inspire younger singers to find the beauty in these songs. For the non-singers, what more could you want to hear but a beautiful singer singing beautiful songs?"