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Vesselina Kasarova - A Portrait
George Frideric Handel, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Vesselina Kasarova - A Portrait
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

The title "A Portrait" would suggest some sort of a cohesive look at this talented Bulgarian mezzo-soprano. But she is so astonishingly versatile, one wonders if there are at least two singers at work here. Her more athl...  more »

     
   
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Amazon.com
The title "A Portrait" would suggest some sort of a cohesive look at this talented Bulgarian mezzo-soprano. But she is so astonishingly versatile, one wonders if there are at least two singers at work here. Her more athletic coloratura moments in the Rossini and Donizetti arias would suggest some sort of slavic Cecila Bartoli while her more soulful, lyrical moments in Gluck's Orfeo would suggest a heavier voice like Kathleen Ferrier. Could it be that she has it all--or at least as much as one could hope for in a single singer? --David Patrick Stearns
 

CD Reviews

Very unique and enjoyable voice
Kate | 07/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Although Kasarova still has a bit to learn about singing, she is clearly on her way to becoming a great interpreter of the mezzo-soprano repertoire. There were a few pieces that I certainly do not long to hear repeated, but for the most part, the album is enjoyable.My favourite selections were the coloratura pieces. "Una voce poco fa" has been sung to DEATH already, but Kasarova adds something new to it, especially in the lower register. It's nice to hear this piece performed by a true mezzo. The "Voi che sapete" was also very nicely done (it fell wonderfully in her passagio), although "Batti, batti" was not memorable (it felt somewhat monotonous---maybe because Kasarova was beginning to tire with the high tessitura). I especially enjoyed her rendition of O mio Fernando---I would like to hear her sing "Stride la Vampa" (Trovatore) in the future. The only piece that really didn't thrill me was the Orfeo "Che faro." This piece was written for a good rich contralto, and Kasarova's tone simply wasn't appropriate to carry this aria affectively (she really sounds like she's straining the low notes, which can't really be disguised because they occur so many times). I listen to Kasarova whenever I'm bored with Larmore or Bartoli. She has a certain husky tendency in her voice that is extremely desirable but not present in the voices of these other two divas. This is a wonderful album to introduce you to her unique voice!"
Very good
Hiram Gomez Pardo | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I find this collection interesting, but not necessarily to the singers advantage. She sings what she sings well, but there is an "overblown" quality from time to time. Sona la tromba (the first selection) has a rough edge to it. I like this singer very much in other things I have her in. This is a good CD, but I think it would have served her more to choose some other selections. Her Verdi is excellent, but we are not treated to it. Her Orfeo lacks that really rich lower register that would make it tell. Still, a great buy and a great collection."
Kasarova and the Amazing Multi-Colored Dream Voice
Smorg | San Diego, CA, USA | 04/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This was my introduction to Vesselina Kasarova CD. I first saw her in a clip of Il Barbiere di Siviglia (singing Una voce poco fa) on Classic Arts Showcase program one night and was amazed at how beautifully she sings the coloratura piece while doing complicated acting manuevers on stage.

The really great thing about Kasarova is how she communicates the essence of each aria with her voice. She doesn't sing 'Konzertzant'. Her instrument, for some reason, doesn't sound as big on recording as it does live (where it is quite plenty big, very lusterous and agile), and she uses many vocal colors to bring out the different character of her roles (a lot of time in the same aria to show the change of emotion). It is unconventional, but it works really well in the story telling.

Her coloratura is amazing. It is fast and fluidly effortless sounding... and she sings all the notes!! A true Rossinian mezzo with great extension at the top. She also incorporates the ornaments into the music so well it gives the piece a character rather than standing out at odd with the music. Kasarova is so subtle in her interpretations that each time I replay an aria I catch some nuances I missed before.

Her 'Che faro senza Euridice' may sound 'simple' on the first try, but it is quite understatedly wistful and gives the picture of a devastatingly drained Orfeo who has lost all hope. It gets better the more closely you listen to it. Her 'Voi che sapete' is of a Cherubino who is young and enthusiastically in love.

She uses wider vibrato in her bel canto pieces which fit the music well. Her Rosina has a split personality demarcated at 'ma', a note that turns an perky love-struck young thing into a potentially vengeful witch in such dramatic way that I can visualize her eyes narrowing and her fangs growing just by hearing it. Her renditions of 'o mio Fernando' and 'Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio' are unforgetable. Kasarova gives you all she has and it is wonderful."