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Great Operatic Arias Vol 18 / Jennifer Larmore

Larmore,Jennifer / Pco / Parry
Release Date: 05/22/2007 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 3142   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartFrancesco CilèaGaetano DonizettiGiuseppe Verdi,   ... 
Performer:  Jennifer LarmoreJonathan CooperSusan PattersonColin Lee,   ... 
Conductor:  David Parry
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Mezzo Jennifer Larmore has been recording like crazy for the last few years. There have been a fistful of complete opera recordings--mostly rarities--and now comes this set of 12 newly recorded selections in English from 11 different operas. With her spot-on coloratura and technique she is best known in bel canto operas, but here she travels into Verdi, Ponchielli, and even Wagner. It's not a perfect recital, but Larmore is never less than interesting, and she has plenty of surprises up her sleeve.

One surprise that doesn't work as intended is the final track, Juliet's Waltz Song. I recall many years ago hearing Shirley Verrett, in her absolute prime, sing "Una voce poco fa" in recital and I had the same feeling: How
Read more had Lady Macbeth gotten into this score? Larmore sings accurately, but it's a bit like a truck driver doing donuts with his rig--more terrifying than enjoyable. And Adriano's aria from Rienzi is pushed so hard that Larmore loses the pitch, and her vibrato loosens dangerously close to wobble-dom.

But the two excerpts from La favorita--one a duet with the terrific Colin Lee--are utterly successful, making you want to hear her in the entire role. Azucena's opening aria sounds properly crazy and dark; "O don fatale" is remarkable and Larmore doesn't run out of breath at its close like most singers do; "Iris hence away" is fluid and well-decorated; and "Mi tradi" presents a good portrait of Donna Elvira. The Gioconda duet with Susan Patterson is a veritable exercise in competitive singing, while their "Mira o Norma" is accurate and exciting, taken down the usual half-step.

David Parry leads the Philharmonia Orchestra with zip and occasionally too much volume, but this is never less than intriguing. Larmore's English diction varies from superb and specific to (oddly) incomprehensible. This is good fun--even the Juliet excerpt is entertaining, in a shocking sort of way. Recommended.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Mi tradì, quell' alma ingrata by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  David Parry
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
2.
Adriana Lecouvreur: O vagabonda stella d'Oriente by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (), Jonathan Cooper (Voice)
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
La favorita, opera: Lenora's aria by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (), Jonathan Cooper (Voice)
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs. 
4.
Il Trovatore, opera: Azucena's canzone by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (), Jonathan Cooper (Voice)
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
5.
La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Gioconda and Laura's duet by Amilcare Ponchielli
Performer:  Jonathan Cooper (Voice), Jennifer Larmore (), Susan Patterson ()
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
6.
Don Giovanni, opera, K. 527: Donna Elvira's recitative and aria by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jonathan Cooper (Voice), Jennifer Larmore ()
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Austria 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 53 Secs. 
7.
Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen, opera, WWV 49: Adriano's scena by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Jonathan Cooper (Voice), Jennifer Larmore ()
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838-1840; Germany 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 26 Secs. 
8.
La favorita, opera: Leonora and Fernando's duet by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Colin Lee (), Fflur Wyn (), Jennifer Larmore (),
Jonathan Cooper (Voice)
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 32 Secs. 
9.
Semele, oratorio, HWV 58: Juno's aria by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jonathan Cooper (Voice), Jennifer Larmore ()
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1743; England 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
10.
Tancredi, opera: Tancredi's Aria by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (), Jonathan Cooper (Voice)
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
11.
Norma, opera: Norma and Adalgisa's Duet by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Jonathan Cooper (Voice), Jennifer Larmore (), Susan Patterson ()
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 10 Minutes 57 Secs. 
12.
Don Carlo, opera: Princess Eboli's aria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jennifer Larmore (), Jonathan Cooper (Voice)
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
13.
Roméo et Juliette, opera: Juliet's Waltz Song by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Jonathan Cooper (Voice), Jennifer Larmore ()
Conductor:  David Parry
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865-1871 
Venue:  Blackheath Halls, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Adriana Lecouvreur: The torment of desire, exquisite torture - Star of the Evening (O vagabonda stella d'oriente)
La favorite: Can I believe it? - Oh my beloved - I submit to heav'nly powers! (O, mio Fernando)
Il trovatore: Fierce flames are raging (Stride la vampa)
La Gioconda: My curse upon you! - Love like mine is the light of creation (L'amo come il fulgor del creato)
Don Giovanni, K. 527: To what atrocity - That ungrateful man betrayed me (Mi tradi)
Rienzi: Oh righteous God - Where was I? (Wo war ich?)
La favorite: You, most courteous maiden - My beloved (Ah, mio bene)
Semele, HWV 58: Hence, Iris hence away!: Semele, HWV 58: Hence, Iris hence away!
Tancredi: Tell me, my beating heart! (Di tanti palpiti)
Norma (Sung in English): Norma: Take my children - See, O Norma (Mira, O Norma)
Don Carlos: O hated gift (O don fatale)
Romeo et Juliette: Juliet's Waltz Song (Je veux vivre)

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