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Scene D'amore - Puccini, Verdi, Gounod, Etc / Soile Isokoski, Mikko Franck, Helsinki Po


Release Date: 10/14/2008 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1126   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyGeorges BizetCharles GounodGiacomo Puccini,   ... 
Performer:  Soile Isokoski
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCENE D’AMORE Soile Isokoski (sop); Mikko Franck, cond; Helsinki PO ONDINE 1126 (57:15 Text and Translation)


TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin: Letter Scene. BIZET Carmen: Je dis, que rien ne m’épouvante. GOUNOD Faust: Jewel Song. Read more class="COMPOSER12">PUCCINI La bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimi. Turandot: Tu che di gel sei cinta. VERDI Simon Boccanegra: Come in quest’ ora bruna. Otello: Emilia, te ne prego . . . Ave Maria


The choice of musical selections is not particularly remarkable, all are the venerable warhorses found on umpteen soprano recital discs, but if you can’t have enough Jewel songs and Mi chiamano Mimi’s in your collection, this disc is a recommended addition. Why? An opportunity to sample soprano Soile Isokoski’s gorgeous voice in a variety of operatic roles. Isokoski’s lyric soprano is like liquid gold; it’s warm and smooth, lovely from bottom to top, with a ripple of vibrato. I noticed some darkening of her vocal color compared to recordings made earlier in her career, giving added richness throughout her range.


This is a very mellow recital album. Instead of a plethora of showy arias intended to dazzle the listener with vocal brilliance and dexterity, Ms. Isokoski puts her dramatic and intuitive talents on display. If she isn’t reaching for the high notes (yes, there are some), she is reaching inside the characters she portrays, presenting an hour of beautiful singing with a wealth of nuances. All the selections are from roles in her repertoire. I felt a few of the tempos were slower than what I would expect if the selections were part of the complete operas, but it is not unusual to put the spot light on an aria when isolated out of context. These performances are intended to be cherished excerpts of intimate musical moments. Isokoski and Mikko Franck are not afraid to tread delicately, especially with the two Puccini and the Verdi Otello selections.


It seems churlish to offer criticism of an album with so much beautiful, heartfelt singing, but here are my two caveats: there is little variety in the material and it is unremittingly solo singing. Granted, this is a recital featuring soprano Soile Isokoski. In a live concert the musical numbers would be separated by applause and a moment or two of preparation for the next number, perhaps even an exit or two followed by an entrance to more applause. On a studio recorded CD, one musical number is followed by another after only a few seconds of interval. With only one singer, and the musical material so similar in temperament, after a while there is a risk of the individual numbers blurring together. With the exception of the opening statement of Tatiana’s letter song (track 1) and the Jewel song from Faust (track 4), the rest of the album is devoted to reflective, contemplative, and prayerful arias. To isolate any one of them, they ravish the ear with Ms. Isokoski’s beautiful voice and expressive interpretation; but, there is a lack of variety in the program even though the material was chosen from two different centuries, three different languages, and five different composers.


I lost count of how many times I played this album, augmented by listening to some of Isokoski’s previous recordings in my collection (my favorites: R. Strauss’s orchestral and four last songs and Sibelius’s orchestral songs). This Scene d’amore CD is a welcomed addition to my library.


FANFARE: David L. Kirk
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Works on This Recording

1. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Tatiana's letter scene by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
Length: 12 Minutes 49 Secs. 
2. Carmen: Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante "Micaëla's Aria" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
3. Faust: Ah! je ris de me voir si belle "Jewel Song" by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
4. La Bohème: Si, mi chiamano Mimì by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
5. Turandot: Tu, che di gel sei cinta by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
6. Simon Boccanegra: Come in quest' ora bruna by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
7. Otello: Piangea cantando...Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mikko Franck
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Length: 13 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Act I: Tatiana's Letter Scene
Carmen: Act III: Je dis que rien m'epouvante
Faust: Act II: Je voudrais bien savoir ... Ah! Je ris de me voir si belle
Faust: Act II: O Dieu, que de bijoux
La boheme: Act I: Si. Mi chiamano Mimi
Turandot: Act III Scene 1: Tu, che di gel sei cinta
Simon Boccanegra: Act I: Come in quest'ora bruna
Otello: Act IV: Emilia, te ne prego ... Piangea cantando ... Ave Maria

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