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In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music / DiDonato


Release Date: 11/04/2016 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 2-557754   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Leonardo LeoGeorge Frideric HandelHenry PurcellNiccolò Jommelli,   ... 
Performer:  Joyce DiDonatoMaxim EmelyanychevMagdalena KarolakAnna Fusek
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews




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REVIEW:

In the notes accompanying this spectacular CD, mezzo Joyce DiDonato asks, “In the midst of chaos, how do you find peace?” She goes for answers–and gets them–from a baritone who was a Freedom Combat Victim, as well as from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a prisoner in Sing Sing, an 8-year old refugee, Alfred Brendel, Judi Dench, and many more. DiDonato manages not to sound holier-than-thou in this introduction, and a discussion of Baroque opera and how it tended to be a battlefield between good and evil follows. Examples are “When I am laid in earth” for the grief of war, and Cleopatra’s “Da
Read more tempeste…” showing the Queen exulting in the possibility of peace.

All of that aside, this CD demonstrates again that DiDonato is probably the greatest mezzo singing pre-1850 music. Her voice is still not a grand one–no Marilyn Horne booming; if I had to compare, I’d say she’s on a par with Janet Baker. Another thing she has in common with Dame Janet are the various degrees of piano/pianissimo she can render, at every vocal height or depth, with or without vibrato, and always as a reading off the text and in the most musical of ways. Of course she shows off–you can only listen agape to the maniacal pinpoint staccatos up and down the staff, and to the superb trills in mid-line in Jommelli’s “Per che di giubilo”, every one of them right on, rhythmically flawless and an expression of sheer joy.

That type of virtuosity aside–and it by no means should be put aside–perhaps the most staggering moments on this CD are two in the war section: Dido’s Lament and the following “Lascia ch’io pianga”. Here are 10 minutes of the most beautiful and sensitive–and emotionally very different–expressions of sadness on disc. Yes, the feelings are in the music and we’ve all heard both selections gorgeously sung, but here DiDonato’s coloristic abilities make each character’s anguish utterly real. Dido dies in front of us.

The CD’s opening track, “Scenes of horror, scenes of woe”, might be performed by another singer–a Cassandra type of revulsion and terror are brought to the fore through chest voice and fierce fortes. Aggrippina’s “Pensieri” might not seem to be in place here, but her plotting is warlike, and you have only to hear the opening, straight-toned, vibratoless note to realize the cruelty and ambition. (Il Pomo d’Oro’s oboist should be commended here as well!)

Even were there no “programme” per se, this would be a worthy, in fact stunning achievement. Maxim Emelyanychev leads Il Pomo d’Oro with verve, compassion, and tone that ranges from vicious to caressing depending on the situation. And the last two tracks–Penelope’s quiet joy near the close of Monteverdi’s Ulisse, and Cleopatra’s “Da tempeste” leave us elated. Just buy this.

– ClassicsToday (Robert Levine) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Andromaca: Prendi quel ferro, o barbaro! by Leonardo Leo
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 7 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2.
Giulio Cesare: Vani sono i lamenti.Svegliatevi nel core by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
The Indian Queen: They tell us that you mighty powers above by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
4.
Agrippina: Pensieri, voi mi tormentate by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Magdalena Karolak (Oboe), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1709 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 6 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Armida dispietata...Lascia ch'io pianga mia cruda sorte by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
6.
Rinaldo: Augelletti che cantate by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Anna Fusek (Sopranino Recorder), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
7.
Attilio Regolo: Sprezza il furor del vento by Niccolò Jommelli
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Classical 
Written: 1753 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 7 Minutes 13 Secs. 
8.
Attilio Regolo: Par che di Giubilo by Niccolò Jommelli
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Classical 
Written: 1753 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 6 Minutes 9 Secs. 
9.
Susanna: Lead me, oh lead me to some cool retreat. Crystal streams in murmurs flowing by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1748; England 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 8 Minutes 21 Secs. 
10.
Giulio Cesare: Da tempeste il legno infranto by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Joyce DiDonato (), Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Pomo D’oro
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
11.
Jephtha: Some dire event hangs o'er our heads. Scenes of horror, scenes of woe by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1752 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
12.
Dido and Aeneas: Thy hand, Belinda. When I am laid in earth by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; United Kingdom 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 5 Minutes 3 Secs. 
13.
Bonduca, or the British Heroine: Oh! Lead me to some peaceful gloom by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
14.
The Indian Queen: Why should men quarrel by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; England 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
15.
Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria: Illustratevi, o Cieli by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Maxim Emelyanychev (Harpsichord), Joyce DiDonato ()
Conductor:  Maxim Emelyanychev
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1640; Venice, Italy 
Venue:  Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Press review January 27, 2017 By Classicalacarte Classicalacarte (Saint-Donat, QC) See All My Reviews "A very inspiring recital by a top-notch artist. The recording was hailed by reviewers in Great Britain, France and Germany and by many others on the Web. It was a warded and Editor’Choice by Gramophone, a CHOC by Classica and a 5 Diapason among others. To read all the reviews surveyed search the with your browser using the following criteria: classicalacarte.net + ID577 --The original and more extensive version (in French) of this press review is posted on: classicalacarte.org" Report Abuse
 Aria Heaven December 8, 2016 By Kelvin R. (Lake Elsinore, CA) See All My Reviews "Beautiful pieces; especially, the tracks dedicated to PEACE." Report Abuse
 Gorgeous singing, bizarre presentation November 25, 2016 By Brian R. (Mystic, CT) See All My Reviews "We all agree that Joyce Di Donato is a treasure, and her conception of this album is wholly admirable. But for this listener, the design of the CD booklet is completely out of synch with that concept, drawing attention to Ms. DiDonato's odd, sparkly makeup instead of reflecting her concept in a more measured way. (It would have worked better for The Queen of the Night or the soprano in some opera buffa." Report Abuse
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