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Le Belle Immagini - Mozart, Gluck, Myslivecek / Magdalena Kozena


Release Date: 01/15/2002 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471334   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartChristoph W. GluckJosef Myslivecek
Performer:  Barbara Maria WilliJindrich PavlisMagdalena KozenáVladislav Borovka
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews


For a singer to begin a recital disc with Sesto's aria "Parto, parto" from Mozart's La clemenza di Tito is a bold statement: The aria requires an exquisite legato, great breath control, an absolutely even range covering two octaves, a real trill, great agility (coupled with great accuracy), and of course, the intelligence and focus to make Sesto's plight (love, resignation, vengeance) come to life. Magdalena Kozena has it all, and more. The voice is billed as a mezzo-soprano, but listeners looking for the heft and/or booming low notes of Marilyn Horne or Ewa Podles will be disappointed; indeed, the voice is lighter than Kasarova's, too. The closest I can come in comparison is to Anne Sofie
Read more von Otter, and that's no mean praise. In fact she has everything Otter has and more. Otter's musicianship and sense of style are exemplary, and her production is impeccably natural, but Kozena's mid-range has a sensual throb to it and she uses it for just such communication, whereas her Swedish counterpart tends to keep an emotional distance from what she sings. Both singers radiate class--there's not a vulgar or inappropriate moment here.

The top of Kozena's voice is free and clear as a bell, and from top to bottom the general quality is glowing and beautiful. In fact, I can't find anything wrong with this recital disc, and the program is fascinating. In addition to Mozart's Sesto, we get an ideally understated Cherubino, a warm, happy Idamante, and relative rarities from Lucio Silla and La finta giardiniera--all individually characterized. Gluck's "Le belle immagini" from Paride ed Elena is ravishingly beautiful and worthy of replaying the moment it's over. The other Gluck selections are equally well performed and worthy.


The CD's surprise is three arias by Josef Myslivecek (1737-81), who was admired by Mozart and famous all over Europe during his time. His arias are wonderfully florid and Kozena lashes into them with absolute certainty, executing the most difficult leaps and runs--upward and downward--with what seems to be great enjoyment and absolutely flawless rhythm. She touchingly expresses Sara's unhappiness in an aria from Myslivecek's Abramo ed Isacco and makes you long to hear more from this composer. The Prague Philharmonia led by Michel Swierczewski offers great assistance, and DG's engineers have given the whole project their most natural, warm sound. This CD is not a luxury, it's a necessity.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Jindrich Pavlis (Clarinet), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Paride ed Elena: Le belle immagini d'un dolce amore by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano), Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
Isacco figura del redentore: Chi per pietà mi dice...Deh, parlate by Josef Myslivecek
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1776; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 6 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection continues with "...Deh, parlate, che forse tacendo." 
4.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
Antigona: Sarò qual è il torrente by Josef Myslivecek
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1773 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 7 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
6.
Idomeneo, K 366: Ah qual gelido orror...Il padre adorato by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano), Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 3 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
Paride ed Elena: O del mio dolce ardor by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Vladislav Borovka (Oboe), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
Lucio Silla, K 135: Il tenero momento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Milan, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 9 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Dunque sperar poss'io..." 
9.
La finta giardiniera, K 196: Và pure ad altri in braccio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
L'olimpiade: Dunque Licida ingrato... Più non si trovano by Josef Myslivecek
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1778 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
11.
La clemenza di Tito: Se mai senti spirarti sul volto by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1752; Naples, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 8 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
12.
L'olimpiade: Che non mi disse un dil by Josef Myslivecek
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1778 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
13.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Deh, per questo istante solo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Barbara Maria Willi (Harpsichord), Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Dvorak Hall, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 6 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

La clemenza di Tito, K.621 / Act 1: "Parto, ma tu ben mio"
Paride ed Elena / Act 2: "Le belle immagini"
Abramo ed Isacco Oratorio (Isacco figura del Redentore) / Act 2: Qui per pietà mi dice - Deh! Parlate, parlate
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 2: "Voi che sapete"
Antigona / Act 2: Sarò qual è il torrente
Idomeneo, re di Creta, K.366 / Act 1: Ah, qual gelido orror - Il padre adorato
Paride ed Elena / Act 1: "O del mio dolce ardor"
Lucio Silla, K.135 / Act 1: "Dunque sperar poss'io"/"Il tenero momento"
La finta giardiniera, K.196 / Act 3: Va pure ad altri in braccio
L'Olimpiade / Act 2: Dunque Licida ingrato - Più non si trovano
La Clemenza di Tito (Wq. 16) / Act 2: Se mai senti spirarti sul volto
L'Olimpiade / Act 2: Che non mi disse
La clemenza di Tito, K.621 / Act 2: "Deh per questo istante solo"

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