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Andrew Kennedy Sings Arias By Mozart, Gluck & Berlioz

Gluck / Mozart / Berlioz / Kennedy
Release Date: 03/30/2010 
Label:  Signum U.k.   Catalog #: 189   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Christoph W. GluckWolfgang Amadeus MozartHector Berlioz
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Andrew Kennedy does Berlioz proud.

Andrew Kennedy has come to the fore in the last few years. I reviewed a Liszt recital not long ago, where he was an important contributor, though I wasn’t too happy with his tone production, which tended to be pinched and strained under pressure. This is also the case with the present issue. The programme is interesting with some Gluck arias followed by Mozart and then Berlioz, which I can’t recall ever seeing as a coupling on record, whether on LP or CD. It is an interesting juxtaposition and, whatever the qualities of the Gluck and Mozart items, it is the Berlioz aria that catches the interest.

He comes off to a quite unsuccessful start with Achille’s aria from
Read more Iphigenie e Aulide, which is undernourished and – yes, pinched – and this is the recurrent problem with his singing. But this opening number is, fortunately, an exception, since he shows great involvement and true lyricism in a lot of what he sings later on. The aria from Orphée et Euridice, better known as Che faro in its Italian version, is sensitively sung, though he can’t challenge predecessors like Gedda and Simoneau, nor Fouchecault in the quite recent Naxos recording.

His Mozart is even better and the two arias from Die Entführung aus dem Serail are fresh and lively and so are the less frequently heard arias from La clemenza di Tito. Here he is elegant and fluent – but also rather monochrome. Where he comes into his own is, somewhat surprisingly, in the Berlioz arias. First of all this is music of the utmost beauty that is too rarely heard and Kennedy seems to be especially suited to them. Iopas’s aria from Les Troyens, with its beautiful orchestral intro, is a gem, and the lively and eager solo from Béatrice et Bénédict is in the same league. Lélio, a sequel to Symphonie fantastique, is a rather peculiar composition, which I still have to come to terms with, but the tenor solo recorded here is a full-blooded romantic outpouring, ravishingly sung, and the magical scoring in the postlude is in itself worth the outlay. Best of all, as singing, is the aria from La damnation de Faust, so beautifully scaled down but with telling climaxes.

The Southbank Sinfonia are a superb orchestra and their playing in the two Mozart overtures is beyond reproach. I can’t say that Andrew Kennedy trumps my favourite singers in the Gluck and Mozart repertoire but he is definitely worth a listen for his Berlioz – not only for his singing, which is excellent, but for the music as such. At his best, which he certainly is in these arias, few 19 th century composers can challenge Berlioz. Andrew Kennedy does him proud.

-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Iphigénie en Aulide: Calchas, d'un trait mortel percé by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (), Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Alceste: Misero! E che faro! by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
3.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Che farò senza Euridice? by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Iphigénie en Tauride: Divinités des grandes âmes by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778-1779; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Hier soll ich dich denn sehen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
8.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
9.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Del più sublime soglio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
10.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Ah, se fosse intorno al trono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
11.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Se all' impero by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
12.
Les Troyens: O blonde Ceres by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (), Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856-1858; France 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
13.
Béatrice et Bénédict: Ah! Je vais l'aimer by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (), Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1860-1862; France 
Venue:  All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
14.
Lélio, Op 14bis: Chant de bonheur - O mon bonheur, ma vie by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831-1832; France 
15.
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Merci, doux crépuscule! by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Andrew Kennedy (Tenor)
Conductor:  Simon Over
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southbank Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 

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