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Sospiri / Cecilia Bartoli


Release Date: 11/09/2010 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001490802  
Composer:  George Frideric HandelGeminiano GiacomelliAntonio VivaldiAntonio Caldara,   ... 
Performer:  Cecilia BartoliBryn TerfelJuan Diego FlórezLuciano Pavarotti,   ... 
Conductor:  Giovanni AntoniniMarc MinkowskiClaudio AbbadoMyung-Whun Chung,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino ArmonicoLes Musiciens du LouvreVienna Philharmonic Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews



SOSPIRI Cecilia Bartoli (ms); various assisting artists DECCA 4782249 (2 CDs: 107:55 Text and Translation)


Selections by HANDEL, GIACOMELLI, VIVALDI, CALDARA, VINCI, MOZART, BELLINI, MENDELSSOHN, ROSSINI, MASCAGNI, BACH, GOUNOD, DURUFLÉ, FRANCK, FAURÉ


This compilation album seems primarily aimed at those who have heard, or heard of, Cecilia Bartoli but apparently shied away from buying any of her Read more recordings until Decca came along and packaged them here as “tender-sensual arias.” In this context it’s surprising to find the fiery Vivaldi aria, which has but one tender middle section between coloratura fireworks, but I’m not the producer. One enticement is that Decca is selling two CDs for the price of one, as it did for her castrato album, Sacrificium (Decca 4781521), because the second disc is a short CD running only a half hour. Another enticement is that it gives you a chance to sample not only Sacrificium but also her tribute to Maria Malibran and her Malibran-inspired complete recording of La Sonnambula. A fourth enticement, which I consider to be quite small, is that it gives you the world premiere recording of Leonardo Vinci’s aria “Cervo in bosco” and a heretofore unissued 2007 version of “Una voce poco fà.” Chacun à son gout.


Being one of those who did not previously hear the Sonnambula, I was glad to be able to sample it. I have mixed feelings. I am not willing, as some critics have been, to condemn her for sounding too studied in her effects, but I’m not sure that she (or Malibran, if Bartoli is indeed following a written account of the former’s performance) is well advised to sing “Ah, non credea” almost in a whisper. Effective as a recording, yes, but by reducing her volume so much Bartoli—who has a fairly small voice—has made it all the smaller. I can’t imagine her being able to project this sound in all but the most intimate of rooms. I had also not previously heard her recording of Mascagni’s “cherry duet” with Pavarotti (or, rather, the second half of it). Her voice is completely unsuited for the piece, both its mezzo quality and dark timbre sounding like a fish out of water. The new “Una voce” is a quirky performance—now too fast, now too slow—and neither Bartoli nor conductor Adam Fischer seems to know where they’re going with it. As with the L’amico Fritz duet, the Norma aria is only half a performance, in this case the first half with no cabaletta, which I find odd, and again the darkness of her timbre sounds wrong for it.


Oddly enough it is the second, bonus CD that is exquisite. All the selections are conducted by Myung-Whun Chung (with two different orchestras), and each performance is a gem. Bartoli drains her voice of most of its vibrato in “Laudate dominum” and parts of “Fac ut portem,” with delicious effect. Singer and conductor are completely at one in their musical concept, and everything gels. I am particularly struck by their performance of the oft-hackneyed Bach-Gounod Ave Maria (a piece that Hector Berlioz found obnoxious and without merit), even though Bartoli’s high B?s sound a bit shrill. Your desire to have this specific package will, of course, influence your decision whether or not to purchase it. Texts and translations are included!


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1. Serse, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu "Largo" by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738; London, England 
2. Merope: Sposa, non mi conosci by Geminiano Giacomelli
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
3. Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, HWV 46a: Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707 
4. Il Farnace, RV 711: Gelido in ogni vena by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
5. La Morte d’Abel: Quel buon pastor son io by Antonio Caldara
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
6. Il Medo: Cervo in bosco by Leonardo Vinci
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
7. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
8. Don Giovanni, K 527: Là ci darem la mano by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787 
9. La sonnambula: Ah, non credea mirarti by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Juan Diego Flórez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Alessandro De Marchi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich La Scintilla Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
10. Infelice, Op. 94 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Adám Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich La Scintilla Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
11. Ines de Castro: Cari giorni by Giuseppe Persiani
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Adám Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich La Scintilla Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1835; Italy 
12. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa...Io sono dolcile by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Adám Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich La Scintilla Orchestra,  International Chamber Soloists
13. Norma: Casta diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Adám Fischer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich La Scintilla Orchestra,  International Chamber Soloists
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
14. L'Amico Fritz: Tutto tace by Pietro Mascagni
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (Tenor)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Voices,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Italy 
15. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Qui sedes by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747-1749; Leipzig, Germany 
16. Vesperae solennes de confessore, K 339: Laudate Dominum by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1780; Salzburg, Austria 
17. Stabat mater: Fac, ut portem Christi mortem by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832/1842; Italy 
18. Ave Maria by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Cinzia Maurizio (Harp)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
19. Requiem, Op. 9: Pie Jesu by Maurice Duruflé
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Daniele Rossi (Organ), Luigi Piovano (Cello)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Paris, France 
20. Panis angelicus by César Franck
Performer:  Luigi Piovano (Cello), Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Daniele Rossi (Organ),
Cinzia Maurizio (Harp)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
21. Requiem, Op. 48: Pie Jesu by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Daniele Rossi (Organ)
Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888 rev 1893; France 

Featured Sound Samples

Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno (Handel): "Lascia la spina, cogli la rosa"
Il Medo (Vinci): "Cervo in bosco"
Mass in B minor (Bach): "Qui sedes"
Don Giovanni (Mozart): "Là ci darem la mano" (with Bryn Terfel)

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