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Aleksandra Kurzak - Gioia


Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001574602   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gioachino RossiniWolfgang Amadeus MozartGaetano DonizettiJohann Strauss Jr.,   ... 
Performer:  Aleksandra KurzakFrancesco Demuro
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The lyric soprano, Aleksandra Kurzak, is one of the most exciting young singers on the international stage - thrilling press and public alike with her performances in Europe and the US. In 2008, she triumphed in the title role of Matilde di Shabran at the Royal Opera opposite Juan Diego Flórez. The Guardian critic wrote “Flórez’s sparring partner here is Aleksandra Kurzak, his equal in technique and vocal glamour.”

• "Gioia", her debut on Decca, is the eagerly anticipated proof of her excellence and was already released to great critical acclaim in Italy and Spain in late spring. ("Applauditissimo",La Stampa, and Opera Actual praises her vocal colors and agility)
• This debut is
Read more capturing the current state of Aleksandra's voice by contrasting lyric and coloratura arias, focusing on roles which she has performed on stage. The album features much-loved Puccini arias from La Bohème and Gianni Schicchi, bel canto showpieces from I Puritani and Lucia di Lammermoor and the taxing First Act aria from La traviata "Sempre libera" which showcases both her effortless agility and the full, warm intensity of a Verdi lyric soprano
• Aleksandra Kurzak is also featured on the new album from Decca tenor Joseph Calleja, in which she joins Joseph for duets from La Bohème and Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perless
• “A rising-star soprano with flashing eyes and cover-girl looks” (The Observer)
• “Aleksandra Kurzak, who brought a luminous, impressively focused and agile coloratura voice and winsome sweetness to the role of Gilda . . . she is a coloratura soprano with great gifts and potential” (The New York Times)

FULL REVIEW

"Oh no, not another coloratura-chestnut collection!" (First reaction--sorry.) Turns out this young Polish soprano is individual enough to pull this off and fears of another "-ina" (Desp, Ad, Am, Zerl) were unfounded. The voice is more substantial than that and it's never cute or shrill. It's a pity she starts out with "Una voce poco fa" with its Pons-and-Peters high embellishments; it's hard to listen to it sung that way now that we've discovered coloratura mezzos. But she doesn't ever chirp, the tone is beautiful and recognizable, her trill is the real thing, and she always sings on the note.

Her "Regnava nel silenzio" is girlish and nicely acrobatic; "Mein Herr Marquis" is witty and filled with coy, effortless charm; the aria and duet from L'elisir... (with fine tenor Francesco Demuro) is well-characterized. A dreamy "Caro nome" is unspoiled by the highest of interpolated notes (which only tend to make audiences nervous), and "Son vergin vezzosa", with its Polish rhythms, seems to make her very comfortable (she opts out of the final high D, a gentle alternative). And her forays into Puccini--"O mio babbino caro" is impressive in its use of rubato; "Musetta's Waltz" is less irritating than usual--suggest that she will ripen.

I wouldn't say that her Violetta is quite ready yet--she could use some darker coloring--but she sings it as if Act 1 were the only act and puts some pressure on the voice for excellent dramatic effect in the recitative. And she takes the high E-flat with ease, both rising to it and descending from it musically. Her "Deh vieni" is lovely without breaking any records, and an aria from Straszny dwor by Moniuszko ends the recital more interestingly than it began. And I know that this sounds flimsy, but she sounds intelligent. Accompaniments led by sympathetic, equally musical Omer Meir Wellber make this CD a real pleasure.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa...Io sono dolcile by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
2.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh vieni, non tardar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Regnava nel silenzio by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
4.
Die Fledermaus: Mein Herr Marquis by Johann Strauss Jr.
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
6.
La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano), Francesco Demuro (Tenor)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
7.
Rigoletto: Caro nome by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
8.
I puritani: Son vergin vezzosa "Polacca" by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
9.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una parola, o Adina by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano), Francesco Demuro (Tenor)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
10.
La Bohème: Quando m'en vo' soletta "Musetta's Waltz" by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
11.
Haunted Manor: Do grobu trwac w bezzennym stanie by Stanislaw Moniuszko
Performer:  Aleksandra Kurzak (Soprano)
Conductor:  Omer Meir Wellber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Valencia Community Orchestra

Sound Samples

Il barbiere di Siviglia / Act 1: Una voce poco fa
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 4: Giunse alfin il momento... Deh vieni non tardar
Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 1: Regnava nel silenzio
Die Fledermaus / Act 2: Mein Herr Marquis
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro
La traviata / Act 1: E strano! - Ah, fors'è lui - Sempre libera
Rigoletto / Act 1: Gualtier Maldè...Caro nome
I Puritani / Act 1: Son vergin vezzosa
L'elisir d'amore / Act 1: Una parola, Adina
La Bohème / Act 2: Quando m'en vo
Straszny Dwor (The Haunted Manor) / Act 4: Do grobu trwac w bezzennym stanie

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