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Bel Canto Arias - Donizetti, Rossini / Vivica Genaux, Et Al


Release Date: 09/16/2003 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45615   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gaetano DonizettiGioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Vivica Genaux's voice is not the grand, cushioned instrument Marilyn Horne's was; neither does she have the girlish allure of Teresa Berganza. Her sound is not booming--rather, it is somewhat opaque, definitely appealing, and androgynous. She uses it skillfully: her coloratura is clean and accurate; her use of dark chest voice is limited to correct dramatic moments; the top (to a B-natural) is clear and bright (but still mezzo-like); and her upward and downward scales never miss a note. Here, she takes on familiar turf (mostly), and in comparisons with the two great coloratura mezzos named above, she comes out very well.

She embellishes even the opening verse of Cenerentola's final aria, but the embellishments--here and
Read more throughout the CD--are tasteful. They are also often new to these works, presumably composed specifically for her (but by whom, the accompanying notes do not tell us). She's warm and understanding in the first part of Cenerentola's aria and shows her virtuosity in the cabaletta. In the L'Italiana selections she captures Isabella's character--the melodrama of "Cruda sorte" and the attitude of "Pensa alla patria"--and her sense of humor is evident.

As Orsini in Borgia she's nice and dark in the early warning, and her "Segreto" also has a forced joy to it--very apt (and nicely decorated). As the King in Alahor in Granata she's authoritative, and as poor Smeton in Bolena, she does what she can with a dull character and a not-great aria. She's loving as Malcolm in Donna del lago, with plenty of fireworks later on, and Arsace's big scene from Semiramide, while not erasing memories of Horne, is excellent. The CD closes with Rosina's familiar "Una voce poco fa", impeccably sung and decorated. If Genaux has flaws, they are a tendency to understatement and a refusal to let loose; but these are traits others might see as virtues. She's a classy singer, and this CD is wonderful.

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

1.
Anna Bolena: E sgombra il loco...Ah! parea che per incanto by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 7 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
2.
Lucrezia Borgia: Nella fatal, di Rimini by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
3.
Lucrezia Borgia: Il segreto per esser felice "Brindisi" by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
4.
Alahor in Granata: Popolo, amici, sanguinosi allori... Ah! Sì, da tanti affani by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 6 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
5.
La Cenerentola: Nacqui all' affano by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1817; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 7 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Arranged: Alary 
6.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa...Io sono dolcile by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 5 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7.
La donna del lago: Mura felici by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1819; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 10 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
8.
L'italiana in Algeri: Pensa alla patria by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "Amici, in ogni evento..." 
9.
L'italiana in Algeri: Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno! by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
10.
Semiramide: Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  John Nelson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Orchestral Ensemble
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Italy 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Liban Church, Paris 
Length: 11 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "Eccomi alfine in Babilonia..." 

Sound Samples

La Cenerentola: Nacqui all'affanno
L`Italiana in Algeri: Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno
L`Italiana in Algeri: Pensa alla patria
Lucrezia Borgia: Nella fatal di Rimini
Lucrezia Borgia: Il Segreto per esser felici
Alahor in Granada: Popolo, amici, sanguinosi allori...Ah si, da tanti affani
Anna Bolena: E sgombro il loco...Un bacio ancora
La Donna del lago, '(The) Lady of the Lake': Mura felici
Semiramide: In si barbara sciagura...Ah Quel giorno ognor rammento
Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa

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