Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Something New from Cecilia Bartoli

Cecilia Bartoli released her latest offering on Tuesday, the twentieth of October, entitled Sacrificium. As with the latest three albums she has released, those being Maria, La Sonnambula, and Opera Proibita, this disc has a premise behind it, which is the story of the lives of the castrati. Personally, I do not have any desire, not even a remote one, to explore that legacy, but I will probably buy the album just to hear the eleven world-premiere recordings of arias on it.

Bartoli is returning to what many believe suits her best, and that is the music of the Baroque period. Of course, knowing her delivery of coloratura to be what it is, one cannot help but to assume that the operas of the Bel Canto style are better presented for her involvement, a fact proven by her and Juan Diego Florez's Decca release of La Sonnambula last year. Indeed, I should have liked to see a company capitalize on that recording and turn it into a vehicle for the two singers, and I beleive it could have been done in Europe quite easily, for, though American companies are skeptical to make that sort of dramatic shift in a work, European ones are not averse to such idiosyncracies.

It also bears mentioning that my younger brother, whom I have not mentioned prior to now, is going to see the Star Wars: Live in Concert arena spectacular tonight at our local arena. I read an article in our local newspaper about it, and it promises to be a memorable occasion for the devoted follower of the saga.

I shall also mention that I heard a broadcast of Verdi's La Traviata, which some may call my favorite opera, and I must admit that I much prefer the Met's 2004 broadcast of it with Renee Fleming, Ramon Vargas, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Rosalind Elias, which I possess, to this one. This broadcast was from the San Francisco Opera, and it starred Anna Netrebko amongst other people whose names presently escape me. The tenor was not someone with whom I am familiar, but I do recall his name from the Met's season brochure, so I know he is beyond the regional level of performers. Netrebko did not sound terrible, but, as I may have before related to you, I am just not a great fan of Netrebko's. For those who inquire as to my right to have a bias, I proclaim that I own her Sempre Libera recording, and I do return to its music on occasion, but her run in Verdi's jewel from his canon of operas is not one of her best roles in my opinion. My particular reason for distaste of her performance of this role is that her voice simply does not seem to have any volume, any body to it. I am looking forward to her performance in Les Contes d'Hoffmann later in the present Met season to see if I enjoy it, and I think that I shall.

It also begs reference that I bought a Sansa Clip mp3 player, but the reason that I purchased it was that it records directly from FM radio, so I can record all of the Met's broadcasts and transfer them to CD-R's. Speaking of the Met's broadcasts, my readers may find it interesting to learn that both Rossini's Armida and Berg's Lulu, starring Renee Fleming and Anne Sofie von Otter, respectively, will be broadcast this season. We are also offered a classic broadcast starring Eleanor Steber. I long to hear these classic broadcasts to compare my opinions to those contained in Mr. Paul Jackson's volume entitled Start-Up at the New Met: The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts 1964-1974. I like to think that I can hear all of the subtleties he describes, and sometimes I do.

Thank you for reading my posts, and may God continue to bless you.

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