Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:

GRAMOPHONE ( 07/ 2019)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode : 827949092169


Outil de traduction (Trčs approximatif)
Translator tool (Very approximate)

Reviewer: Alexandra Coghlan

Magdalena Kožená may be moving forwards in her latest album her second with Pentatone but shes also looking back. Il giardino dei sospiri not only returns Kožená to the Baroque repertoire that first launched her career but also revives a project from the past.

In 2015 the mezzo-soprano joined forces with director Karl-Ernst Herrmann to devise a staged recital – a journey not just through nature (the ‘garden’ of the title) but through the knottiest of emotional thickets, explored in solo scenas and cantatas by Handel, Leo, Vinci and Marcello. The staging may never have been completed but the project finds fresh life here in recital.

Handel aside, the repertoire is little-known. Kožená has chosen with care, presenting a really delectable selection of rarities that all make their case. The emotional range is exhilarating, taking us from the stately tragedy of Handels Ero who, discovering her beloved Leandro dead, flings herself into the sea to the pretty pastoral courtship of Leos Medoro and Angelica and the extreme unravelling of female despair in a lone aria from Gasparinis Atalia.

Kožená is at her best in repose. Theres a fluidity and control to the exquisitely expansive central aria from Marcellos Arianna abbandonata and a playful ease to the Leo that recall the mezzos earliest recordings. But Koženás soprano-coloured instrument offers less at moments of intensity, where it lacks breadth and depth of colour (especially at the bottom of the voice) and where vibrato tends to become agitated and uneven. Its hard not think of all the other baroque mezzos out there who might bring greater colour and scope to these works.

Václav Luks and his Prague-based Collegium 1704 are exemplary collaborators, relishing the unexpectedly flighty, flirtatious string-writing of Vinci’s Sinfonia from Maria dolorata and the vivacious opening to the Marcello, always alive as accompanists to the shifting currents of these musical streams of consciousness.

Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
(Bouton en haut ŕ droite)

Pour acheter l'album
ou le télécharger

To purchase the CD
or to download it

Choose your country and curency
when reaching
Presto Classical
(Upper right corner of the page)


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews