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Coloratura

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Catalogue numberBIS-SACD-1962
Release date2012-08-09
Discs1
Orig. sample rate96000Hz

Coloratura – the colouring of a note, a phrase, an entire aria with trills, ornaments, death-defying leaps and dynamic shadings of infinite variety. For more than two centuries, the art of coloratura was a central aspect of the vocal art, and especially of opera, developed largely by the castrato singers at first, and later by generations of star performers and their vocal coaches.
In the mid-nineteenth century this great tradition was all but broken – neither Wagner nor Verdi were prepared to accommodate it in their different brands of music drama, and as both the opera houses and their orchestras grew larger, a different, heavier and more powerful style of singing was favoured. But the fascination and awe inspired by this almost supernatural phenomenon has never died, among audiences, singers or composers.
Anu Komsi, Finland’s ‘coloratura assoluta’, here presents a selection almost as wide-ranging as her own vocal technique, with mad scenes and rage arias from 18th- and 19th-century operas, Alyabyev’s ever-soaring Nightingale and the silvery tinkling of Lakmé’s Bell Song. Later examples of the lengths a singer may be expected to go to are Glière’s glittering (and strikingly anachronistic) Concerto for coloratura and orchestra from 1943, and La Machine de l’être by the composer John Zorn (b. 1953). Described by Zorn as a monodrama, this 11 minute-long work in three parts received its scenic première in 2011, by Anu Komsi at the New York City Opera. Throughout the programme, Anu Komsi is supported by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo, and in the closing work all involved find themselves on familiar ground in a thoroughly idiomatic performance of Sibelius’ Luonnotar, with its text from the Finnish national epos Kalevala, and a vocal part which is among the most challenging in the literature.
 
Extra material for download
 
 
  Composer: Glière, Reinhold
  Concerto for coloratura soprano and orchestra in F minor, Op.82 (1943) 14:23
01 I. Andante 09:19 $ 2.24 USD
02 II. Allegro 05:04 $ 1.22 USD
 
 
  Composer: Thomas, Ambroise
  Scène et air d’Ophélie
03 Scène et air d’Ophélie [Ophelia’s Mad Scene, from
Hamlet, Act V]
12:33 $ 3.01 USD
 
 
  Composer: Delibes, Léo
  Air des clochettes
04 Air des clochettes [The Bell Song, from Lakmé, Act II] 09:00 $ 2.16 USD
 
 
  Composer: Alyabiev, Alexander Alexandrovich
  Solovei (The Nightingale)
05 Solovei (The Nightingale) 05:31 $ 1.32 USD
 
 
  Composer: Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
  Der Hölle Rache
06 Der Hölle Rache [Aria of the Queen of the Night from Die
Zauberflöte, Act II]
03:23 $ 0.81 USD
 
 
  Composer: Zorn, John
  La Machine de l’être – a monodrama 11:51
07 I. tetème 04:11 $ 1.00 USD
08 II. le révelé 03:26 $ 0.82 USD
09 III. entremêlés 04:14 $ 1.02 USD
 
 
  Composer: Sibelius, Jean
  Luonnotar, Op.70
10 Luonnotar, Op.70 09:41 $ 2.32 USD
 
  Album total 01:06:22
ComposerAlyabiev, Alexander Alexandrovich
Delibes, Léo
Glière, Reinhold
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Sibelius, Jean
Thomas, Ambroise
Zorn, John
ConductorOramo, Sakari
OrchestraLahti Symphony Orchestra
SopranoKomsi, Anu

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