CECILIA BARTOLI revisits the life and art of MARIA MALIBRAN






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MARIA MALIBRAN:
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MARIA MALIBRAN -
A MUSICAL JOURNEY
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- Track 5
YO QUE SOY CONTRABANDISTA

  - Track 9*
E NON LO VEDO... SON REGINA


- Track 14*
 
COME DOLCE A ME FAVELLI


- Track 6
AH! NON CREDEA MIRARTI


  - Track 10
RATAPLAN

   - Track 4*  
INFELICE


    - Track 17
CASTA DIVA


   Track 16*
PRENDI, PER ME SEI LIBERO



BARTOLI in FanFaire:

LA BARTOLI IN LA

A BARTOLI CONCERT SEASON

A BARTOLI DISCOGRAPHY

WITH JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET

LIVE IN ITALY



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"...whatever La Malibran demands, Bellini will grant."

from La sonnambula: "Ah, non credea mirarti "               

Maria's fire and fame remained unabated even after she left France. Numerous works continued to be written for her.

Italy became the center of her activities, with occasional appearances in London. She gave frequent performances in Naples where in 1833 she added VINCENZO BELLINI's La sonnambula to her repertoire, singing the role of Amina. But it was in London where the composer saw her performance, which compelled Bellini to write

"...I was the first to scream at the top of my lungs: 'Viva! Viva! Brava! Brava!' and to clap as hard as I could."

From then on La sonnambula was a constant feature of her engagements. Her August 1836 performance of the work in Aachen, Germany was her first ever in Germany, and sadly - because of her untimely demise from injuries sustained in an accident in England, her last opera appearance.

As Cecilia Bartoli states in the video interview excerpted below, La sonnambula is the one opera she would ask Maria Malibran to sing for her, mainly because it would define how a real mezzo-soprano voice sounded in those days. Although Bellini expressly wrote it for Giuditta Pasta, a mezzo-soprano by today's vocal nomenclature (and the tessitura does lie in that range), the role was later appropriated by sopranos. Scholars of the day subsequently defined Pasta's voice as that of a soprano and Malibran's as one that transcended all categorizations, although both singers shared a common repertoire.

For indeed, the range of Malibran's voice was awesome: historical records and musical scores show that she sang such widely diverse roles as Adina (in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore), Leonore (in Beethoven's Fidelio), Semiramide and Arsace (both in Rossini's Semiramide), and Desdemona and yes, even Otello (soprano and tenor roles (!) in Verdi's Otello). The soprano was also a contralto! Back then, there was no clear middle ground: it was the time when public enthusiasm was shifting from the male castrato to the female voice, and it was not until the shift was completed (and the amputative practice that produced that then exciting, erotic castrato sound discontinued) that the mezzo-soprano voice type came to be defined and accepted.

CLICK PLAY BUTTON below to view a video clip of Cecilia Bartoli on what she learned about the extraordinary voice of Maria Malibran.


Credits - video/audio clips and images: copyright � and with permission of Decca Records.

The album "MARIA - Cecilia Bartoli is a FanFaire - DECCA CD Giveaway.

 

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