VIVICA SINGS IRENE WITH DAZZLING BRAVURA!
London Sunday Times’
Classical CD of the week!
with Fabio Biondi conducting
US Release: May 10, 2005
Virgin Classics 5 45676 2 (2 CDs)
(includes a bonus DVD)
True star status on this recording belongs to Vivica Genaux, whose performance of ‘Qual guerriero in campo armato’ sets what must be the new modern standard for coloratura singing. Her swiftness and accuracy demonstrate why Genaux is the leading interpreter of the music written for Farinelli, the greatest vocal star of the Baroque era.
- Drew Minter, Opera News - July 2005
VOCAL LOVELINESS, ORCHESTRAL MUSCLE
Baroque splendor exhumed / Four Stars
This first recording of Vivaldi’s 1735 opera, Bajazet, is a welcome exhumation of a vocally dazzling work. Vivaldi set the same libretto that Handel had adapted 11 years earlier in Tameriano – with greater dramatic depth – to tell the story of the defeat of the Ottoman sultan Bajazet by the Tartar emperor Tamerlane.
Vivaldi’s version is a pastiche opera, an acceptable form in those days, which combines original and borrowed music: The composer created arias for the good guys and adapted other people’s arias for the bad. Everyone in this superb cast rises to the challenges with fearsome agility, dead-on accuracy and seeming ease, particularly Genaux in the castrato Farinelli’s showpiece “Qual guerriero in campo armato” (As a warrior in the field). A DVD of the singers in the studio with Biondi and his excellent musicians is included.
- Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times (Calendar) June 3, 2005
Vivaldi operas, once rarities on disc, now deluge the catalogues. Few, however, have been sung by such an elite ensemble of singers as this one.
And what singers they are. David Daniels… Marijana Mijanovic… Elina Garanca… and Irene [sung] with dazzling bravura by Vivica Genaux…. With Ildebrando d’Arcangelo’s dark but flexible bass as Bajazet and Patrizia Ciof … it’s hard to imagine a better line-up. Four stars.
- Hugh Canning, London Sunday TimesApril 24, 2005