Jussi Björling was one of the strongest and steeliest lyric tenors of the 20th century, as famous for his Rodolfo in La Boheme as he was for his Calaf in Turandot. This superbly engineered survey of his early career takes us from 1936 to 1948, and covers, for the most part, his standard repertoire of French and Italian music–extracts from Aida and from Faust, and from both Massenet's Manon and Puccini's Manon Lescaut. He was a singer equally at home with the elegances of bel canto and with the passionate sorrows of verismo–he is particularly fine in "Vesti la guibbia" from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci… –Roz Kaveney
Limited fourteen CD set. The Complete Collection of Operatic Recital Albums brings together for the first time all the recital and duet albums which Leontyne Price recorded between 1960 and 1982. Starting with her operatic d‚but with arias, it features not only her legendary Scenes from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, but also the famous complete Prima Donna Collection consisting of five volumes released between 1966 and 1980.
In 2000 the contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux became the first Canadian to win the First Prize as well as the Special Prize for Lieder at the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium. She has recorded for numerous labels, and now enjoys an exclusive contract with the Naïve label, for which she has recorded the title roles in Vivaldi’s operas Griselda and Orlando furioso. Her first recital CD of French mélodies (L’Heure exquise) was much praised by the critics. In 2008 Naïve released a recording of Vivaldi sacred works in which she sings the famous Stabat Mater. This was followed by the same composer’s La fida ninfa. In 2009 Naïve released a recital of Schumann songs with the pianist Daniel Blumenthal and a programme of Vivaldi arias with the Ensemble Matheus under Jean-Christophe Spinosi.
Mula is blessed with superb poise and wonderful assurance together with a tremendous ability to emotionally affect the listener.
Lyric-coloratura soprano Inva Mula has released an alluring recital of French and Italian arias for the Virgin Classics label. ‘Courtesan’ might be a more appropriate title for the disc as by my reckoning four of the heroine roles operate in that profession.
– Michael Cookson, MusicWeb International
This recital, Héroïque, is tenor Bryan Hymel’s first studio recording for Warner Classics. Its imaginatively conceived programme showcases him in repertoire that he has made his own on stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden and the Bavarian State Opera: opera in French that demands a thrilling heroism in both voice and style – and a top register of outstanding brilliance, since the album offers a grand total of 19 top C’s.
Launching his new recording contract with Decca Classics, critically-acclaimed countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic performs arias from the finest of Hasse’s dramatic works. From the exquisite delicacy of the aria di sostenuto to the fiery passion of the aria di bravura, Cencic’s sensational performance brings Hasse’s greatest works to a new audience, brilliantly fresh and with maximum effect.