Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Arias for Anna De Amicis (2011) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

(Last Updated On: July 5, 2022)

Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Arias for Anna De Amicis (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:20:32 minutes | 770 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Aparté

Romanian soprano Teodora Gheorghiu is apparently a friend of, but unrelated to, opera star Angela Gheorghiu, but this release suggests she deserves to be as well known as her compatriot. On this Harmonia Mundi release she chooses a program that few other singers have attempted: a Classical-period equivalent to the collections of virtuoso (or virtuosa) Baroque arias that even big-name singers have essayed. All of the music was composed for Neapolitan-born singer Anna de Amicis, in full Anna-Lucia de Amicis-Buonosolazzi. There are some real finds here, including the Mozartian style and sheer acrobatics of the aria “Sorprender mi vorresti” from the 1773 opera Romolo ed Ersilia by Josef Myslivecek, otherwise known largely for his instrumental music. You could choose this album purely for the four selections from the rarely performed Lucio Silla by the 16-year-old Mozart, written during the composer’s Italian sojourn and delayed until de Amicis arrived in Milan. Gheorghiu has a real feeling for the new freedom in the music of Gluck, the young Mozart, and Nicolò Jommelli, delivering the words naturally and dramatically. In the blistering “E frat tante tempest … Se balena” by the virtually unknown Pasquale Cafaro, she is equal to some of the most difficult long arias in the Classical repertory. But it is not just in the extremes where Gheorghiu excels: the middle of her range has an uncanny sense of power in reserve, and her unornamented melodic lines are deeply musical. The support Gheorghiu receives from the historical-instrument group Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset is nothing short of ideal, with the smooth yet tough strings complementing her voice beautifully. Sample and enjoy. –James Manheim, AllMusic

The idea of a recital of various arias all composed for the same historic singer has become commonplace. (And while we’re on the topic, let’s renew our salute to Andreas Scholl’s Arias for Senesino and Vivica Genaux’s Arias for Farinelli, two collections that have rewarded repeated listening for years.) Generally, such projects bring to light not merely arias that are unfamiliar to audiences today but composers whom almost nobody has heard of. Teodora Gheorghiu’s selection of music written for Anna De Amicis brings us Giovanni Battista Borghi and Pasquale Cafaro, both of them Naples-trained musicians who had real success in opera, and both of whom here set texts by Metastasio. But an unexpected aspect of this project is a discovery: the mere fact that all the music was written for one singer does not guarantee that another singer will find it all completely comfortable. Gheorghiu gives an arresting account of her Borghi aria, in which the character sings in the accents of Mozart’s Konstanze (Entführung being twelve years in the future), and she opens her recital with a rage aria from Jommelli’s Armida Abbandonata that anticipates Mozart’s Elettra (composed eleven years later). But she is not completely suited to all of the rest of her program.
Not that anyone could be completely comfortable singing Giunia’s arias from Lucio Silla, music written by the sixteen-year-old overachiever Mozart. Four arias are included here, huge and ornate things in which the voice is used in an almost instrumental way. Gheorghiu is a game singer, and she has worked hard. She is also young, and while her performances often are impressive, she lacks the last bit of polish. A clipped phrase ending can be a dramatic choice, but there are a few too many of them here for the effect to seem intentional. Long notes, once begun, don’t always stay characterized. Yet there are some fine things too. At the moment, Gheorghiu seems happiest in surface display, as in two arias from Myslivecˇek’s Romolo ed Ersilia, whose music doesn’t go very deep. Often her voice sounds slim and a little pouty, like the young Beverly Sills, making Gheorghiu good at projecting hopelessness. Her Italian words in recitatives are intermittently colorful enough to make listeners hope for more of this in the arias. Ultimately, the material here, which is not uniformly first-rate, requires a bigger personality. But it is always good to hear music by the ever-inventive Johann Christian Bach, represented by two arias (from Zanaïda) in his very personal style. The period-instrument ensemble Les Talens Lyriques makes much of its participation. So much, in fact, that sometimes Gheorghiu sounds happy just to be along for the ride. –William R. Braun, Opera News

Tracklist:
01. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Armida abbandonata – Act II, Scene 12, “Miser’Armida… Odio, furor, dispetto” (06:30)
02. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Lucio Silla, K. 135 – Act II, Scene 5, “Vane. T’affretta… Ah se il crudel” (09:08)
03. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Lucio Silla, K. 135 – Act II, Scene 11, “In un Istante… Parto, m’affretto” (07:26)
04. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Lucio Silla, K. 135 – Act III, Scene 5, “Sposo…mia vita…Fra i pensier” (06:16)
05. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Lucio Silla, K. 135 – Act I, Scene 5, “Dalla sponda tenebrosa” (06:24)
06. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Orfeo ed Euridice – Act II, Scene 1, “Qual vita è questa ma…Che fiero momento” (04:29)
07. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Il Trionfo di Clelia – Act III, Scene 1 “Tanto avezza alle sventure” (09:38)
08. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Romolo ed Ersilia – Act I, Scene 3, “Sorprender mi vorresti” (04:51)
09. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Romolo ed Ersilia – Act II, Scene 6, “Basta cosi vincesti” (04:43)
10. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Zanaida – “Tortorella abbandonata” (05:00)
11. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Zanaida – “Mentre volgo in orno il piede” (03:18)
12. Teodora Gheorghiu, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset – Antigono – “E fra tante tempeste””Se balena” (12:46)

Personnel:
Teodora Gheorghiu, soprano
Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset, conductor

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