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Cecilia Bartoli: Sacrificium Deluxe Edition, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Deluxe Edition, Extra tracks, October 26, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A work dedicated to "castratos" and the music that their magic voices inspired to a lot of composers. The title of the album refers to the sacrifice castratos did for the sake of music

About the Artist

For more than two decades, Cecilia Bartoli has undeniably been one of the leading artists in the field of classical music. All over the world, her new operatic roles, her concert programs and recording projects - in exclusivity with Decca - are expected with great eagerness and curiosity. The exceptional amount of 6 million CDs sold, more than 200 weeks ranking in the international pop charts, numerous Golden Discs, 4 Grammys (USA), 7 Echos and a Bambi (Germany), two Classical Brit Awards (UK), the Victoire de la Musique (France) and many other prestigious awards reflect the immense success of her solo albums "Vivaldi", "Gluck", "Salieri" and "Opera proibita" and that she is firmly established as today's "best selling classical artist".

Thus, Cecilia Bartoli brings Classical Music close to the hearts of millions of people throughout the world. Apart from that, she is proud that through their popularity, her projects have caused a wide-spread re-evaluation and rediscovery of the neglected composers and forgotten repertoire which she puts up for discussion.

It is not surprising that Herbert von Karajan, Daniel Barenboim and Nikolaus Harnoncourt were among the first conductors Cecilia Bartoli worked with. They noticed her talent at a very early stage when she had barely completed her vocal studies with her parents in her home-town Rome. Since then, many further conductors, pianists and orchestras of highest renown have been her regular partners. In recent years, her work has begun to focus on collaborations with the most significant period instrument orchestras (Akademie für Alte Musik, Les Arts Florissants, Concentus Musicus Wien, Freiburger Barockorchester, Il Giardino Armonico, Kammerorchester Basel, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra La Scintilla). Projects with orchestras where Cecilia Bartoli assumes the overall artistic responsibility have become increasingly important to her and were crowned by the jointly developed and performed programmes with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Cecilia Bartoli regularly sings in the most important concert halls in Europe, the United States and Japan. Her stage appearances include prestigious opera houses and festivals such as the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, La Scala in Milan, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Salzburg Festival and the Zürich Opera House, where she has presented many of her operatic roles for the first time. Most recently, her roles have included Rossini's Fiorilla in "Il Turco in Italia" at Covent Garden and two Handelian heroines, Cleopatra (in "Giulio Cesare" with Marc Minkowski) and Semele (with William Christie) in Zurich.

In 2007/08 Cecilia Bartoli devotes her time to the early 19th century - the era of Italian Romanticism and Belcanto - and especially the legendary singer Maria Malibran. Her 200th birthday on 24th March 2008 was marked by a historical day in Malibran's birthplace Paris: Cecilia Bartoli sang 3 concerts in one day as the centre-piece of a Malibran-Marathon at Salle Pleyel - collaborating with Lang Lang, Vadim Repin, Adam Fischer and Myung-Whun Chung - while the City of Paris showed her Barcelona Concert on a big screen outside the Hôtel de Ville, where Cecilia Bartoli's mobile Malibran Museum was stationed to honour that special day. Further bicentenary events were the CD "Maria", the DVD "The Barcelona Concert/Malibran Rediscovered", extensive concert tours as well as operatic appearances as Cenerentola, Sonnambula and Halevy's Clari - in a Malibran-opera which had not been performed since 1829.

Cecilia Bartoli has been endowed with the Italian Knighthood and is an "Accademico effettivo" of Santa Cecilia, Rome, a French "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" and an "Honorary Member" of the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Come nave in mezzo all'onde* [Siface] from Act II of Siface
  2. Profezie, di me diceste* [Sedecia] from Sedecia
  3. Cadrò, ma qual si mira* [Demetrio] from Berenice
  4. Parto, ti lascio, o cara* [Arminio] from Act II of Germanico in Germania
  5. Usignolo sventurato* [Siface] from Act II of Siface
  6. Misero pargoletto* [Timante] from Act III of Demofoonte
  7. In braccio a mille furie* [Mirteo] from Act III of Semiramide riconosciuta
  8. Qual farfalla* [Decio] from Act II of Zenobia in Palmira
  9. Nobil onda [Adelaide] from Adelaide
  10. Deh, tu bel Dio d'amore ... Ov`è il mio bene?* [Farnaspe] from Act II of Adriano in Siria
  11. Chi temea Giove regnante* [Berenice] from Farnac
  12. Quel buon pastor son io [Abel] from Act I of La Morte d'Abel

Disc: 2

  1. Son qual nave [Arbace] from Act III of Artaserse (Pasticcio)
  2. Ombra mai fu [Serse] from Act I of Serse
  3. Sposa, non mi conosci [Epitide] from Act III of Merope

Product Details

  • Performer: Cecilia Bartoli
  • Orchestra: Il Giardino Armonico
  • Conductor: Giovanni Antonini
  • Composer: Nicola Porpora, Leonardo Leo, Carl Heinrich Graun, Riccardo Broschi, George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (October 26, 2009)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Deluxe Edition, Extra tracks
  • Label: Decca
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Cecilia Bartoli appears to be a person of high intelligence, great musical talent, genuine love of singing, remarkable energy, and a strong desire to research and to perform lesser known vocal works of merit along with favorites from the Baroque era, the era during which 80% of the operas were written and 70% of the roles were for alto and soprano castrati. Today, having no singing castrati available and only a half-dozen natural, male altos and sopranos, the effort to approximate the castrato voice is left up to a growing crop of countertenors and also those female singers who choose to accept the challenge. Some succeed fairly well; frankly, others do not.

Through releasing this CD and the accompanying booklet (along with a subsequent DVD), Cecilia has provided an exciting musical treat for the informed listener and also for the novice. Her selection of this Baroque conductor and orchestra reflects here desire to put real life into her performances.

I can not imagine any way that Cecilia could have done better. She triumphs over the amazingly acrobatic passages with apparent ease, and she did surprisingly well with the even more challenging long, lagato passages. She does have a noticeably heavier vibrato than desired (typical of most singers today), and a feminine timbre, for which she can not be faulted, of course.

We could wish to have a "Farinelli" on stage today and recording CDs and DVDs for us. Short of that, we make do with what we have, and this is one of the better CDs.
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Format: Audio CD
"There I heard the famous thing from Italy, it looks from all the world like a man, though they say it is not. The voice to be sure is neither man's nor woman's but it is more melodious than either; and it warbled so divinely that while I listened I thought myself in paradise". Lydia Milford, 18th century opera goer, after hearing the castrato Tenducci sing.

At long last, Bartoli, who spurred the gold rush to baroque excavations, produces the album dedicated to the opera idols that entranced the 18th century. No audience can be in a greater state of excitement than hers.

This repertoire is spirited, and captures the exuberance as well as the decadence of the castrato music style. Bartoli asserts this is the most difficult music yet she has ever recorded. This is indeed the case. Bartoli is once again back in her medium, and does not disappoint. Her execution is dynamic and virtuosic.

The arias d'agilita are Bartoli's greatest stunts, and prove her extraordinary vocal athleticism. No furore is indomitable enough that she can't tame. Her bravuras are florid at the exultant top of bliss. It is difficult to imagine how a castrato could have possibly topped her execution.

The album cadence reaches its zenith in "cadro, ma qual si mira" not just for the amazing show of singing prowess but also for the instrumental figurations that the music sets to the text. Here she brings it on. Her melismas are hypnotically raised to circling patterns and whipped to lung bursting lengths. Her singing is fluent, and just as a note is about to run its course, she ricochets it back into life. No wonder arias like "cadro" have been vaulted for hundreds of years. ..They are almost impossible!
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Format: Audio CD
Another daring undertake by superdiva Cecilia Bartoli, this time literally resurrecting very obscure and extremely difficult arias sung by some of the most famous castrati in the XVIIIth Century. Of course she is not the first to record a whole album with this kind of material, but this one stands out for its rarity and extreme demands regarding breath control, coloratura display and expressive utterance. Apparently all the pieces but one in the first disc of this two-CD special edition are world premiere recordings and some are very fine indeed, others could have remained forgotten without any great loss. Bartoli sings all of them with her trademarked enthusiasm (sometimes too much of a good thing), bravely and exhibiting mostly impressive coloratura, but the sound is not always good, and sometimes to my ears quite unpleasant. There is no way we can be sure how they sounded when sung by the castrati, but I don't think they produced some of the sounds heard here. At one point, with no disrespect, it seems like a caricature of a hen trying to sing. The bonus disc, with three better known arias is far more pleasing to the ears. I'm happy I bought the disc and I will be coming back to some of its tracks often. Others could be interesting to explore a bit further. The rest, well, could have remained gathering dust. Some things are best forgotten. So much worthy repertoire out there and life being so short...

PS. The 2 discs are housed in a beautifully produced and quite thick book, as we have come to expect from Bartoli releases, this one being the most lavish yet.
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