Monday, January 17, 2011

Awards 2010: Opera Recital

Rossini: "Colbran, the Muse"
Joyce DiDonato; Orchestra dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Edoardo Muller

Joyce DiDonato's turn in Rossini's Barber at Covent Garden has of course added new meaning to the term "original cast", but this is her tribute to Isabella Colbran, for whom Rossini wrote many parts. (and eventually married). "Joyce DiDonato becomes more interesting and more of a complete artist with each performance and recording", according to Robert Levine on Classics Today. "Even though we are living in a time of great coloratura mezzos (Bartoli, Genaux), DiDonato still stands out... Just to get it out of the way, let me say that DiDonato's technique is flawless, her runs impeccable, the tone always even, her control over dynamics ideal". On MusicWeb, Robert J Farr says "I sense [this recital] is one of those rare ones which will be looked back on in years to come as setting standards in this repertoire", while in BBC Music Magazine Christopher Cook remarks "Every generation yearns for its own Rossini heroine and Joyce DiDonato seems an answer to our prayers".
Gerald Finley makes his second appearance in this year's runners-up with his Opera in English showcase; as in the Opera category, Christine Brewer offers some Strauss; Elīna Garanča goes Hispanic; and Manfred Huss and the Haydn Sinfonietta Wien - last year's Orchestral winners - give us more Haydn in the form of some arias.

"Great operatic arias". Gerald Finley; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Gardner [Chandos]
Haydn: Opera at Esterháza. Bernard Richter, et al; Haydn Sinfonietta Wien/Manfred Huss [BIS]
"Habanera". Elīna Garanča; Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI/Karel Mark Chichon [DG]
Strauss: Great scenes. Christine Brewer; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Donald Runnicles [Telarc]

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