Magdalena Kozena-Mezzosoprano, Jos Van Immerseel-Fortepiano, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sir Simon Rattle

Article excerpt

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Arias

(Le nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito, Idomeneo; concert arias: Ch'io mi scordi di te?--Non temer, amato bene K 505, Vado, ma dove? o Dei K 583, Alma grande, e nobil core! K 578)

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Magdalena Kozena--mezzosoprano, Jos van Immerseel--fortepiano, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sir Simon Rattle. Production: Marita Prohmann. Text: Eng., Ger., Fr. Recorded: 12/2005, AIR Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London. Released: 2006. TT: 67:56. DDD. 1 CD Archiv Produktion / Deutsche Grammophon 477 6272 (Universal Music).

My attitude to the singer Magdalena Kozena has changed little over the 11 years of her career. Unlike some Czech reviewers who once treated her with condescension and contempt and today uncritically praise her to the skies, I am known for having always taken some issue with details of her technique and expression in some music. Nonetheless, her first Mozart album, and moreover an album made with her partner in life and ideal conductor, is excellent to a degree that is breathtaking. In the comprehensiveness of its virtues it is the kind of record I have never come across before and surpasses even her French album, which until now I considered to be the high point of her opera recital activities.

Dramaturgy: Magdalena Kozena seems to have an inborn talent for the selection of pieces, clearly cultivated by contact with people from whom she can (and wants to) learn. …