Il giardino dei sospiri - Kozena (2019)

Handel, Leo, Gasparini, Vinci, Marcello

Magdalena Kozena, Vaclav Luks, Collegium 1704

Lost In A Labyrinth of Love and Longing

On her first Pentatone album, Czech star mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená returns to the baroque repertoire that launched her early career. Il giardino dei sospiri is a collection of scenes from secular cantatas on tragic love, ranging from Handel’s Qual ti riveggio to new editions of works by Leo (Angelica e Medoro), Marcello (Arianna abbandonata) and Gasparini (Atalia).

Initially conceived as a scenic project, Il giardino dei sospiri offers a richly-faceted and profoundly moving aural drama. Kožená interprets the tragic heroines of these love stories with fervour, accompanied by Václav Luks and Collegium 1704.

 

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Magdalena Kozena

Magdalena Kožená was born in the Czech city of Brno and studied voice and piano at the Brno Conservatory and later with Eva Blahová at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts. She has been awarded several major prizes both in the Czech Republic and internationally, culminating in the Sixth International Mozart Competition in Salzburg in 1995. 

She was signed by Deutsche Grammophon in 1999 and immediately released her first album of Bach arias on its Archiv label. Her recital debut recording, an album of songs by Dvorák, Janácek and Martinu, appeared on Deutsche Grammophon’s yellow label in 2001 and was honoured with Gramophone’s Solo Vocal Award.  She was named Artist of the Year by Gramophone in 2004 and has won numerous other awards since, including the Echo Award, Record Academy Prize, Tokyo, and Diapason d’or. Most recent releases for Deutsche Gramophon have included ‘Monteverdi’ with La Cetra Baroque Ensemble (2016), ‘Prayer’ for voice and organ with Christian Schmidt (2014), ‘Love and longing’ with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle (2012). The album ´Cole Porter´ recorded with Ondej Havelka and his Melody Makers appeared on Magdalena´s own label Brnofon in 2017, the two latest CD was recorded on the Dutch label Pentatone in 2019.

Kožená has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Roger Norrington. Her list of distinguished recital partners includes the pianists Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Malcolm Martineau, András Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida, with whom she has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh and Salzburg festivals. Kožená’s understanding of historical performance practices have been cultivated in collaboration with outstanding period-instrument ensembles, including the English Baroque Soloists, the Gabrieli Consort and Players, Il Giardino Armonico, Les Musiciens du Louvre, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Venice Baroque Orchestra and Le Concert d’Astrée. She is also in demand as soloist with the Berlin, Vienna and Czech Philharmonics and the Cleveland, Philadelphia and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras.

Kožená first performed at the Salzburg Festival in 2002 as Zerlina in Don Giovanni and returned in 2013 as Idamante, a role she has also sung for the Glyndebourne Festival and in Berlin and Lucerne. Kožená made her first appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2003 as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and has since been a regular guest. She sang Zerlina for the company’s tour to Japan in 2006 and returned to New York to take the title-role in Jonathan Miller’s production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in 2010/11. Her opera credits also include Angelina in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Royal Opera House, 2007), Oktavian in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (Berlin Staatsoper, 2009 and Baden Baden Easter Festival, 2015), the title-role in Bizet’s Carmen (Salzburg Easter and Summer Festivals, 2012), Charpentier’s Médée (Basel Opera 2015) Martinu’s Juliette (Berlin Staatsoper, 2016), Magueritte in Berlioz´s La Damnation de Faust (Berlin Staatsoper, 2017) or Phaidre in Rameau´s Hippolyte et Aricie (Berlin Staatsoper, 2018).

To begin the 2019-20 season, Magdalena will make her highly anticipated role debut as Lady Macbeth in the world premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s Macbeth, Underworld at La Monnaie, Brussels. Other opera engagements this season will include her return as Octavian in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan opera under Sir Simon Rattle, as Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Staatsoper Berlin, and she will make her role debut as the Waitress in the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence at Festival Aix En Provence. In concert this season, Magdalena will embark on a European and US chamber music tour, joined by Sir Simon Rattle on piano. She will join Fillarmonica della Scala in Milan for Mahler’s Ruckert Lieder at Teatro alla Scala, and in Spring 2020 she will re-join her long-standing touring partners, The Melody Makers.

Kožená was appointed a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2003 for her services to French music.

September 2019

photo: Julia Wesely 2019 / Pentatone

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Il giardino dei sospiri - Kozena (2019)

Handel, Leo, Gasparini, Vinci, Marcello

Magdalena Kozena, Vaclav Luks, Collegium 1704

    The Classical Music Collector

As perhaps befits her first album for a new label, Magdalena Kožená has returned to her roots, giving us a program of scenes from secular cantatas on tragic love, a favorite subject of Baroque composers, hence the title the Garden of Sighs. She is joined in this colorful program by Czech early music orchestra, Collegium 1704, who are not only excellent performers in their own right but act as a repository of virtuoso players who work with other ensembles. Of the composers, only two are familiar, Handel and Benedetto Marcello, while Leonardos Vinci and Leo have only recently come to notice—the last figure, Francesco Gasparini, is even now undeservedly obscure. All five are outstanding practitioners of Italianate late Baroque expressivity, and Ms. Kožená is the perfect interpreter of this highly dramatic music.

Chris Dench

Il giardino dei sospiri - Kozena (2019)

Handel, Leo, Gasparini, Vinci, Marcello

Magdalena Kozena, Vaclav Luks, Collegium 1704

Producer: Christoph Franke
Recording Engineer: Erdo Groot
Recording Location: Church of Saint Anne, Prague, September 21-26, 2018
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 64

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PTC5186921: Il giardino dei sospiri - Kozena
01:21:34   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - Prestissimo
Marcello
00:02:51   Select quality & channels above
2.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - Adagio assai
Marcello
00:02:07   Select quality & channels above
3.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - In minuet. Presto
Marcello
00:00:49   Select quality & channels above
4.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - Recitative - Dove, misera, dove
Marcello
00:02:37   Select quality & channels above
5.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - Aria - Come mai puoi
Marcello
00:11:01   Select quality & channels above
6.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - Recitative - Se fia che pensi, o caro
Marcello
00:01:09   Select quality & channels above
7.
Benedetto Marcello - Arianna abbandonata - Aria - Che dolce foco in petto
Marcello
00:05:56   Select quality & channels above
8.
Leonardo Vinci - Maria dolorata, Sinfonia - (Allegro)
Vinci
00:02:09   Select quality & channels above
9.
Leonardo Vinci - Maria dolorata, Sinfonia - Largo
Vinci
00:00:25   Select quality & channels above
10.
Leonardo Vinci - Maria dolorata, Sinfonia - (Minuet)
Vinci
00:02:06   Select quality & channels above
11.
Francesco Gasparini - Atalia - Aria - Ombre, cure sospetti
Gasparini
00:05:09   Select quality & channels above
12.
Leonardo Leo - Or ch'e dal sol difesa (Angelica e Medoro) - Aria - Or ch'e dal sol difesa
Leo
00:07:44   Select quality & channels above
13.
Leonardo Leo - Or ch'e dal sol difesa (Angelica e Medoro) - Recitative - Siedi, siedi ben mio
Leo
00:02:33   Select quality & channels above
14.
Leonardo Leo - Or ch'e dal sol difesa (Angelica e Medoro) - Aria - Che detto avranno mai
Leo
00:05:19   Select quality & channels above
15.
George Frideric Handel - Agrippina - Sinfonia
Handel
00:03:35   Select quality & channels above
16.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Recitative - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio
Handel
00:00:40   Select quality & channels above
17.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Aria - Empio mare, onde crudeli
Handel
00:07:09   Select quality & channels above
18.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Recitative - Amor, che ascoso neY suoi
Handel
00:00:42   Select quality & channels above
19.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Aria - Se la morte non vorra
Handel
00:06:55   Select quality & channels above
20.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Recitative - Questi dalla mia fronte
Handel
00:00:56   Select quality & channels above
21.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Aria - Si muora, si muora
Handel
00:08:39   Select quality & channels above
22.
George Frideric Handel - Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio, HWV 150 - Recitative - Ecco, gelide labbra
Handel
00:01:03   Select quality & channels above

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