Rossini: Opera Arias & Overtures

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic has a truly astonishing voice. The listener could reasonably forget that it's a man who's singing and imagine it's a mezzo with an extraordinary range and coloratura technique. If the cynic were to raise the question of the advisability of a countertenor singing arias originally written for a mezzo-soprano, the answer would simply be "because he can," and the result is pretty fabulous. Terms like "lustrous tone" and "dazzlingly secure technique" and "subtly nuanced interpretations" spring to mind. The recitatives and arias, taken from four of Rossini's opera seria "Tancredi," "Aureliano in Palmira," "La donna del lago," and "Semiramide" ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic has a truly astonishing voice. The listener could reasonably forget that it's a man who's singing and imagine it's a mezzo with an extraordinary range and coloratura technique. If the cynic were to raise the question of the advisability of a countertenor singing arias originally written for a mezzo-soprano, the answer would simply be "because he can," and the result is pretty fabulous. Terms like "lustrous tone" and "dazzlingly secure technique" and "subtly nuanced interpretations" spring to mind. The recitatives and arias, taken from four of Rossini's opera seria "Tancredi," "Aureliano in Palmira," "La donna del lago," and "Semiramide" are interpretive and coloratura showcases, and Cencic excels in both aspects -- his performances are models of expressive sensitivity and bravura vocal display. He is particularly brilliant in the arias from "Semiramide," "Ah, quel giorno" and "In sì barbara scigura," some of the most demanding music Rossini ever wrote. The CD also includes overtures to three of the operas. Rossini recycled the overture to "Aureliano in Palmira" as the overture to "Il barbiere di Siviglia," a fact that may astonish the listener since the program notes don't mention it, and, all of a sudden one of the composer's most famous works pops up under an apparent alias. The rationale for including such a standard in an album that consists primarily of rarely heard pieces was probably the fact that Rossini ingeniously incorporates material from the overture in the accompaniment to "Dolce Silvestri." Michael Hofstetter leads l'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève in appropriately vivacious and sometimes irreverent performances. He uses natural horns, which makes for an especially effective opening to the "Semiramide Overture"; in Rossini's writing here, it's a color nothing like that of modern valve horns. The sound is present and well balanced. Listeners who harbor stereotypes of the countertenor sound as precious and pallid may find themselves pleasantly surprised by the solidity of Cencic's voice, as well as his craft and artistry.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/18/2007
  • Label: Erato
  • UPC: 094638578826
  • Catalog Number: 85788
  • Sales rank: 285,753

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tancredi, opera: Act 1. Oh patria! Dolce e ingrata patria - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (8:04)
  2. 2 Aureliano in Palmira, opera: Act 2. Dolci silvestri... Perché mai le luci appri - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (6:30)
  3. 3 Aureliano in Palmira, opera: Overture - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (7:01)
  4. 4 Tancredi, opera: Overture - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (5:41)
  5. 5 La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake), opera: Act 1. Mura felici - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (9:15)
  6. 6 La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake), opera: Act 2. Ah si pera - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (4:24)
  7. 7 Semiramide, opera: Overture - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (11:36)
  8. 8 Semiramide, opera: Act 1. Eccomi alfine in Babilonia... Ah, quel gior - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (11:09)
  9. 9 Semiramide, opera: Act 2. In sì barbara sciagura - Gioachino Rossini & L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (9:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Max Emanuel Cencic Primary Artist
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