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  Decca Classics -
  470 631-2
  Cecilia Bartoli - The Salieri Album
  "The Salieri Album"

Cecilia Bartoli
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Adam Fischer (conductor)
Track listing:
  Total time: 68:14
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 2

Reviews: 1

Review by beardawgs January 29, 2004 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Donít get me wrong, Bartoli is a great singer and we enjoyed her Gluck and Vivaldi albums (Vivaldi now on DVD-A), but IMO in this one sheís gone completely mad with her vocal euphoria. Things about her singing that annoyed me a bit on her two previous discs are overblown here to maximum. To my ears she sounds neurotic and hysteric, there is no subtlety. Every note has a different attack, timbre and colour and her legato is annoyingly wobbly. As impressive as it might sound at first, after a while, frankly, it becomes tiring. Her singing is highly dramatic, but in exactly the same way on each and every track.

I know itís a blasphemy to say anything like that to this opera goddess when it seems that she canít do anything wrong. Itís a question of taste, and as much as we enjoyed her early Rossini, Handel and Mozart, we canít stand what sheís become.

Itís not all bad news, her coloratura is sparkling as ever, her pitch is rock solid and her diction is, well, proper Italian. Itís the wobbles and roller-coaster vocal dynamic treatment of every sustained note thatís over the top. Very detailed recording underlines that, the orchestra sounds a bit rough, but that seems to be the style for all her solo recordings.

The Salieriís music is a different matter all together. One can finally hear that we donít celebrate Mozart as we do for no reason. Itís cute, it has its witty moments, it is very entertaining, but it is not divine. If we take Bartoliís word for granted that she picked the best of whatís available, Iím not sure I want to listen any of this operas complete. Gramophone was raving praise about the musical content and the performer alike, calling Bartoli 'the ultimate crossover artistí. They seem to be gone over their heads as well Ė if the idea of crossover is to introduce classical music to a wider audiences, any Mozart Ďgreatest hitsí disc will do much better job.

If youíre up to your neck in classical music and looking around for something different (or should I say bizarre), yes, go for it, but then you wonít need us to tell you so. But if youíre unsure where to spend your limited annual classical music budget, do yourself a favour and please look elsewhere. Big star and bizarre repertoire look good on the sleeve, but doesnít necessary fulfil the expectations.

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Works: 9  

Antonio Salieri - Armida
Antonio Salieri - Il ricco d'un giorno
Antonio Salieri - La cifra
Antonio Salieri - La fiera di Venezia
Antonio Salieri - La finta scema
Antonio Salieri - La grotta di Trofonio
Antonio Salieri - La scuola de' gelosi
Antonio Salieri - La secchia rapita
Antonio Salieri - Palmira, regina di Persia