Reviewer: The Rebecca Review.com
“Her natural command of messa di voce phrasing,
willingness to shade the voice away to the quietest pianissimo
and acute sensitivity to the words of Caccini’s love songs
proved irresistible, attracting a generous mix of applause and
Such was the appreciation from the audience that the director
had to request that the audience not stamp their feet as they
would set off the alarm system.
There are hardly words to describe Cecilia Bartoli’s
remarkable vocal qualities, emotional range and warmth. When I
listen to this CD, I am calmed completely. There is an element
of comfort in her style. Maybe one could explain it as a lullaby
for the soul.
She has the ability to support the longest of phrases on the
back of a single breath all while varying the tone color and
dynamic level. Singing seems as effortless as breathing as she
becomes emotion all while capturing the drama and mood.
In this live performance from the Teatro Olympico in Vincenza,
Italy, she performs each piece as if she is intimately entwined
with the notes. How can music be this sensual and this
comforting all at once? It just is. She can express a wide range
of emotions, from profound despair to extreme joy.
The Teatro Olimpico is the worlds’ oldest surviving covered
theatre. It has fine acoustics, a sky-blue ceiling and marble.
Cecilia Bartoli wanted to perform in one of the great treasures
of Italy’s cultural heritage and this led to this live
performance with concert pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet who seems
to sense every emotion in Cecilia’s voice. It is a sublime
combination of talent which is further enhanced by violins,
viola, cello, violone, archlute and harpsichord.
Tu ch’hai le penne, Amore – A song to love asking
love to fly to where the heart lies and to promise that his
heart and soul were ever hers.
Amarilli – Delicate and beautiful expression of true
Al fonte, al prato – You can feel spring approaching
and this song has a certain energy Cecilia embraces as she sings
away troubles and sadness to allow in merriment.
Lascia la spina – Melancholy. “Old age will creep
up on you when your heart does not expect it.”
Agitata da due venti – Cecilia’s voice takes
flight in this song about waves raging in a stormy sea. She
almost becomes the force of the ocean as her voice surges and
dives and wow.
Oiseaux, si tous les ans, K307 – She embodies a
haunting vulnerability and the freshness of spring/summer. This
song ends far too quickly.
La pastorella, D528 – Calm beauty to reflect a
shepherdess in a meadow. Innocent love.
Havanaise – It seems like she has a completely
different voice in this song as she reaches
to new ranges in depth. Charmed by a song? Perhaps.
Hai luli! – A seductive treatment of a song asking
“where can my love be?”
”What’s the point of living without a lover?”
Zaide – High energy and fast paced. A song about an
Malinconia, ninfa gentile – Gorgeous and poetic
Ma rendi pur contento – She really captures longing
and an almost delicate purity.
La conocchia – Light and breezy.
Me voglio fa ‘na casa – A song about the desire to
build a house surrounded by the sea. Fantasy and happiness.
Mi langero tacendo – Poignant moment.
“I shall not complain of my bitter fate;
but, my beloved, do not hope for me not to love you.”
Mi lagnero tacendo ll resentimento – the sorrow
continues. The lover is said to be cruel.
Mi lagnero tacendo Sorzico – more complaints of
cruelty and sorrow. She seems to capture frustration so
exquisitely and is that stomping I hear? ;)
L’Orpheline du Tyrol – The Tyrolean orphan girl.
Jean-Yves Thibaudet really takes the stage at first and Cecilia
follows almost timidly. A song of tragedy, hunger and suffering.
Riedi al soglio from Rossini’s opera Zelmira left
seasoned connoisseurs dazzled. After the aria’s final cadence,
they broke from their awe-struck silence to add to the shouts of
Voi che sapete – Light and yet still dramatic.
Desire, torment, ice. All explored fully by her voice. You can
hear “torment” when she sings “martir” even if you could
not see the words or follow along. Her voice really
“flutters” when she sings “palpito e tremo.” It is just
Canzonetta spagnuola – A muse comes to torment a
Caro mio ben – A lover grows faint without love.
Solitary melodies and you can almost feel the chill in the room
or the feeling of despair the lover feels.
Canto negro – Is there anything she can’t sing?
This piece might seem completely out of place, but by now
everyone is completely drunk with emotion from this performance.
Seguidille – Pleasure comes when two people are
together. Definitely so when Cecilia Bartoli and Jean-Yves
Thibaudet perform together. This song is almost a metaphor of
the entire intoxicating experience. I just love how the audience
goes absolutely wild after this song.
And too soon, it is over. I look forward to one day
viewing the performance on DVD. It will be so much easier to
understand the words now that I’ve literally studied this
performance. Knowing the words definitely adds to the subtle
emotions and more expressive moments.
moment in time I would have liked to experience in person.