December 2003

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>> NEWS <<

In the Studio
Gramophone Awards success
Echo Awards
Cecilia Bartoli - The Salieri Album - album reviews
Concert review - Cecilia Bartoli, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Renee Fleming - Triumph at the Met
Luciano Pavarotti spreads the word - ti adoro!
Hayley Westenra storms the UK charts
Bond Remixed - in the US and Japan



Luciano Pavarotti - Ti adoro video

Luciano Pavarotti - Il Canto video

The Salieri Album - web feature

Renee Fleming: by request - web feature

>> In the Studio <<

Alfred Brendel and Matthias Goerne are recording their concerts of Schubert: Winterreise at London's Wigmore Hall for release in 2004, and new tenor signing Joseph Calleja continues recording sessions for his debut album with Riccardo Chailly - due out next spring. We'll bring you more on this in the New Year.

>> Gramophone Awards success <<

The Gramophone Awards 2003 have just been announced, and there are notable Decca successes this year. This month's Gramophone cover star, Cecilia Bartoli, has been voted the Classic FM 'Listener's Choice. See for the full story.

The Clifford Curzon, Original Masters Vol I recordings won in the category of historical reissue and made it into the final 6 for album of the year. For a complete list of our 'Original Masters' series, go to Clifford Curzon Volume II is now available! Also Leontyne Price received Gramophone's 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award at a special ceremony held recently in New York City.

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>> Echo Awards <<

In the prestigious German Echo Awards, our artists have been awarded the following awards:

Concerto performance - Viktoria Mullova/Mozart Violin Concertos 1, 3, 5 with the OAE

Opera recording - Renee Fleming: Bel Canto

Solo repertoire 20th century - Jean-Yves Thibaudet - The Magic of Satie

Bestseller - Andrea Bocelli/Sentimento

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>> Cecilia Bartoli - The Salieri Album - album reviews <<

Cecilia's recent Gramophone success (see news above) comes right in the middle of her concert tour for her new album - The Salieri Album. Both the album and the concerts have been attracting praise from the critics, and Cecilia has made a rare appearance in several pop album charts! The Salieri album went into the French pop charts at 24, the German pop charts at No.43 (her highest entry ever), No.26 in the Portuguese pop charts and No.33 in the Belgian pop charts. Read on for a few excerpts from recent reviews:

" I need hardly say that Bartoli is and enormously accomplished artist: every note plumb in the middle, the words always carefully placed, naturally musical phrasing, and of course beauty and variety of tone. Adam Fischer accompanies attentively and produces much musicanly and finely modulated playing from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment whose timbres set off the voice perfectly" - Gramophone, November 2003

"This CD opens with an impressive bang: An aria from La secchia rapita features a wild vocal line complete with wild coloratura, huge leaps, a range from low G to high D flat (Bartoli flirts more and more with the soprano range while using her chest register even more forcefully!), and vast dynamic changes accompanied by a full orchestra augmented with grand, martial trumpets." - Robert Levine -

Listen to clips from the album at

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>> Concert review - Cecilia Bartoli, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester <<

If anyone could rehabilitate Antonio Salieri, that most maligned and most misunderstood of Mozart's contemporaries, Cecilia Bartoli is the singer most likely to succeed. There is no one better equipped to banish the miserable image of F Murray Abraham, who played the composer in Forman' s film of Shaffer's Amadeus.

She and her collaborator, Claudio Osele, have dug out dusty manuscripts from the Vienna Library, poured over faded margin notes, examined all aspects of Salieri' s long life and many cultural influences, and produced a programme of his overtures and arias that is as scrupulously researched as it is immaculately performed. The starting point, as has become Bartoli' s practice, was a CD exploring the range of Salieri's melodic style and his musical characterisation over a long career. Following the disc, comes the concert version, a selection of arias interspersed with four opera overtures played by her partners in the recording and concert project, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment...

In Bartoli's exquisitely focused turn of phrase, her dynamic contrasts and thrilling mezzo voce, it is impossible not to hear the same kind of passion and expression of vulnerability as Mozart captured even more movingly some years later.

Bartoli' s own astonishingly agile instrument might have been created especially for this type of virtuoso repertoire. In "Vi sono sposa e amante", a real showpiece, her vocal runs were in serious danger of overtaking the nimble fingers of her duetting partners, oboe and flute. It was as if she were the trio' s missing clarinet, on legs. In a longer chunk from his early Armida Bartoli' s expressive intensity, her innate sense of phrasing and her ability to place each note dead in tune held the audience spellbound.

By Lynne Walker, from The Independent. Read the whole article at

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>> Renee Fleming - Triumph at the Met <<

Renee wowed the crowds and critics with her recent performance at the New York's Metropolitan Opera, New York. Read some extracts from recent reviews below;

"Ms. Fleming triumphed, giving perhaps her strongest overall performance at the Met. . . here every interpretive turn, from her pure-toned shaping of arching melodic lines to her breathy intonation of Violetta's self-doubting utterances, seemed born of a dramatic impulse and touchingly natural.

Throughout Ms. Fleming seemed empowered by Mr. Gergiev's palpable support from the pit. Though a notably impetuous conductor, he was attentive to every tug and pull of Ms. Fleming's phrasing. In the melting melodies of the final act aria "Addio, del passato," which Ms. Fleming sang mostly while prostrate onstage, Mr. Gergiev cushioned her poignantly expansive singing with tenderly undulant shaping of the orchestral accompaniment. He understands that this standard Verdian oom-pah-pah is actually a sophisticated musical device.

The news, though, is Ms. Fleming's Violetta. With the support of Mr. Gergiev and the company, she made this staple, performed all too often for its own good, suddenly seem a fresh, psychologically astute and daring musical drama."

By Anthony Tommasini - Excerpt taken from The New York Times

Don't forget to listen to our webcast from Renee in concert in Dallas. Almost 20,000 people have already tuned in so far! You can still listen to this for FREE! By clicking the link below

Renee's latest album By Request is now available, and features a brand new recording from La Traviata. If you're in the US, you can buy the album from iClassics here.

>> Luciano Pavarotti spreads the word - ti adoro! <<
Luciano Pavarotti's new album ti adoro has just been released internationally and Maestro Pavarotti has been exceptionally busy appearing on TV shows in the US such as Good Morning America, CNN Music Room, Larry King Live and The View. At a recent signing in Tower Records, New York, fans and reporters alike queued up to meet the big man himself. Look out for Pavarotti on German TV (ZDF) this week, and there will be a feature in Neue Post on October 29th.


News story>>

Two new videos have just been finished for the songs il canto and ti adoro, which feature Pavarotti as you've never seen him before. Click the links below to see the videos.

Ti adoro video >>

Il Canto video >>

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>> Hayley Westenra storms the UK charts <<

Hayley Westenra has blitzed the UK charts with her international debut album, Pure. As well as clinching the #1 spot in the classical charts, and having the fastest selling debut album in the history of the classical charts, she's also become a bona fide pop star.

Pure is at #8 in the pop charts this week, four weeks since it was released.
As you can imagine, everyone wants a piece of Hayley at the moment, and she's been busy promoting the album and on tour with Aled Jones in the UK. Don't miss her next UK date at the Royal Albert Hall in London on December 10th as a special guest of Jose Carreras. Pure will shortly be released in Japan, and in the USA spring 2004.

Keep up to date with Hayley by visiting her official site at


>> Bond Remixed - in the US and Japan <<

Bond's latest album features remixed tracks from their last two albums and a few special new tunes. It's out now in the US, and out in Japan next week. See all the details and listen to new tracks at Bond's official website

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