September 21, 2013

Handel Heroines in Moscow (and the Cleopatra discussion)

Mi mancano le parole…
There are no words to describe the concert. It was one of the most wonderful impressions one can only imagine. The programme was just a bit different from the past seasons: there was no «Da tempeste», and «V'adoro, pupille» was replaced by «Lascia la spina» (is Il Piacere a heroine? ;-)
Naturally Alcina's magnificent aria «Ah! mio cor» became the climax of the evening; a very touching and moving performance.

Cecilia was most generous to sing four encores:
  1. «Amami, e vederai» by Agostino Steffani;
  2. «A facile vittoria» by Steffani too (with a great trumpet player);
  3. «O sleep» from Handel's «Semele»;
  4. and the da capo from «Desterò».
A photo by somebody from the audience, another one, even more.

42 comments:

  1. Thank you, Sergei, for sharing your experience. A wonderful program!

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  2. Hello Sergei, I never was at a pure Händel programm of Cecilia Bartoli (so I'm sufficiently jealous) but I remember vividly the first time I heard her performing Händel arias in 2000 in Dresden. Mainly Vivaldi with 3 Händel arias.
    Anyway I wanted to ask you how you feel about the new laws in Russia concerning homosexuality and if artists should address those in relation to their performance.
    Some have done it (Didontao on her website etc.) and if you think this would help.
    To me it seems not an easy question to answer if it is right to perform under these circumstances.
    On the other hand it's perhaps a lot to ask for...
    But I guess there has been nothing from CB concerning that matter.

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    1. The laws are of course discriminating, but I believe that art itself has nothing to do with politics. Music is above laws.

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    2. Hi, rain, thanks for this very important question. I'd like to discuss it - the responsibilty or at least published opinion of artists/persons exposed to the public - but not "hidden" under the Headline "Handel Heroines in Moscow". So I would like to ask you to start a new post - visible for all of us here.

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    3. I forgot to say that I don't agree at all with your statement, Sergei. And this has nothing to do with the fact that I always appriciate your wonderful contributions to the Forum.

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    4. You do not have to agree with me, Christiane, this is just my opinion :-)

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    5. http://www.gay.net/celebrities/2013/09/18/elton-john-will-perform-russia-support-gays

      Just consider the other side of great stars staying away from Russia, like here, Elton John. Different league but with great influence,too.

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  3. Hi Christiane, thank you for your reply. I can't start a new post, I'm not an author. Perhaps someone else can?
    I do think the minute you do something in front of other people you do have a kind of responsibility. That does not mean politics should be in the centre of everything you do. But someone in a position like Cecilia Bartoli or Joyce Didontao etc. have of course possibilities, private people do not have. If one of them would do something in Russia they would not dare holding her responsible like they would do with someone unknown. I did find it very interesting what happened to that singer Selena Gomez a couple of days ago (http://video.uk.msn.com/watch/video/selena-gomez-cancels-russian-shows-after-visa-denied/73jv7nef) and the reaction Russian Entertainment Academy.
    So many of the composers of classical music were gay for instance and I personally think there are many ways a public person - a singer - could express their opinion without holding up a banner or being too political.
    For instance I could imagine if a singer declines to sing the work of gay composers in concert (in order to not promote their 'gay' ideas/work/lifestyle/art/etc.) and have a silence for the time that aria would normally take, that would make a great impact and also be subtle, clever and taking a brave stand without turning the concert in a political demonstration.

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    1. Sorry that I did not reply eralier, rain. But I waited and hoped for resonances of forum members. Let's stop the effort. I totally agree with you concerning the responsibility and possibilies of people well known in the public. I would like to extend the problem to all forms of extreme discrimination all over the world, not only of homosexuals, not only in Russia. I am thinking of women discrimination (e.g. arabic states) and discrimination of indigene people (e.g. Aborigines in Australia).
      Thanks for the input to think about this subject, Christiane

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    2. you politically correct idiot, Cecilia is a singer! leave Art alone, go find battlefields for social causes somewhere else

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    3. If you have to offend other people ("idiot") because of their different opinion (and hide yourself), you should leave the forum, Anomymus.

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    4. Offending people is not acceptable in a blog like this one, Anonymous.

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    5. Asking for basic human rights and equality is not idiotic.
      But this Forum is not the place to offend people and show cowardice at the same time.
      Respect the rules and behave !!

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  4. There are a couple of YT films that appear to be from this concert.

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  5. Wonderful review (in Russian) from Kommersant: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2303845

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  6. Does anyone knows if Cecilia will record a Handel arias album one day? It's just incredible that she hasn't recorded a recital album totally devoted to this composer whose music fit her talent like a glove, heard rumors that she recorded Handel arias with Antonini ¿is it true? please someone confirm it with reliable sources , I adore Cecilia singing Handel.

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    1. She did record the Handel program with Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico, as well as the "Vivaldi Ritrovato" program with Spinosi and Ens. Matheus. Hopefully they will be released one day, sooner or later (later, IMHO...).

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    2. It would be wonderful to have Handel arias with the Divine Cecilia! Also the Cleopatra virtuosa program would make a wonderful cd, it was an out of this world performance, the virtuosity of her singing on that evening was such that people could not believe their ears, it was Cecilia's magic, simply unbelievable

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    3. We can only hope for the "private archive" recordings of Händel and Vivaldi.
      As for the Cleopatra virtuosa, don't hold your hopes too high, as Cecilia specifically said, she wanted to do something very special and exclusive for Salzburg then.

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    4. I agree about Cleopatra Virtuosa, it was the best recital by Cecilia I've ever attended, she was in state of grace, even by her own glorious standards, she surpassed herself in terms of virtuosity, beauty and expression, I want to turn back time to that evening every day, not even her sacrificium concerts or the Vivaldi showed such amazing virtuosity, the arias by Hasse and Graun were tours de force of the highest caliber, we should make an online petition or a facebook group to ask Cecilia to record that display of vocal genius ¿ what do you think?

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    5. yes please, Cleopatra Virtuosa on cd! It was indeed one of the most legendary evenings of Cecilia, she's always wonderful and moving and amazing but on that austrian concert she was like posseded by some divine force , she sang like never before or after, the slow arias were a masterclass in sublety, beauty and drama whereas the fast ones were a superhuman show of every possible form of musical ornament, trills, roulades, turns, shakes all done to utmost perfection with high notes that make sopranos envious, Divine is the only word to describe the splendour of that evening, we should aim our efforts to get that programme on cd, let's make a facebook group!

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    6. Yes, I agree with a facebook group!

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    7. I suggest to name the group: People for a recording of Cleopatra Virtuosa ¿ Who wants to create it?

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    8. wonderful idea! I attended 60 concerts of Cecilia since 1995, all were wonderful but Cleopatra Virtuosa was definitely the best, when she said she wanted to do something very special in Salzburg she really meant it! She was superhuman, more than usual, not even in her fabulous sacrificium concerts she deployed such blazing virtuosity and expression, I felt in heaven, if you create the facebook group please post it here and I will join inmediatly, I want Cleopatra virtuosa on cd.

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    9. I made a page. Please tell me what to change and add :) https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraVirtuosa?skip_nax_wizard=true

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    10. Wouldn't it be better to compose and sign a petition?

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    11. A popular platform is http://change.org/, but before starting a petition you must think how many people will learn about it and will sign it.
      Anyway I'm ok with a Facebook group and think it's a good idea to try to express our opinion on the wonderful Cleopatra programme.

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    12. I think facebook is better, people is more likely to give likes than signing petitons, and also facebook is more friendly to share thoughts! this is very exciting, let's hope Santa Cecilia hears our prayers!

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  7. Ca serait très bien d'avoir un CD des Cléopâtres mais ça serait encore mieux d'en avoir un DVD ! Cecilia est aussi passionnante à écouter qu'à regarder...

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  8. An excellent idea! Cleopatra virtuosa was an outwordly experience, she designed the program so carefully so masterfully with the idea of showing off her virtuosism to the greatest possible extent, and she really accomplished it! The aria tra le procelle assorto was unbelievable,in it she sang incredible high notes, so clear and sonorous like that of a coloratura soprano! Cecilia was simply miraculous in that evening, also the arias by Hasse, originally sung by Farinelli, were astonishing, I'd definitely buy a CD with that extraordinary program, if someone creates a facebook group requesting this album I will join! just post here if someone creates it.

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    1. Hi Klara! nice to find you here! I'd really love Cleopatra Virtuosa on cd, the concert was incredibly wonderful, we witnessed the Apotheosis of a Prima Donna, I thought her virtuosity had reached its zenith in Sacrificium and there was no more room for improving but in Salzburg she displayed an even more phenomenal range of vocal expression and technical proficience that defied logic, she managed to outsing herself! even the slow arias contained traits of rxtreme virtuosity like the impossible long pianissimi in V'adoro pupille, haven't heard something like that since Caballe! She accentuated the virtuosity in all pieces like the da capo in Da Tempeste, it was delirious, with it she put on herself the crown of the supreme decorator of da capos (and it was different from the one she sang in the complete opera the day before which was beautiful but more tame) I was shattered by the arias from Graun's Cleopatra e Cesare, the role of Cleopatra was originally sung by Giovanna Gasparini a very skilled singer from whom Vivaldi wrote some of his most difficult arias, her arias demand a big range that must encompass soprano high notes and contraltish tones. The music conceived for this singer has been problematic for many singers even those as skilled as Vivica Genaux, Ann Hallenberg and Veronica Cangemi, the mezzos fail not reach high notes with contundence and the sopranos cannot touch the lower reaches appropiately.. but Cecilia sang EVERY note in Graun music for Gasparini: explosive top c's and low effortless tones both evenly produced without losing volume ¿who else can do that? Cecilia is a Virtuosa without equal, the concert deserves to be recorded on cd, as someone remarked here she seemed posseded by a superior Divine force on that evening ¿could she repeat such superhuman performance in the studio? let's hope so!

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    2. It's absolutely true, what Cecilia did in Cleopatra virtuosa was sublime even in an artist so great like her, she employed all her technical "heavy weapons" on the music she selected for this purpose, not even her sacrificium concerts showed such degree of virtuosity. her Da Tempeste was indeed a real tour de force, and it is true that the da capo of the arias from Handel's Giulio Cesare were different from the ones she sang in the complete staged version, in Cleopatra virtuosa Cecilia deliberately focused on addin an extra touch of virtuosity to the pieces, sample her venere bella where she added unexpected trills and ornaments where most singers do nothing, those who were not there might think she "overdid" the arias but I can say she didn't! Cecilia is blessed with such musical instict, she has an "architectonic" sense when it comes to decorate and add ornaments, they were exhuberant, amazing, dazzling but absolutely tastefull and above all original. The leitmotiv of Virtuosity was palatable in every aria. She was having lots of fun while she was singing all that storm of "extraterrestial"coloratura and I think part of that fun was surely because she noticed the disbelief in her listeners faces, seriously it was the best Concert of Cecilia I've ever attended, she was also incredibly happy too, I think that to show off the virtuosity of her Art in such tremendous and "shameless" way was very liberating for her. I applauded her till my hands hurt. Please a cd with Cleopatra Virtuosisima"

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  9. Make a post in the main page of the forum to invite people to like the facebook page! Cleopatra virtuosa would be a perfect album!

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    1. I definitively agree. Perhaps Didymus can do that - and postpone or copy all the comments and replies concerning "Cleopatra virtuosa" from here to the new post.

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  10. On pourrait aussi le suggérer à Cecilia chaque fois qu'on la voit à l'issue d'un concert. Mais je persiste à dire qu'un DVD vaudrait mieux qu'un CD.

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  11. I've liked th FB page, this was a concert I could not attend, I waited until the last minute in front of the concert hall to get a ticket...
    Suggestion : We can also create a FB group for discussion

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    1. I don't like and want to discuss on Facebook at all. I love this Cecilia Bartoli Forum (thanks, Didymus) and I can't see any reason why we shouldn't discuss here. What we need is some discipline by using and starting posts with subjects we want to discuss - so that everybody can easily see and follow the discussion.

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  12. ¿can't the webmaster of this forum create an entry to make all readers know about the Facebook page requesting Cleopatra Virtuosa cd? I tried to attend the concert but could not get a ticket and I'm always green with envy when I hear people telling me that Cecilia surpassed herself in that concert. I'd really love that concert on cd.

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    1. What a lively argument you all have there, I agree with Christiane about Facebook. I myself dont have a Facebook and I'm not intended to have one. I like to read what you all write about Cecilia and I enjoy it very much. So please dont start a discussion that they who don't have Facebook can't follow. Her in Iceland is Cecilia not very well known, so I get all informations from CF. Thanks for all that you folks are writing :)

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  13. I absolutely agree with the request of Cleopatra Virtuosa on cd! I could not attend the concert but I read that it was wonderful and many people agreed it was one of Cecilia's most wonderful performances ever, someone should make an entry about this to advertise the facebook Page, I already liked it!

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  14. Here you have another person wishing for a Cd with the Cleopatra Virtuosa's program. I hope Cecilia attends to our petition.

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