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Bel Canto

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Customer Reviews


Although this is not Kermes' usual repertoire, she delivers vocal beauty and perfect technical command of her instrument
The voice does not (commonly) fit well in pieces for a dramatic-sized voice, but she somehow is capable of overcome the difficulties
And deliver great performances that stand entirely on their own.

Welcome Change of Pace!

I've been a huge fan of Simone Kermes in baroque repertoire, so I was both delighted and apprehensive to see her trying these later works. I should note that there a few strange programming choices - the Mercadante is basically a cabaletta performed without its preceding aria (Sulle materne ceneri), the Norma is only the prayer performed without cabaletta (Ah, bello a me ritorna), and both are performed without chorus. However, the Masnadieri and Atilla are performed with both cavatina and cabaletta (and both verses at that!) We also get no anonymous singers to fill in the bridging parts, but that's certainly not unusual in studio settings.
To me, there is only one questionable piece (the Atilla aria really shows how light and small the voice is), yet even here her solid musicality and technique are much in evidence, as in the other pieces. The slow arias are true showcases for her effortless long phrasing (the Norma is amazing!) and she inflects the words tellingly (especially in the Monteverdi) Her coloratura in perfectly sound and her baroque background ensures that second verses are interestingly ornamented. The Mozart is predictably good, although a slight tendency to peck at notes is evident (not helped by the fast tempi, either). As much as I enjoyed this disc, I have a difficult time imagining that the voice is substantial enough to take on these roles in the theater. Still, Kermes cannot help but be fascinating, so enjoy the ride!

Mozart and Monetverdi? Bel canto? no.

I love how Simone exposes the classical listening public to relatively unknown composers and works (such as Mercadante on this recording), however Mozart and Monteverdi are hardly in the bel canto repertoire. I can understand if she wants to spread her talents to include Mozart and Monteverdi, but don’t put them on a bel canto compilation. It’s misinformation. Sorry, not sorry.

Bel Canto, Simone Kermes
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