Emma Matthews: Agony and Ecstasy | ABC Classics ABC4814236

Emma Matthews: Agony and Ecstasy

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Label: ABC Classics

Cat No: ABC4814236

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 2nd December 2016

Contents

Works

Bellini, Vincenzo

I Puritani
» Qui la voce sua soave ...Vien, diletto
La Sonnambula
» Ah! non credea mirarti ...Ah! non giunge uman pensiero

Donizetti, Gaetano

Linda di Chamounix
» O luce di quest'anima

Gounod, Charles

Funeral March of a Marionette
Romeo et Juliette
» Je veux vivre (Act 1)

Rossini, Gioacchino

Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)
» Una voce poco fa
Il Turco in Italia
» Squallida veste, e bruna (Act 2)

Verdi, Giuseppe

La Traviata
» Addio del passato
» E strano! ...Sempre libera (Act 1)
» Prelude

Artists

Emma Matthews (soprano)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Andrea Molino

Works

Bellini, Vincenzo

I Puritani
» Qui la voce sua soave ...Vien, diletto
La Sonnambula
» Ah! non credea mirarti ...Ah! non giunge uman pensiero

Donizetti, Gaetano

Linda di Chamounix
» O luce di quest'anima

Gounod, Charles

Funeral March of a Marionette
Romeo et Juliette
» Je veux vivre (Act 1)

Rossini, Gioacchino

Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville)
» Una voce poco fa
Il Turco in Italia
» Squallida veste, e bruna (Act 2)

Verdi, Giuseppe

La Traviata
» Addio del passato
» E strano! ...Sempre libera (Act 1)
» Prelude

Artists

Emma Matthews (soprano)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Andrea Molino

About

Emma Matthews – renowned as the finest Australian soprano of her generation – unveils her triumphant third album: Agony and Ecstasy. Inspired by words from Verdi’s opera La Traviata, the album presents a rich and timeless journey through the many faces of love, drawing on opera that employed the power of music to bring alive experiences of the heart as never before.

Agony and Ecstasy opens with a joyful expression of young love by Juliet in Gounod’s Shakespeare-inspired opera: ‘I want to live in this heady dream forever!’ A new mood is introduced by the calculating determination of Rosina to win her lover in The Barber of Seville; the album closes with the poignant desperation of Elvira’s ‘mad scene’ in I Puritani, when she thinks herself abandoned. Between these, we witness some of opera’s most vivid characters as they grapple with love.

The eight arias – by Bellini, Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti and Gounod – were composed within sixty years of one another. Influenced by a Romantic desire to explore love and emotion, these composers were given the perfect vehicle by the bel canto compositional style, which prized both vocal fireworks and honest, heartfelt emotion.

Matthews has given acclaimed live performances of many of the roles on the album throughout a career that has taken in opera houses and concert halls across the globe. The presence of legendary conductor Richard Bonynge – husband of the late Dame Joan Sutherland and mentor to Matthews – is strongly felt: she first performed many of these operas with him, and in some cases the ornamentation was handed on directly from Maestro Bonynge.

Agony and Ecstasy was recorded with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Andrea Molino by ARIA-Award-winning Tonmeister Virginia Read.

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