Posts Tagged ‘Cecilia Bartoli’

Outstanding new releases from Kraftwerk, Sting, Cecilia Bartoli, Joyce DiDonato, John Coltrane and Miles Davis

October 8, 2009

Forget the Beatles remasters. Forget Dylan’s Xmas album (due in the UK on Monday).

There are some exciting new releases by Music for Grown-Ups favourites about to hit the streets, notably:

* Kraftwerk’s back catalogue – remastered, released singly and in a collectable box set, The Catalogue. Prima!

* Sting’s tempting foray into traditional and classical song – If On A Winter’s Night.

* Top mezzo-soprano outings – Cecilia Bartoli with Sacrificium; and Joyce DiDonato with Rossini.

* John Coltrane’s early work on Prestige as a sideman with a variety of bands (except Miles’s), collected as Side Steps

* All of Miles Davis’s Columbia albums – 70 discs! – in a single box.

A bumper autumn in store…

Gerry Smith

Cecilia Bartoli: three world-ranking mezzos #3

December 18, 2008
Wednesday night’s Cecilia Bartoli gig at London’s Barbican was breathtaking. I knew what to expect from several earlier Bartoli gigs – she gives spectacularly good show. Last night underlined her credentials as the most grown-up of grown-up musicians.

Performing for two hours with only piano accompaniment a repertoire rarely heard – Rossini and other bel canto chansons from mid-19thC Paris salons – she demonstrated her trademark technical mastery and emotional depth time and time again.

Whether in playful coloratura trills or in sombre, doleful ballads she showed why many (f’rinstance me, babe) regard her as the world’s pre-eminent singer, in any genre of music. If I were told I could only ever attend one more gig and asked to choose one musician, it would be Ms Bartoli.

Extraordinarily expressive singer… peerlessly intelligent musician… and a great creative artist – following her own agenda.

It doesn’t get any better than this – you could have guessed that from the full house, the standing ovation and the three encores.

Gerry Smith

Kirschlager, Didonato and Bartoli: three world-ranking mezzos play London

December 11, 2008
In the space of the next five days, I’m due to see Angelika Kirschlager, Joyce Didonato and Cecilia Bartoli, three world-ranking mezzo-sopranos, singing at three different London gigs:

· Kirschlager in Hansel und Gretel at Covent Garden tomorrow,

· Didonato singing Handel repertoire at the Barbican on Saturday,

· and Bartoli in a Rossini recital, also at the Barbican, next Wednesday.

Music for Grown-Ups Heaven!

Having seen all three before, several times each, my expectations are astronomically high: three of the greatest female voices on the planet – on show in one city at virtually the same time. It’ll be instructive, if invidious, to compare and contrast. Watch Music For Grown-Ups for reviews.

Gerry Smith

Lovely gigs in 2008

April 4, 2008

After a couple of years in which my gigging became a bit narrowly focussed and predictable – mainly opera, with a bit of jazz, world and rock – 2008 is promising to be rather more richly eclectic. 

Having already seen three compelling gigs – Morrissey at the Roundhouse, Dorothea Roschmann singing Lieder at Vienna’s Musikverein, and Salome at Covent Garden, I’m keenly anticipating lots more varied shows, including several key musicians for grown-ups who’ve been on my must-see list for years:


April: Bjork     


May: Roberto Alagna; John McLaughlin


June: Don Carlo; Ariadne; Pentangle


July: Leonard Cohen; Marriage of Figaro


Dec: Cecilia Bartoli


Having re-found the taste for eclectic gigs, I’m eagerly looking for others – top live music for grown-ups is one of the greatest thrills of all.

   Gerry Smith