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Roy Westbrook
MusicWeb International, July 2015

The chorus ‘Spunta lieto’ with its harp and horn colours is exquisite. The style is early bel canto and the singers relish the opportunities the music gives them. All…sing well, and while there are no Colbran-level star voices, soprano Andrea Lauren Brown is especially successful as Partenope. The eponymous chorus and orchestra are very good indeed, and so is the recording. Franz Hauk is to be congratulated for this Mayr series for Naxos, for it is an important act of restitution, to which this issue is a very worthwhile addition. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Manuel Ribeiro
Pizzicato, April 2015

Mayr’s Il sogno di Partenope of which only the second act has survived, is presented in a first rate recording, with excellent solo and choir singing, and the orchestra is likewise good. Highly recommendable. © 2015 Pizzicato



Charles H. Parsons
American Record Guide, March 2015

The brevity of Il Sogno is emphasized in the recording. There is a nice freshness and enthusiasm in tenor Frey’s Mercurio. There is an attractive allure in Brown’s Partenope. Bass Burkhart’s Tempo is sung with swift, precise coloratura. The darker tenor of Sellier is richly mellifluous. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, February 2015

The singing of the chorus is excellent throughout; the orchestra likewise. I have nothing but praise for the soloists with an extra laurel to Andrea Lauren Brown’s Partenope and Cornel Frey’s expressive Mercurio.

…there is a lot of excellent music on offer in this world premiere recording. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Infodad.com, December 2014

What we have here is part of a piece whose totality would have been strange if it were available. Il sogno di Partenope happens to be quite well sung by the seven soloists and nicely handled by chorus members and instrumental musicians alike. A quartet with chorus and the final chorus of jubilation are musically fairly interesting; the remaining sections, all with their accompanied recitatives, are straightforward within the allegorical context. There is good music here, if scarcely great music, and the whole curiosity that is Il sogno di Partenope shines a light on a long-neglected musical form. © 2014 Infodad.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2014

In Simon Mayr’s 19th century world, cantatas were frequently written for special events and never performed again, the composer left to recycle anything of value. Such was the case with the cantata, Il sogno di Partenope, composed late in his life to mark the opening of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, following its destruction by fire in 1816. It was apparently performed by a very famous group of opera singers, and acclaimed by the audience. Yet, apart from Mayr’s score for the second act, the remainder of the work was lost. The libretto—typical of the time—deals with the deception of the gods, the story’s opening in the Temple of the Muses, which was intended to represent the Naples theatre, having been either lost or destroyed. Parthenope, the goddess of Naples, plays her part in arriving at a joyful conclusion with the creation of a new Temple. The second act, almost seventy minutes in length, deals with that part of the story leading to the jubilant ending. What remains is, by any other name, part of an opera, with arias, duets and choruses. Of the seven soloists, Mercury is a particularly taxing tenor role with Cornel Frey bravely performing the death-defying vocal acrobatics. The American soprano, Andrea Lauren Brown, is no less challenged as Partenope, her extended and florid aria a brilliant and highly demanding showpiece. The remainder of the very good cast are in supporting roles, while the chorus, augmented by members of the Bavarian State Opera, is suitably robust when given the opportunity. A well engineered world premiere recording. © 2014 David’s Review Corner





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