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Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, January 2018

Puccini is best known for his operatic works but like most of the other composers of the form, he wrote songs as well. This recent release from Naxos demonstrates the breadth of Puccini’s abilities, if not his peak brilliance, and listeners familiar with his opera oeuvre will be interested to hear some of the maestro’s most popular melodies originated from sketches such as these. …these nineteen songs offer listeners and students of Puccini a unique perspective into the composer’s creative evolution, from his earliest works to his more mature expositions. The duo of soprano Krassimira Stoyanova and pianist Maria Prinz are an electrifying musical combination, and their performances here are nothing less than superb. © 2018 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Fritz Jurmann
Vorarlberger Nachrichten, September 2017

Stoyanova lets her wonderful timbre glow with passion and ease in this early repertoire, used later by the composer in famous opera arias in the tradition of Italian Verismo. Maria Prinz on the piano is in a class of her own. © 2017 Vorarlberger Nachrichten

David Cutler
Fanfare, September 2017

[Stoyanova’s] voice, definitely Slavic, is made of rounded steel perhaps, but not without its gentler parts with effective shading at times. It is bright, powerful and seems absolutely secure technically.

…Stoyanova clearly enjoys herself in the pompous Inno a Roma, written in almost martial-music style. It is certainly a grand fanfare, all splendidly dispatched with élan by Stoyanova and her pianist Maria Prinz. …Stoyanova successfully sings with herself in the religious Beata viscera. Her rich lower voice comes across clearly and prominently.

Beautifully recorded by Naxos in Munich, the balance is just right with Maria Prinz, the almost self-effacing pianist. There is plenty of space around the voice, allowing the listener to hear it expand comfortably. This is a fine record from a very good singer. …This disc is highly recommended. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Maria Mazzaro
Opera News, August 2017

Stoyanova has received recognition, especially in Europe, for her interpretation of the works of Verdi. The complexity of his vocal writing, which sometimes competes with heavy orchestrations or choruses, is well-suited to her soprano; her sound isn’t quite luxurious or sweet, but can act instead like a scythe, dark and cutting. It’s surprising, then, to hear her in Puccini. Stoyanova excels in songs such as “Sole e amore”, in which she can utilize her instrument’s ability to move beautifully within her lines and achieve supple phrasing in quieter moments.

Religious songs are accompanied by the organ, which I assume is played by Maria Prinz, credited as the pianist. Stoyanova sounds lovely soaring over the peaceful sounds of the organ, and for this music, more than in the secular selections, she allows reverence to slip into her voice, projecting tranquility. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review

David Reynolds
American Record Guide, July 2017

Krassimira Stoyanova is an exceptionally gifted soprano who in the last five years or so has turned increasingly to Puccini and other composers of the verismo school. She has chosen mostly out-of-the-way repertoire for her solo discs. Her colorful spinto soprano is thrilling in the opera house, and she has a commanding stage presence.

Her accompanist, Maria Prinz, finds the appropriate chiaroscuro in the piano parts. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, May 2017

This collection of songs is valuable in many ways, not least to find out how many melodic motives later were recycled and developed in Puccini’s operas. Krassimira Stoyanova has a grand voice, vibrant, beautiful and expressive and she easily scales it down to the dimensions suitable for the simpler songs but used with impressive power and intensity for the more operatic items. Maria Prinz is a pliable accompanist…

A valuable collection of rarely heard songs excellently sung by Krassimira Stoyanova. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Wilhelm Sinkovicz
Die Presse, May 2017

Puccini is the master of the post-Verdian Italian opera. You realise, that he wrote songs, only when an opera stars sings one of them as an encore at the end of a song recital. Krassimira Stoyanova, the singer with one of the most beautiful voices of our time, went together with pianist Maria Prinz to a recording studio and recorded Puccini’s complete songs. The listener can enjoy the marvelous timbre and be even treasure hunter: Puccini composed some of his most precious melodic inventions literally on stock, so that it is possible to experience famous opera scenes in their initial shape. © 2017 Die Presse

Matthias Siehler
Rondo, May 2017

Back in 1989 it was still „The unknown Puccini“ and Plácido Domingo dressed as doppelganger, posed for the booklet-photographer of one of his better, in any case one of his more sustainlable solo albums. Roberta Peters has recorded a few of those rare, but worth hearing repertoire.

And now comes Krassimira Stoyanova with a CD with the simple title “Complete songs for Soprano and Piano”—possibly a most wonderful by-product after her Verismo album, containing a lot of Puccini too.

The CD is…vocally fascinating. Not only, because the Bulgarian Soprano added 5 more titles to the 14 on the Domingo CD, but because she sings this music with a lot of love, skill and good taste. It becomes obvious, why the Italian maestro liked women, their voices and their bodies. Songs/Canzoni are for Puccini, like for many other Italians (except maybe Rossini with his “Pêches de vieillesse”, his vocal old man’s sins) mainly finger exercises, complaisance, by-products of the operatic oeuvre. But, in this case, they also allow us a fascinating glance at the creation of melodies. Most of them with a recognition value, like “La Boheme” and “La rondine”. Every idea found better use. Juvenile sins, sacred works, by-products, even two duets (sung by Stoyanova with herself), together with subtle pianist Maria Prinz—this is pure joy of discovery. Unfortunately there is no more of these. © 2017 Rondo

Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch |, May 2017

…“Storiella d’amore” is the magnum opus of the bunch. Like Dante’s Paolo and Francesca, buffeted through the Inferno on gusts of adulterous passion, the prosaic contemporary lady and gentleman in question here have innocently gotten together to read romances and fallen into temptation. The verse is by Antonio Ghislanzoni, Verdi’s librettist on Aida. A wink and a smile, not gale-force heroics, are the ticket here, and Stoyanova, on every operatic impresario’s A-list, delivers with ease. Still, the focus, gleam, and edge of her sound leave no doubt what sort of music is her bread and butter. © 2017 Matthew Gurewitsch | Read complete review

André Tubeut & Damien Colas
Classica, May 2017

It is not possible to dream of a more committed duo, than Stoyanova and Prinz. The singer, famous for her incarnation of heroines of Verdi, Strauss and Dvorak, avoids masterly the perils of using an emission of grand opera. The volume is always controlled, the diction neat, wonderful nuances make the alchemy with the piano sound perfect. Stoyanova masters with brio even “A te”, written for a low mezzo. The piano playing of Prinz is masterly, highlighting sometimes the subtlety of Puccini’s harmonies, sometimes taking over with an accomplished sense of legato and of the melodic line. © 2017 Classica

Hans de Groot
The WholeNote, April 2017

On this recording [Krassimira Stoyanova’s] voice comes across as full and warm. She does justice to the demands of these songs. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review

Barry Bassis
The Epoch Times, April 2017

While Puccini’s songs will never approach the popularity of his operas, they make for pleasant listening, especially when performed by an artist of Stoyanova’s stature. © 2017 The Epoch Times Read complete review

Aloïs Van Tongerloo
Klassiek Centraal, April 2017

This initiative from Naxos to shine a light on this hitherto known collection should therefore be applauded.

The highly-experienced singer and pianist have given the best of themselves to elevate this CD to a high artistic level. High praise for this CD release, which reveals another, unknown Puccini… © 2017 Klassiek Centraal

Opera Now, April 2017

Her disc of Puccini songs demonstrates why she’s amongst the most sought-after sopranos of the day. Stoyanova’s voice has a cool, almost instrumental quality, which then bursts into a surprisingly rich and warm sound when she unleashes it, but always with a sense of control… Stoyanova sails through it in glorious voice and Maria Prinz’s accompaniment is as equally accomplished. For lovers of good singing. © 2017 Opera Now

Records International, April 2017

Though Puccini represents the late-Romantic apex of the Italian operatic tradition, his songs are much less well known and, in their pared simplicity and emotional restraint, could hardly be more different from his stage works. These cover themes typical of lyric poetry including life, death, personal resolution, love, nature, home and religious faith. There are also rare salon pieces and examples of Puccini’s secular juvenilia, written between 1875 and 1880. Texts and translations available online. © 2017 Records International

Pizzicato, March 2017

Some of Puccini’s 19 songs are the embryos of well-known arias of his operas. So, this program offers a lot of popular tunes. Krassimira Stoyanova is one absolutely brilliant, technically flawless performer of these songs. Each song gets its own character and atmosphere. The piano and organ playing by Maria Prince is enjoyable, and the recording is well balanced and natural. Highly recommended! © 2017 Pizzicato

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2017

Apart from his six immensely popular operas, Giacomo Puccini wrote remarkably little, this group of songs for soprano and piano having been largely forgotten. Never one to waste an attractive melody, the composer’s identity surfaces in the songs that he recycled in his operas La Boheme and La Rondine. The texts come from many sources, including himself, and cover a whole gamut of life’s experiences, and often displaying his work in sacred compositions that had occupied his younger life, including the very beautiful Salve Regina with organ accompaniment. In mood they are arias rather than songs, two of them in in the form of duets for mezzo and soprano, here both sung by Krassimira Stoyanova. The Bulgarian soprano has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the world’s leading opera houses, and I would have expected nothing other than an extension of that powerful voice to be offered here as she makes an impassioned case for our interest in this unknown part of Puccini. She is partnered by the Bulgarian pianist, Maria Prinz, the recording placing the voice just a little too far forward. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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