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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2018

The closest Koželuch comes to a melodically memorable aria—and one that actually sounds close to Mozart—is the soprano aria “Die in der Fürsten Krone,” which is quite beautifully sung by Kristýna Vylíčilová. But this number seems to be an exception among a string of arias, which the soloists put forth their best efforts to make sound something more than musically mediocre.

The effort on behalf of Koželuch’s cantata by conductor Marek Štilec, vocal soloists Kristýna Vylíčilová, Tomáš Kořínek, and Josef Moravec, and the Martinů Voices and Prague Symphony Orchestra is a worthy one, very well done, and noted. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

James H North
Fanfare, November 2018

Soprano Vylíčilová is a ray of sunshine, her voice exhibiting a youthful clarity and sweetness. Her singing reeks of sincerity if not subtlety…

One tenor gets mostly recitative; oddly enough, Kozeluch’s best writing is for the recitatives. The other has a pleasing light voice. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Salustio Alvarado
Ritmo, October 2018

Impeccable interpretation carried out with love and enthusiasm by Czechs eager to enhance their cultural heritage. © 2018 Ritmo

Peter Loewen
American Record Guide, September 2018

The cantata speaks for itself. It shows all of the stylistic elements one would expect of a choral work from this period. Arias for the three soloists emphasize virtuosity, but also tunefulness over clear harmonic foundations. The soprano aria ‘Du, Des Himmels Schönste Tochter’ (Kristyna Vylicilova) is a good example. The accompaniment, including some intricate part writing for wind instruments, results in a concertante texture. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Richard Wigmore
Gramophone, June 2018

The slimmed-down Prague Symphony Orchestra play alertly enough, with ear-catching woodwind contributions in Kozeluch’s many solos… soprano Kristyna Vylícilová… sings with feeling both in her touching arias and in a dramatic recitative that evokes Austria’s turbulent past. © 2018 Gramophone

Michel Dutrieue
Stretto, May 2018

An important (re) discovery. Highly recommended. © 2018 Stretto

Records International, May 2018

Two works were commissioned for this 1791 coronation in Prague: Mozart’s opera La clemenza di Tito and this 71-minute cantata. By turns celebratory, serene and darkly dramatic, was well-received and enhanced Kozeluch’s reputation in royal circles. It almost certainly played a part in his appointment in 1792 to the court of Leopold’s son and successor, the last Holy Roman Emperor Franz II. German-English texts. © 2018 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2018

The once-famous Bohemian-born, Leopold Koželuch, is in need of resuscitation if he is to emerge from the long list of forgotten composers of the Eighteenth century. To relate the background of accession of Leopold II to the throne as King of Bohemia would require a historic treatise in itself, but it certainly came at a difficult time for European royalty. He was therefore careful in his choice of music to mark the festivities, eventually commissioning a new opera from Mozart, La clemenza di Tito, and the cantata, Heil dem Monarchen, from Leopold Koželuch. He was viewed as a ‘safe pair of hands’ who would provide an uncomplicated score in the required celebratory mood, its format being the conventional contrasting recitatives, arias and ensemble for three soloists, chorus and orchestra, the celebratory aspects restricting the soloists to high voices. Like all of his works, it enjoyed success largely by virtue of his publishing house that saw them disseminated throughout Europe. His problem stems from his insatiable desire to compose, resulting in a torrent of works most relying of threadbare thematic material. Maybe this cantata shows more promise than most of his output, and it is well worth discovering. Stylistically it relies on Bach and Handel, but it is difficult to believe this was written in the time of Mozart. Of the soloists the operatic soprano, Kristýna Vylíčilová, is outstanding in her arias, the tenor, Tomáš Kořínek, finding many moments that are stressful in the high register. The small chamber choir, the Martinů Voices, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra, with the conductor, Marek Štilec, do everything possible for the work, while the recording engineers have created a well-balanced and a very detailed sound. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

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