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Robert A. Moore
American Record Guide, March 2020

All three singers make a strong presentation of these pieces. Segerstam leads winsome performances. Much of this is top drawer stuff; some of it is whimsical, and all of it is worth hearing. It is hard to find recordings of most of these pieces elsewhere, so here is a wonderful opportunity to hear a less familiar aspect of Beethoven performed at a high level. The recorded sound is first rate. © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, February 2020

The performances here, under that versatile veteran Leif Segerstam, are sprightly and assured. The tenor Dan Karlström and the baritone Kevin Greenlaw have little to do but do it well. The soprano Reetta Haavisto, who has the lion’s share of the solo work, is serviceable… The recording is fine… This is obviously a specialist disc but it will interest anyone wondering about how Beethoven learned to write for the voice. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Antti Häyrynen
Rondo Classic, February 2020

These pieces are included in the monumental compilation of Naxos’ Beethoven complete edition. © 2020 Rondo Classic



Records International, December 2019

All but one of these items are quite rare with both the Italiano scena and the German Singspiel as models and they date from 1792 to 1803. © 2019 Records International



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2019

The third in a series of releases from Leif Segerstam conducting the works for voice and orchestra by Beethoven, the present disc containing his unpublished works. It had been on his arrival in Vienna in 1782 that he made his first contact with opera, the result being a number of works for voice and orchestra, the first scores coming from his twenty-second year. It included the Primo amore, piacer del ciel, the words warning of the possibility of love betrayed, the lengthy ‘aria’ being scored for soprano and chamber orchestra. It was to be the precursor to his best known work in the genre, Ah! perfido, an extended concert aria in two sections that continues in the same theme recalling the deep distress into which love can easily turn. The composer was not always sympathetic to his singers, expecting his sopranos to sing long passages high in the register, the Finnishssucht soprano, Reetta Haavisto, a singer well versed in such roles as Turandot, perfectly reflecting the angst both works exude, but cannot totally hide the strain the music creates, yet conveys the ‘naughtiness’ of the pinching shoes in the aria from the songspiel, Die schone schusterin. I greatly enjoyed the baritone, Kevin Greenlaw, as he passes the Kissing Test and Getting on well with girls—pure charm, while the lyric tenor, Dan Karlstrom, who has the final three tracks, is joined by Haavisto in the last two where they find love isn’t always smooth, Greenlaw adding to their joint woes in Tremate, empi, tremate. In summary, this is a most welcome collection of Beethoven’s arias and songs brought together with precious little competition on disc. The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra bring a perfectly focused accompaniment for their great septuagenarian conductor, Leif Segerstam. © 2019 David's Review Corner





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