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Philip Greenfield
American Record Guide, March 2020

Kozeluch was an able fellow. To hear him at his best, head for the two soprano arias sung by Simona Eisinger, whose lyrical and lovely voice is a perfect fit for Mozart, Haydn, and others of their era, including Herr Kozeluch. The soprano also is on display in a set of three songs in loving memory of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, mother of Joseph II. Accompanied by the harpsichord, they’re quite handsome as well. © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Threasher
Gramophone, March 2020

The soprano Simona Eisinger is adequate both in the cantata and in a pair of sacred arias that avoid coloratura yet call for a wide tessitura and a good deal of stamina. She also provides welcome advocacy to what may be the true find among this collection, a setting for soprano and harpsichord of a lament on the death of Joseph’s mother, the empress Maria Theresa. All together, a curio for those interested in the byways of music in Mozart’s Vienna. © 2020 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2019

Performances are handled by soprano Simonia Eisinger, speaker Siegfried Gohritz (for the Cantata), harpsichordist Filip Dvorak, the Czech Boy’s Choir Boni Pueri under Pavel Horak and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice under Marek Stilec.

The compositions are well worth hearing and for the most part the performances come off quite nicely. …Both the program and the performances are illuminating. © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Dvorák Society Newsletter, December 2019

A really great pleasure to listen to… This CD is an important issue and a hugely enjoyable one. At the Naxos price you simply cannot go wrong. © 2019 Dvorák Society Newsletter



Records International, December 2019

Joseph… is a powerful Masonic cantata from c.1783 that unusually includes melodrama, where spoken text is followed by instrumental passages. The two sacred arias are masterful compositions and the Missa in C, though small in scale and of unknown date, is unusually lavish in its scoring. ‘On the Death of Maria Theresa’ (c.1781) possesses a grave and subtle beauty. © 2019 Records International



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2019

Naxos, who have done much to rescue from oblivion the Bohemian-born composer, Leopold Kozeluch, here offer the World Premiere recording of his Masonic Cantata. Composed in 1783 to please the growing number of Freemasons in Vienna, and presumably containing words by Leopold Foderi that had a connection with Freemasonry, they had a leaning towards Christianity without being intended for church use. Translated into English, ‘Joseph, Mankind’s Blessing’, it was a sizeable score for soprano, choir and speaker. Very much from the era of Haydn, it is a most likeable score with a jubilant finale of benevolence. Much is given to the narrator who commends the Masons and Vienna, here spoken by the operatic baritone, Siegfried Gohritz. Simona Eisinger has two short soprano arias, but is heard to better effect in the two sacred arias, Umbra noctis orbem tangit and Quaeso ad me veni, sponse divine, both calling for agility high in the register, a feature of the disc’s final work, On the Death of Maria Theresa. Why and when he wrote the Mass is completely unknown. Short in length, it contains all seven sections of the usual Roman Catholic Mass. Particularly interesting is the singing of the Czech Boys Choir Boni Pueri, a group of two hundred voices resident in Prague and aged between 4 and 18. The confidence in which they perform throughout the disc is quite remarkable, and I most fervently commend the disc to you on their behalf. Solid orchestral playing from the Pardubice orchestra with the conductor, Marek Stilec, in a well-balanced recording. The booklet includes an English translation of the German and Latin texts. © 2019 David’s Review Corner





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