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Coloratura - soprano showpieces

Composer Alexander Alexandrovich Alyabiev
Léo Delibes
Reinhold Glière
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Jean Sibelius
Ambroise Thomas
John Zorn
Performer Anu Komsi
Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo, conductor
Period Contemporary
Catalogue Number BIS-1962 SACD
EAN 7318599919621
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Sep 2012
Total time 66'27

“A singer of great talent...”
“A unique artist, uniquely in her element.” Norman Lebrecht,; “A singer of great talent and no mean imagination.”; “Komsi negotiates the shamelessly florid vocal writing with matter-of-fact brilliance, musical good taste and not a hint of self-indulgence.” The Guardian; “Luonnotar is without doubt the musical masterwork here and Anu Komsi's reading of it is alone worth the price of the disc.” MusicWeb International

Coloratura – the colouring of a note, a phrase, an entire aria with trills, ornaments, death-defying leaps and dynamic shadings of infinite variety. For more than two centuries, &&&the art of coloratura was a central aspect of the vocal art, and especially of opera, developed largely by the castrato singers at first, and later by generations of star performers and their vocal coaches.
In the mid-nineteenth century this great tradition was all but broken – neither Wagner nor Verdi were prepared to accommodate it in their different brands of music drama, and as both the opera houses and their orchestras grew larger, a different, heavier and more powerful style of singing was favoured. But the fascination and awe inspired by this almost supernatural phenomenon has never died, among audiences, singers or composers.
Anu Komsi, Finland’s ‘coloratura assoluta’, here presents a selection almost as wide-ranging as her own vocal technique, with mad scenes and rage arias from 18th- and 19th-century operas, Alyabyev’s ever-soaring Nightingale and the silvery tinkling of Lakmé’s Bell Song. Later examples of the lengths a singer may be expected to go to are Glière’s glittering (and strikingly anachronistic) Concerto for coloratura and orchestra from 1943, and La Machine de l’être by the composer John Zorn (b. 1953). Described by Zorn as a monodrama, this 11 minute-long work in three parts received its scenic première in 2011, by Anu Komsi at the New York City Opera. Throughout the programme, Anu Komsi is supported by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo, and in the closing work all involved find themselves on familiar ground in a thoroughly idiomatic performance of Sibelius’ Luonnotar, with its text from the Finnish national epos Kalevala, and a vocal part which is among the most challenging in the literature.
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  Reinhold Glière
  Concerto for coloratura soprano and orchestra in F minor, Op.82 (1943) 14'04
01 I. Andante 9'12
02 II. Allegro 4'52
  Ambroise Thomas
  Scène et air d’Ophélie
03 Scène et air d’Ophélie [Ophelia’s Mad Scene, from Hamlet, Act V] 12'21
  Léo Delibes
  Air des clochettes
04 Air des clochettes [The Bell Song, from Lakmé, Act II] 8'47
  Alexander Alexandrovich Alyabiev
05 Solovei (The Nightingale) 5'13
  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  Der Hölle Rache
06 Der Hölle Rache [Aria of the Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflöte, Act II] 3'06
  John Zorn
  La Machine de l’être – a monodrama 11'35
07 I. tetème 4'09
08 II. le révelé 3'26
09 III. entremêlés 4'00
  Jean Sibelius
10 Luonnotar, Op.70 9'09
  Album total 66'27
ComposerAlyabiev, Alexander Alexandrovich
Delibes, Léo
Glière, Reinhold
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Sibelius, Jean
Thomas, Ambroise
Zorn, John
ConductorOramo, Sakari
OrchestraLahti Symphony Orchestra
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