Marina Rebeka: Voyage | Prima Classic PRIMA014

Marina Rebeka: Voyage


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Label: Prima Classic

Cat No: PRIMA014

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 2nd September 2022



Marina Rebeka's first recital album with piano invites the listener to travel with the flair of 19th-century chamber music, written by French composers, sung in French, Italian, German, and Russian.

Some musical objects resist scholarly classifications. Straddling two genres or requiring an unusual membership, they escape the boxes in which we like to lock each score before carefully storing it in a thematic catalogue. The same goes for mélodies composed by French people on foreign texts: should they be considered as French mélodies? Are they losing their French character? Are they even still mélodies or do they become lieder, songs, or any other form specific to the language used?

By bringing together works by French musicians composed on French, Russian, German and Italian texts, or in the Tuscan dialect, this album encourages us to make a change of scale, to break the frames and respond to an invitation to travel.

Most of the mélodies in this recital were composed between 1860 and 1890, that is to say on the threshold of the Belle Époque and the Second Industrial Revolution. Behind the mirage of national identities, we will perceive a European context conducive to dreams of escape and a cosmopolitanism embodied by great musical figures, such as Henri Duparc, Cécile Cheminade, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saëns, Charles-Marie Widor, Gabriel Fauré, Charles Gounod, and the extraordinarily talented female composers Marie Jaëll and Pauline Viardot.

Marina Rebeka and Mathieu Pordoy approach this eclectic repertoire using a rainbow of musical colours, succeeding indeed in capturing the very essence of each piece. An exquisite album for the musically curious and the armchair traveller alike.

Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka is one of the leading opera singers of our time. Since her international breakthrough at the Salzburg Festival in 2009 under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Rebeka has been a regular guest at the world's most prestigious concert halls and opera houses, including the Teatro alla Scala (Milan), the Opéra National de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera (New York), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London), the Bavarian State Opera (Munich), the Vienna State Opera, and the Zurich Opera House. She collaborates with leading conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Valery Gergiev, Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Daniele Gatti. The variety of her repertoire ranges from Baroque, through bel canto and Verdi, to Tchaikovsky and Britten. As an active and widely acclaimed concert performer, Rebeka has given recitals at many of the world's most prestigious venues, such as the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, the Opernhaus Zürich, and others.

Rebeka's discography includes releases with Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics (EMI), BR Klassik, and Naxos. She has recorded Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart's arias, Amor Fatale (an album of Rossini's arias), Verdi's full opera Luisa Miller, and Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. On her own record label, Prima Classic, she has released the album Spirito (scenes and arias of the dramatic bel canto), Verdi's opera La Traviata, and her solo albums Elle (French opera arias) and Credo (a selection of sacred and spiritual music). Rebeka also sang the role of Imogene in the recording of Bellini's Il Pirata, an album released by Prima Classic that received the 2022 International Classical Music Award (ICMA) for opera recording of the year. In December 2016, Rebeka was granted the Order of the Three Stars, the highest award of the Republic of Latvia, for her cultural achievements.


Also remarkable is Rebeka’s linguistic versatility. Though I can’t account for the fine points of her enunciation she feels all the texts with equal depth of identification. Her rich focused forthright voice is not what many expect in this repertoire, which is often projected with a more demure veneer. But such vocal charisma is irresistible.
Rebeka’s discography is opera-centred this far, and with good reason. It’s a superb voice, with a seamless, velvety legato and a brilliant, ringing colour across the entire range. […] Pordoy’s restrained and elegant playing ensures she [Rebeka] remains centre stage […] Rebeka revels in the Russian language and is supported by glowing recorded sound.
BBC Music Magazine

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