Friday, 12 November 2010

Simone Kermes - Tempesta di Mare

Tempesta di Mare
A concert from the Schwetzingen Festival 2010
Simone Kermes - soprano
Venice Baroque Orchestra
dir: Luca Meles
concert given in the Rococo Theatre, Schwetzingen Castle, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany
16th May 2010

The Rococo Theatre (1752/53) at Schwetzingen Castle by Nicolas de Pigage is the oldest still existing theatre in Europe with boxless circles. Just 20 years after its inauguration it was remodelled in the Classicist style on the orders of the art loving Elector Carl Theodor of the Palatinate. Today the simultaneity of the two styles gives the theatre its special appeal. The Rococo Theatre at Schwetzingen Palace was a venue for the Mannheimer Hofkapelle, for (first) performances of works by Mozart, Gluck and J. Chr. Bach. This tradition continues with the SWR Schwetzingen Festival (Schwetzinger Festspiele) in May and the Mozart Weeks (Mozartwochen) in September, when recitals and opera productions can be enjoyed in the Rococo Theatre. Also worth seeing: the Baroque city centre of Schwetzingen and the famous palace gardens with its delightful buildings.

Haendel: Furie terribili (from Rinaldo)

 Haendel: Piangerò la sorte mia (from Giulio Cesare)

 Broschi: Son qual nave (from Idaspe)

 Vivaldi: Gelido in ogni vena (from Farnace)

 Vivaldi: Dopo un'orrida procella (from Griselda)

 Haendel: Lascia che io pianga (from Rinaldo)

Schwetzingen Castle, nr Mannheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg

Amor Sacro - Vivaldi Motets
Simone Kermes - soprano
Venice Baroque Orchestra
dir: Andrea Marcon

This knockout CD of Vivaldi motets is a thrilling ride. They are scored for soprano and strings and show the wonderful variety of effects Vivaldi had at his disposal (faster, more dramatic arias use the metaphor of a ship in storm-tossed seas, searching for calm winds and safety): in other words, the same stuff he uses in his operas. But here, because these motets are religious in nature, it is the soul in flux that is wishing for God, or a saint, to guide it. Vivaldi will use the lower strings to give the feeling of menacing weather while the singer navigates through outlandishly difficult coloratura (fast runs, octave leaps, high stacatto effects); conversely, each motet also contains a slow, introspective aria which requires a long, soft vocal line. Conductor Andrea Marcon leads the superb Venice Baroque Orchestra in energetic performances, with sharp attacks and dramatic tempi choices. And the remarkable soprano Simone Kermes, with her diamond-brilliant tone and technical virtuosity, makes each of these pieces a little opera, filled with drama, pathos and simply gorgeous singing, whether high, low, loud, or soft. This is an exciting, greatly entertaining disc.

Amor Profano - Vivaldi Arias
Simone Kermes - soprano
Venice Baroque Orchestra
dir: Andrea Marcon

Amor profano presents worldly repertoire, with a selection of Vivaldi’s most dramatic and easily accessible Canti d’amore e di guerra. These arias from Vivaldi’s lesser-known or virtually unknown operas have been especially chosen for the charismatic, dazzling voice of Simone Kermes and the lively playing of the VBO under Andrea Marcon. The first album consisted of sacred, non-liturgical repertoire that was performed during Mass or Vespers.

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