Simone Kermes, crowned 'The Queen of Baroque' by Opera News, presents her eagerly awaited new album. Colori d'Amore (The Colours Of Love) is a selection of virtuosic baroque arias bound together by the theme of love, almost all of which are world premiere recordings, having been unjustly neglected for centuries.
Echo Award, Midem Award, several Diapason d’Or, “BBC Music Choice” (BBC Music Magazine), “Disc of the Month” (Gramophone).
Simone Kermes erhält den Echo Klassik 2011 als Sängerin des Jahres. Die aus Dresden stammende Sängerin wurde für ihre CD "Colori d´amore" ausgezeichnet, die Publikum und Presse gleichermaßen begeisterte: "eines der besten Volkalrecitals der letzten Jahre", urteilte Fono Forum. Die "Best of Simone Kermes" zeigt die "Queen of Baroque" in der gesamten Bandbreite ihres Könnens - mit entdeckenswerter Musik von Händel, Bononcini, Hasse, Haydn, Scarlatti, Pergolesi u. a. - lauter entdeckenswerte, oft völlig zu Unrecht vergessene Arienperlen.
Equally known for his live performances and musicological work in establishing new performing practices for early opera, Alan Curtis enjoyed a fruitful career. A scholar, as well as a conductor and harpsichordist, Curtis edited several important works with an appreciation for authenticity, effective performance, and – in the case of opera – stage-worthiness. Several of his best recordings were issued in the 1990s and in the new millennium. Curtis studied first at Michigan State University and attained his bachelor's degree there in 1955.
The first half of the 18th century saw an insatiable demand for new opera seria, or dramma per musica, in Venice, Rome, Milan and, principally, London, where composer and teacher Nicola Porpora ran the Opera of the Nobility, putting poor Handel very firmly (though temporarily) in the shade. This collection of castrato arias includes six astonishing discoveries, many recorded for the first time, from Porpora, Johann Aldolf Hasse and Giuseppe de Majo, sung by the beguilingly agile Simone Kermes with delightfully pungent playing from La Magnifica Comunità.
LAVA is a collection of rediscovered opera gems from 18th century Naples, performed by soprano Simone Kermes and the period instrument ensemble Le Musiche Nove. Musical direction is by Claudio Osele, the Italian musicologist and conductor who worked with Cecilia Bartoli on four of her successful concept albums, including the Grammy-winning Vivaldi and Gluck releases for which he delivered the concept and prepared the performing editions. Naples and Versuvius provide the linking theme between all of the pieces, nine of which are world premiere recordings (all tracks except those by Pergolesi)
Amor profano is the follow-up project to the spectacular album Amor sacro that the soprano Simone Kermes recorded with Andrea Marcon and his Venice Baroque Orchestra. Amor sacro received rave critical reviews, with The San Francisco Chronicle hailing, "soprano Simone Kermes leads the way in this choice performance of four sacred motets by Vivaldi…another exemplary Vivaldi excavation" and the Star Ledger proclaiming, "Kermes brings Vivaldi's heart-easing lyricism alive with far richer expressivity…Kermes looks to be a real vocal star." Unlike Amor sacro, which consisted of sacred, non-liturgical repertoire that was performed during Mass or Vespers, Amor profano presents a 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 album includes a number of world-premiere recordings and thus contributes to the continuing discovery of the composer and the "Vivaldi boom" of our times; but first and foremost, the recording is a sheer joy. This music has rhythm, beat and high energy, which is enhanced by the mastery of Simone Kermes and the Venice Baroque Orchestra, whose music-making leaves one breathless.
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. –Robert Levine