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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 3, No. 2

Cecilia Bartoli in Recital

by Joseph So / October 1, 1997

Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto į Sept. 28, 1997

Originally scheduled for last April, but postponed due to illness, Cecilia Bartoliās September 28 concert at Roy Thompson Hall was a triumphant success. La Bartoli was in sensational voice and obviously enjoyed herself enormously. Her long and demanding program lasted well over two hours, four encores included.

The first half of her program was devoted to Vivaldi, accompanied by the String Ensemble I Delfici. Bartoliās fioritura is staggering in its brilliance and accuracy, her breath control is amazing and her stupendous staccati and runs are amazing.The third Vivaldi aria, "Agitata da due venti" from La Griselda, RV 718, left me speechless.

The second half of the program opened with a group of less familiar Schubert songs in Italian. Here Bartoli showed she can sing delicately and with introspection. The Schubert was followed by two Pauline Viardot songs - her interpretation of the familiar "Havanaise" and "Hai luli", taken at a slow tempo, was lovely. In Delibesā "Les filles de Cardix", she indulged in a bit of good-natured seduction, complete with finger-snapping Spanish dancing with imaginary castanets, which melted the hearts of the audience. The formal programme ended with Rossiniās "Riedi al soglio" from Zelmira. The audience would not let her go until she sang three encores of Italian songs and a reprise of "Agitata", this time even more note-perfect. This was one of the greatest recitals in memory.

(c) La Scena Musicale