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Marina Rebeka’s latest CD, Spirito, is released on the label she has set up herself, Prima Classic. I’m pleased to report that she’s offto a great start. She essays a selection of bel canto arias by Bellini, Donizetti and Spontini, and provides much pleasure with her refined singing. Rebeka’s soprano has a cool exterior with some hidden heat, and technically she is hugely accomplished. She is a keen musicologist and keen to refer to the autograph scores where possible in order to get as close as possible to the composer’s intentions. Her performances are strongly delineated, her phrasing immaculate and instinctively balanced. Rebeka is not afraid to sing out, she doesn’t tiptoe through her coloratura, and she provides some exciting pianissimo, though I would perhaps have liked just a little more dynamic variation. The album was recorded in the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, and the acoustic is fabulous and excellently engineered, with a very ‘present’ quality. Jader Bignamini conducts the theatre’s orchestra and chorus and elicits highly idiomatic work from both.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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