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Subject: Magdalena Kozena recital
From: Charles Handelman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 19 Nov 2006 23:54:47 EST

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Since the field of the art song is not an area where I have had
much experience over the years, I am surely not able to make the
necessary comparisons among the interpretations of various artists in
the recital venue;however, I surely can judge the pure voice, and do
have a feeling for what is being put forth before me as to
emotion,sincerity of delivery,etc.
        It is always a special treat for me when I hear an artist for
the very first time, especially if I have not even heard the cd's of
the artist I possess.(You mean you actually think I HEAR my
collection?) Therefore today at Alice Tully Hall in New York City,
before a less-than-sold-out house (some people's loss), I was delighted
to hear the recital of Czech mezzo Magdalena Kozena, accompanied by
Malcom Martineau, and it was a marvelous first experience for me.
         The most amazing element in a recital such as this, is that an
accomplished artist,with only the piano accompanying, and a totally
hushed audience (recital audiences know how to behave), can sing for
almost two hours, and every "breath" that issues forth from her throat
is absolutely seamless, a honeyed luscious tone that was an
extraordinary experience. Mme.Kozena is essentially a lyric mezzo, but
there is plenty of solid heft in the voice, and the intrinsic quality
is stunning to my "operatic' ears.
              I especially was taken by the clean attack on every
single phrase, with no hint of edge,under-attack,or any intrusive
element. In the  song "Susser Freund,du blickest..." from the complete
Schumann "Frauenliebe und -leben", her entrance onto the very first
phrase was in itself an amazing example of vocal beauty and control.
She also sang songs by Mendelssohn,Dvorak, and Faure, plus several
encores of Czech songs,I believe. The only piece with which I was
familiar was the Dvorak "Songs my mother taught me" in the Op.55 Gypsy
Song group, but a recital like this awakens new repertory for me
through the great artistry of the performer,and I am glad i have been
branching out lately into this area of the vocal art.
                Mme.Kozena was deservedly applauded heartily by the
audience and I am adding her to my list of special artists in today's
opera and concert world. Now I will finally listen to my Cd's and
better understand what she is all about, but remember there is NOTHING
like being there, and this is a magnificent voice. We happily can make
a rather long list of superb mezzos these days like
Mme.Kozena.(Graham,Blythe, Podles, Di
                A huge "brava" to another great artist!
                           My best   Charlie

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