Marina Rebeka's first piano recital album invites the listener to travel with the flair of 19th century chamber music, written by French composers, sung in French, Italian, German, and Russian.
Some musical objects resist scholarly classifications. Straddling two genres or requiring an unusual membership, they escape the boxes in which we like to lock each score before carefully storing it in a thematic catalogue. The same goes for mlodies composed by French people on foreign texts: should they be considered as French mlodies? Are they losing their French character? Are they even still mlodies or do they become lieder, songs, or any other form specific to the language used?
By bringing together works by French musicians composed on French, Russian, German and Italian texts, or in the Tuscan dialect, this album encourages us to make a change of scale, to break the frames and respond to an invitation to travel.
Most of the mlodies in this recital were composed between 1860 and 1890, that is to say on the threshold of the Belle poque and the Second Industrial Revolution. Behind the mirage of national identities, we will perceive a European context conducive to dreams of escape and a cosmopolitanism embodied by great musical figures, such as Henri Duparc, Ccile Cheminade, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Sans, Charles-Marie Widor, Gabriel Faur, Charles Gounod, and the extraordinarily talented female composers Marie Jall and Pauline Viardot.
Marina Rebeka and Mathieu Pordoy approach this eclectic repertoire using a rainbow of musical colours, succeeding indeed in capturing the very essence of each piece. An exquisite album for the musically curious and the armchair traveller alike.
Marina Rebeka, soprano Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka is one of the leading opera singers of our time. Since her international breakthrough at the Salzburg Festival in 2009 under the baton of Riccardo Muti, Rebeka has been a regular guest at the world's most prestigious concert halls and opera houses, including the Teatro alla Scala (Milan), the Opra National de Paris, the Metropolitan Opera (New York), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London), the Bavarian State Opera (Munich), the Vienna State Opera, and the Zurich Opera House. She collaborates with leading conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Valery Gergiev, Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nzet-Sguin, and Daniele Gatti. The variety of her repertoire ranges from Baroque, through bel canto and Verdi, to Tchaikovsky and Britten. As an active and widely acclaimed concert performer, Rebeka has given recitals at many of the world's most prestigious venues, such as the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, the Opernhaus Zrich, and others. Rebeka's discography includes releases with Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics (EMI), BR Klassik, and Naxos. She has recorded Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart's arias, Amor Fatale (an album of Rossini's arias), Verdi's full opera Luisa Miller, and Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. On her own record label, Prima Classic, she has released the album Spirito (scenes and arias of the dramatic bel canto), Verdi's opera La Traviata, and her solo albums Elle (French opera arias) and Credo (a selection of sacred and spiritual music). Rebeka also sang the role of Imogene in the recording of Bellini's Il Pirata, an album released by Prima Classic that received the 2022 International Classical Music Award (ICMA) for opera recording of the year. In December 2016, Rebeka was granted the Order of the Three Stars, the highest award of the Republic of Latvia, for her cultural achievements.