Charlotte Margiono


Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917201321
Catnr: CC 72013
Release date: 01 January 2001
1 CD
✓ in stock
€ 12.95
Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72013
Release date
01 January 2001

About the album

High Fashion for Sopranos - Mozart’s arias with obligato instruments
“Any note you can reach I can go higher. I can sing anything higher than you.” These words from the hilarious duet in Irving Berlin’s musical Annie Get Your Gun could well serve as the motto of many singers and instru- mentalists in the 18th century. For in accounts of opera dating from that time we often read of how rivalry got the better of dramatic content. As an example we may quote the music historian Charles Burney’s report of a performance of 1722 in which the famous castrato Farinelli took part:

He was seventeen when he left [Naples] to go to Rome, where during the run of an opera, there was a struggle every night between him and a famous player on the trumpet in a song accompanied by that instrument; this, at first, seemed amicable and merely sportive, till the audience began to interest themselves in the contest, and to take different sides: after severally swelling a note, in which each manifested the power of his lungs, and tried to rival the other in brilliancy and force, they had both a swell and shake together, by thirds, which was continued so long, while the audience eagerly waited the event, that both seemed to be exhausted; and, in fact, the trum- peter, wholly spent, gave it up, thinking, however, his antagonist as much tired as himself, and on that it would be a drawn battle; when Farinelli, with a smile on his countenance, showing he had only been sporting with him 6 all that time, broke out at once in the same breath, with fresh vigour, and not only swelled and shook the note, but ran the most rapid divisions, and was at last silenced only by the acclamations of the audience.

These moments, when singers could display all their technique and control of breath and tone, were undou- btedly the high points of the performance. And whenever composers “forgot” to include such an aria in any opera, the singers themselves made sure the defect was remedied. A stock of virtuoso arias, the so-called “arie di baule” (“suitcase” arias) formed part of the vast baggage which all singers carried with them on their travels. These arias were tailored to the specific possibilities of each voice and were inserted at a particular moment, whether dramatically appropriate or not. For example, in each opera in which he appeared the castrato Luigi Marchesi sang a bravura aria by Giuseppe Sarti; and Farinelli introduced the aria “Son qual nave” by his brother Riccardo Broschi in the London performances of Johann Adolf Hasse’s Artaserse.

De virtuositeit van de solist
In de 18e eeuw lag het hoogtepunt van een opera vaak in de virtuose aria’s. In deze passages, waarin een vocale solo eenvoudig begeleid wordt door het orkest, konden de zangers hun ware kwaliteit tonen in hoge noten en lastige motieven. Wanneer een componist “vergeten” had zo’n aria toe te voegen aan zijn opera, dan zorgden de zangers wel voor een oplossing: de “arie di baule,” ofwel de kofferaria’s. Dit waren aria’s die de zangers standaard in hun repertoire hadden en konden toevoegen aan een opera als het stuk zelf niet genoeg ruimte gaf om hun zangkunsten te tonen. Op het moment dat deze traditie begon uit te sterven blaasde Mozart er nieuw leven in. Van de ongeveer 50 concertaria’s die hij geschreven heeft, zijn vele geschreven als alternatieve aria’s voor zijn opera’s en die van zijn tijdgenoten. Daarnaast componeerde hij aria’s voor zijn “academies” (concerten), die doorgaans geschreven waren voor sopraan of castrato, wat de voorkeur voor het hoge register nog eens benadrukt.

Op dit album is een aantal van deze aria’s te horen, waarin de virtuositeit van de solist wederom centraal staat. In de meeste aria’s gaat de solist in een dialoog met een solo-instrument, waarbij gedurende het stuk een expressie van sterke emoties, zoals woede, verdriet en liefde vooropstaat. Het resultaat is een serie van zeer indrukwekkende, dramatische aria’s, prachtig ingezongen door Charlotte Margiono. Margiono is een Nederlandse sopraan die debuteerde bij de Nederlandse Opera in een uitvoering van Parsifal. De jaren daarna kreeg zij internationale bekendheid in meerdere rollen van Mozart opera’s. Sinds 2008 geeft ze les op het Utrechtse Conservatorium.


Her Fiordiligi in Jürgen Flimm’s production of Cosi fan tutte with Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, January 1990 in Amsterdam, put Charlotte Margiono without any doubt at the international top of Mozart sopranos. After her first Nozze di Figaro in Bern in January 1988 many Contessas were to follow in numerous new productions (Hamburg 1990/94, Aix-en-Provence 1991, Bordeaux 1995, Amsterdam 1993 and Dresden 1995, Vienna and, with the Wiener Staatsoper, in Japan 1994). Her Mozart roles include Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito (Aix 1988, Salzburg 1991), Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Amsterdam 1988, Aix 1989), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Bordeaux 1992), Aminda in La Finta Giardiniera (Parijs 1991) and, her favourite, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (with John Eliot Gardiner in Parma, Amsterdam, London, Ludwigsburg 1994).

In addition to these Mozart-roles Charlotte Margiono is gradually building a wide lyrical repertoire: Marie in Die Verkaufte Braut, Mimi in La Bohème, Agathe in Der Freischütz (role debut in Hamburg 1999), Desdemona in Otello (role debut in Paris and Amsterdam, 1994), Rusalka (role debut in the Netherlands 1998), Marguerite in a concert performance of La Damnation de Faust to close the Bernard Haitink Festival in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (1999), and Eva in Meistersinger (role debut in Amsterdam 2000).

Future engagements for new roles include Leonore in Fidelio (Sir Simon Rattle, Glyndebourne 2001), Elsa in Lohengrin (Amsterdam 2002), Chrysothemis in Elektra (Brussel 2002). 3 Conductors with whom Charlotte Margiono is frequently singing are a.o. Claudio Abbado, Gerd Albrecht, Gary Bertini, Frans Brüggen, Sir Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Carlo Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Armin Jordan, James Judd, Alain Lombard, Ingo Metzmacher, Antonio Pappano, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marc Soustrot, Edo de Waart en Franz Welser-Möst.

Almost all leading international orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, l’Orchestre National de France, Madrid, Santa Caecilia, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Florence and Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn regularly invite the soprano for a.o. Mahler Symphony 2 and 4, Rossini Stabat Mater, Strauss Vier letzte Lieder, Berlioz Les Nuits d’été, Verdi Requiem, Ravel Shéhérazade, Berg Sieben Frühe Lieder, Beethoven IX, Missa Solemnis and, especially, Ah Perfido!

Charlotte Margiono’s voice is recorded a.o. as Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Erato), Missa Solemnis, Ah Perfido!, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with John Eliot Gardiner (DGG-Archiv), Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (Philips), Cosi fan tutte (Fiordiligi), La Finta Giardiniera (Arminda), Le Nozze di Figaro (Contessa), various Mozart Masses and Beethovens Fidelio (Harnoncourt/Teldec). Strauss’ Jugendlieder were recorded with the accompaniment of Friedrich Haider.

Recently Charlotte Margiono has founded her own Margiono Quintet, with four leading string-players from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The official debut of the Margiono Quintet in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in November 1998 was an enormous success. Several national and international chambermusic festivals already showed their interest in the Quintet.


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