The National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences has announced its nominations for this year’s Grammy Awards in the United States. The native of Brno, Magdalena Kožená, has been nominated in the Best Classical Vocal Album category.
The mezzo soprano Magdalena Kožená received the nomination for her album of vocal works by Claudio Monteverdi which was released this spring by Deutsche Grammophon. The album also includes the talents of the conductor and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, who led the accompanying La Cetra Barockorchester Basel ensemble. Sabine Devieilhe, Dorothea Röschmann, Anna Netrebko and Ian Bostridge have also been nominated along with Kožená in the same category. The 59th Grammy Awards Ceremony will be held on 12th February 2017.
The CD, which is simply entitled Monteverdi, has ranked among Magdalena’s best-selling recordings since March of this year. Magdalena invited the Basil-based La Cetra orchestra, one of the top international performers in the field of baroque music, to accompany her. Its artistic director is the Italian Andrea Marcon, a renowned conductor and Magdalena’s regular collaborator on world stages and on recordings for Deutsche Grammophon.
“I generally like early Italian music. I have already made a successful CD of Vivaldi’s works with Andrea in 2009. If, however, I am forced to choose only one name, I never hesitate for a second: my favourite is Claudio Monteverdi,“ said Magdalena Kožená expressing her admiration for a musical genius whose works, according to period testimony, so greatly affected audiences that listeners were regularly in floods of tears of emotion or enthusiasm whenever they were performed.
The acme of the nominated CD is without doubt Monteverdi’s dramatic Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (The Duel of Tancred and Clorinda), in which Magdalena sings all three characters, namely Clorinda, Tancred and the Narrator. “Andrea Marcon had the idea for me to sing all three roles a few years ago. This idea works well when listening to the CD, but as a concert piece it seemed to me confusing with just one soloist and just made for a theatrical performance,“ said Magdalena, explaining how the successful theatrical baroque opera “one-woman show“, which was directed by Ondřej Havelka and which garnered enormous success on European stages within the framework of Magdalena’s Residencies in 2016, came about.
With regard to the selection of the Italian repertoire on the nominated CD, the mezzo soprano stated that: “Italy is one of my favourite countries. Naturally, I admire the country’s enchanting culture and nature, but the most attractive feature for me is the Italian temperament, which can understandably be easily felt in their music. The Italian ability to sincerely rejoice at small things, their fondness for children, their constant requirement for human contact, their happy celebrations and feasts which are celebrated in the family circle … all of that is close to my heart. I have a lot of friends in Italy, of whom the dearest, Andrea Marcon, recorded this CD with me.”