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Musical World

Magdalena Kozena

  • Mezzo-Soprano

Reviews

Magdalena Kožená press reviews

“With her dazzling looks, Magdalena Kožená is surely one of the most glamorous women on the operatic stage. That's even before she opens her mouth. And when she does – well, you can't argue with that voice . . . Kožená has got everything . . .”

Independent (London)

RECITAL: SHRIVER HALL / FEBRUARY 2013

Shriver Hall, Baltimore

Magdalena Kozena, the high-profile, Czech mezzo-soprano, and her equally high-profile accompanist, the Russian-born, Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman, chose a fascinating sample of repertoire for their recital Sunday night presented by the Shriver Hall Concert Series. […] In Mussorgsky's song cycle "The Nursery," which evokes the alternately animated, awed and mischievous mindset of a child, Kozena offered an abundance of colorful vocal touches. […] The exquisite, often wry sound world of Ravel's "Histoires Naturelles" likewise found both artists doing finely communicative work, especially in the lovely languor of "Le Martin-pecheur." 
Kozena's dark, evenly produced tone found another great outlet in the six songs of romance and nature from Rachmaninoff's Op. 38. […] Bartok's earthy "Village Scenes," with their deliciously spiky rhythms, inspired another burst of vivid music-making.
"All of this would have been enough to make the recital distinctive, but there as more -- the local premiere of "Three Melodies on a Poem of Ezra Pound" by French composer Mac-Andre Dalbavie. […]
The vocal lines, sensual and elegant, convey the imagery of rain, loneliness, the comforts of nature and wine. 
[…] Kozena sang the music sensitively and articulated the English works more clearly than many a singer whose first language actually is English. 
There was an affecting encore -- Schumann's "Wehmut" from "Liederkreis," which includes the line, "I can sometimes sing as if I were happy. But, in secret, tears well up ... no one feels the pains, the deep sorrow in the song." 
Kozena produced her tenderest vocal shading of the evening here, reaching the lied's poignant heart, while Bronfman matched her nuance for nuance."
 
Baltimore Sun, February 2013,

"The things that make a good song recital happen can be as elusive as alchemy. Part of it is the choice of songs, part is the singer’s ability to narrate in music as if simply reciting poetry, and part is the pianist’s ability to set the scene. All three of these elements came together in the recital by Magdalena Kozena on Sunday at Shriver Hall, the Czech mezzo-soprano’s first in the area since 2009.[...] Kozena could float these vocal lines — most straightforwardly in Rachmaninoff’s six Op. 38 songs — with ease and confidence, with virtuoso pianist Yefim Bronfman providing the color at the keyboard.

The unexpected highlight of the recital was the world premiere of “Three Melodies on a Poem of Ezra Pound” by Marc-Andre Dalbavie." 

Washington Post, Charles T. Downey, 18 February 2013

Magdalena Kožená Awards