Soprano Lisa Larsson Releases LADIES FIRST! Recording
While Joseph Haydn was generally considered the most famous composer of his age, his operas are far less known today than those of his contemporaries Gluck and Mozart. Swedish soprano Lisa Larsson aims to right this wrong with Ladies First!, a sparkling collection of scenes and arias from six of Haydn's operas and cantatas. She is joined on this new Challenge Classics release by violinist Jan Willem de Vriend who leads the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. Ladies First!is available this month from Allegro Classical.
Among his impressive musical output of chamber music and symphonies, Joseph Haydn wrote numerous Italian operas for his employers of the Esterhazy dynasty, between 1766 and 1790. These works, composed for a select audience of aristocratic patrons, were created for a specific place and event, including the burlesque L'Infeldelta Delusa, and L'Isola Disabitata, the first opera that made use of solelyorchestral recitativo accompagnato. Following the death of Prince Nikolaus von Esterhazy, Haydn had freedom to travel and create other types of works. In London he orchestrated his cantata Arianna a Naxos, originally for soprano and pianoforte, and composed a new operacalled L'Anima del Filosofo, also known as Orfeo ed Euridice. Larsson also performs the dramatic Scena di Berenice, written for the greatestprima donna of the time, Italian soprano Brigitta Giorgi Banti. The recording includes the overture to Armida, which Haydn himself considered his best operatic work.
Lisa Larsson has performed at many of the world's great opera houses, most notably in Mozart roles, from Zurich Opera House to La Scala, and from the Royal Opera House to La Fenice in Venice. A remarkably versatile concert singer, with a repertoire including Baroque composers, Richard Strauss, Britten and Stravinsky, as well as world premieres of contemporary works, Larsson has performed with top orchestras and conductors around the world. Her substantial discography includes a recording of Strauss' Four Last Songs under Douglas Boyd, Mahler'sSymphony No. 8 under David Zinman, Don Giovanni under Daniel Harding, and Mitridate with Adam Fischer, as well as numerous Bach Cantatas under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Ton Koopman. For more information, see: www.lisalarsson.info