Saturday, February 02, 2008

Minkowski and Kožená

I am this minute listening to Handel Italian Cantatas with Magdalena Kožená and Marc Minkowski, and I am reminded that he also conducted Cecilia's Opera Proibita. My ears hear a greater natural sympathy between these two artists than the previous pairing. Minkowski and Kozena are on the same page, a page characterized by Bach-like phrasing. Every note makes me think of Bach, and I'm trying to discover why. Minkowski is French and Kožená is Czech, so that can't be the reason.

Perhaps it is the cerebral crispness of the phrasing. I have generally thought that Handel was successful in his incorporation of Italian style, that he became more fluid and flexible in his phrasing than his purely German contemporary. I think I prefer the legato styles of Kathleen Battle and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in Handel, but this recording is very lively and attractive.

Minkowski is a musician with a vision. If you are attracted to his vision, you will enjoy this.

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