Renowned Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena releases new album

Magdalena Kozena, photo: Kasskara/DG

The internationally renowned Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena this week released a gorgeous new album of arias and cantonatos. Entitled Lamento, it features little-known music by the Bach family; in many ways it allows Kozena to take up and explore the themes of a successful earlier CD, a selection of arias by Johann Sebastian Bach which was her debut on the Deutsche Grammophon label in 1999.

Magdalena Kozena is one of the rising stars of the world of classical music, and in 2004 was voted "Artist of the Year" by the readers of Gramophone magazine. Born in Brno, she studied in Bratislava, winning many prizes in the Czech Republic and elsewhere. After a highly successful debut at Brno's Janacek theatre, her triumphs continued in the Vienna Volksoper and other major venues.

The little-known piece Lamento for contralto, violin, 3 violas and basso continuo by Johann Christoph Bach has been described in one review as an "amazing discovery". Indeed the whole album, a collaboration with the German ensemble Musica Antiqua Koln, has received several rave reviews.