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Meg Bragle: Acclaim

Ascension Cantatas CD

 

"...Bragle is clearly a singer of intense musical perceptiveness, as she vividly reveals in the central aria of BWV 11, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, ‘Ach, bleibe doch, mein liebstes Leben’ , where the recording picks up an almost whispering quality to her voice which I find utterly irresistible."

 

 

Marc Rochester - International Record Review

"...the distinctive vocal quality and penetrating emotion of Meg Bragle’s ‘Ach, bleibe doch’ in the Ascension Oratorio suggests that she could become a sought-after artist."

Lindsay Kemp - Gramophone Magazine

"...the warmly expressive Meg Bragle..."

Paul Riley - BBC Music Magazine

"The soloists are without exception magnificent. The highlight of the disc for me is a spine-tingling performance of the oratorio’s alto aria, “Ach, bleibe doch,” in which a singer begs Christ to remain on Earth just a while longer. Bach later reappropriated this music for the Agnus Dei of his B-minor Mass. The Latin setting is its better-known incarnation, but the combination of the oratorio’s personally expressive German text, accompanied by a sighing violin line and stammering continuo, makes the aria even more powerful than in the Mass, and Meg Bragle’s touchingly earnest performance might just be enough to convert even the staunchest disbeliever."

 

 

Jonathan Rhodes Lee - San Francisco Classical Voice

Recent Acclaim

JS Bach St. John Passion (ATMA Classique) "...one of the most moving accounts of 'Es ist vollbracht' in recent years...."

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood - Gramophone Magazine

Beethoven Symphony #9:  "Polegato gave a beautiful account of the recitative with flawless German, and the soloists Dominique Labelle (soprano), Meg Bragle (mezzo-soprano) and Benjamin Butterfield were all in fine form."

Polegato gave a beautiful account of the recitative with flawless German, and the soloists Dominique Labelle (soprano), Meg Bragle (mezzo-soprano), and Benjamin Butterfield were all in fine form.

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/Review+Beethoven+Ninth+fitting+extraordinary+series+Calgary+Philharmonic+Orchestra/7564304/story.html#ixzz2DR1MLzwt
Stephen Bonfield - Calgary Herald

JS Bach Mass in B Minor

"The soloists — Tiffany Rosenquist de la Torre, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor; and Jesse Blumberg, baritone — were well matched in the duets, and consistently moving in their solo contributions, though Ms. Bragle’s supple account of the Agnus Dei stood out as a clear highlight."

Allan Kozinn - NY Times

JS Bach Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein BWV 128

"Of particular note was the duet for alto and tenor with oboe d'amore obbligato telling of mortal man's silence at the magisterial mystery of God.  Tenor Andrew Tortise and mezzo Meg Bragle sang this duet in perfect harmony with each other."

JS Bach Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen BWV 11

"Mezzo Meg Bragle gave a suitably sustained, but well contoured rendition of the first aria, which tells of the sorrow caused by the parting of Christ."

"Although Bach specifies an alto (Altus), for the alto parts I was not too disappointed that Eliot Gardiner chose a mezzo, Meg Bragle, who sang excellently..."

Geoff Diggines - MusicWeb International

Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Scarlatti Totus Amore Languens:

"Both soloists wove their threads of the contrapuntal fabric with expressive clarity, particularly effective in the duet verses in which the parts glide seamlessly in and out of homophonic union.  The engagement with the string ensemble was equally effective, using the instrumental textures as points of departure for the vocal interpretations....Bragle delivered the text with both clarity and sincerity, allowing the composition to rise above mere religious propaganda."

Stephen Smoliar - San Francisco Examiner

Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Scarlatti Totus Amore Languens:

"Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle....produces an appropriate tone while avoiding a stereotypical early-music sound...providing an attractive tone and vivid presence."   

Thomas Busse - San Francisco Classical Voice

"As with Rosy Steps" from Handel's Theodora:  "Perhaps the loveliest of these four pieces was Irene’s “As with Rosy Steps the Morn,” from Theodora, music of wonderful rhythmic subtlety, which was sung with a powerful range of emotion by Meg Bragle."

Bernard Jacobson - MusicWeb International

"As with Rosy Steps" from Handel's Theodora:  "...two arias from the late work Theodora, sung by Meg Bragle and Agnes Zsigovics, were also outstanding."

Richard Todd - Ottawa Citizen

Bach Cantata 54 and 170:  

"...Meg Bragle, an American mezzo-soprano with a handsome, focused tone and a natural sense of line. What a pleasure to hear a baroque singer use vibrato positively (if discreetly) as an expressive device rather than emit hollow sound.

She was equally gifted at communicating the devout essence of the texts. A particular highlight was Wie jammern mich, the solemn and minimal second Air of the Cantata No. 170.

Cantata No. 54 had its moments as well...the ensemble was in more assured form for the final Air, with Bragle first among contrapuntal equals."

Arthur Kaptainis - Montreal Gazette

Monteverdi Il Ballo delle Ingrate: "The event turned out to be a case of stunning music stunningly realized....a pure and resonant mezzo, Meg Bragle..."

Peter Jacobi - Herald Times

"Kraemer's Magnificat was the final version without the four movements Bach originally interpolated for the Christmas season. Here the remaining vocal soloists Sherezade Panthaki, soprano, Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano, Zach Finkelstein, tenor – shone more strongly and with greater diversity of mood than anywhere else on the program."

Alan Artner - Chicago Tribune

Mendelssohn's Elijah:  "Meg Bragle was the mezzo-soprano Friday evening...she and Nathan Berg shared one outstanding characteristic: both of them have the ability to change the quality of their voice to emphasize the drama and the emotion of the particular verse they are singing. Both of them had seemingly infinite control over dynamics."

OpusColorado

Mendelssohn's  Elijah. "All of the vocal soloists were excellent and made the oratorio as dramatically engaging as possible in concert setting....Meg Bragle sang with a uniquely amber-hued mezzo, and gave an excellent performance. Her "O, rest in the Lord" was full of tenderness, and her even, simple tone allowed the music to shine. She also a showed a dramatic, vindictive side as the Queen Jezebel who commands Elijah's death."

Ruth Carver - Examiner.com

Handel's Messiah

Handel's Messiah:  "The quartet of singers was among of the best of recent years...Meg Bragle brought a strong, well-focused sound to the alto solos...there was much to admire in her basic singing and fine quality of voice"

Kenneth Delong - Calgary Herald

"Da capo arias, with entrancingly embellished repeats, transformed Susan Hamilton, Meg Bragle, Nicholas Mulroy, and Matthew Brook almost into operatic characters, though all four of them seemed to relish the fact that that was exactly what they were not.

Bragle, an American mezzo-soprano new to the otherwise familiar Dunedin team, brought edge as well as beauty to her music."

Conrad Wilson - The Herald Scotland

Handel's Messiah:  "The four vocal soloists – soprano Suzie LeBlanc, mezzo Meg Bragle, tenor Lawrence Williford and bass-baritone Andrew Foster Williams – were very good."

John Terauds - Toronto Star

"To have soloists as apt as Meg Bragle...who confided rather than declaimed, was a boon..."

Conrad Wilson - The Herald Scotland

Handel's Messiah:  "American mezzo Meg Bragle has an intriguing, dusky tone that lent itself well to the trials and tribulations of Jesus."

John Terauds - The Toronto Star
"Mezzo-soprano Meg Bragle was sure of tone from top to bottom, her voice quality appealing, as was her moving account of He Was Despised."
Kenneth Delong - The Calgary Herald
"Bragle...bloomed in her upper register, with spot-on attacks;"
James McQuillen - The Oregonian

"Mezzo Margaret Bragle, making her Tafelmusik debut, has a memorable, raw-silk voice that she used nicely."

John Terauds - Toronto Star
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