Cecilia Bartoli as Maria Malibran?

I'm out of the opera diva loop, however I picked up CB's, "The Impatient Lover", on a whim and am floored by how beautiful it is, especially the final cut, "Arianna A Naxos - Cantata". I really like this CD.

Taking advantage of Border's sale today I picked up an interesting looking CD package of hers, "Maria". I like the music, find it interesting, and think her voice is wonderful. However, some reviews of CB and/or this recording are extremely harsh.

What do you think of this recording?

Are the experts' disdain for her/it based more on their personal expectations for CB rather than taking this recording at face value? IOW, would critics be so harsh were CB an unknown and this were her first recording?