A First-Rate Serious Opera by Rossini with Pre-Echoes of The Barber of Seville

Another first-rate recording of a little-known Rossini opera, thanks to the Rossini in Wildbad festival. The recording blends three concert performances from July 2017 and features Silvia Dalla Benetta as…

Atmospheric performances from the choir of Trinity College Cambridge enhance the music of Cecilia McDowall

Coinciding with Cecilia McDowall’s 70th year, this recent Hyperion disc crowns an already impressive series of recordings from Dutton Epoch that, with her keen sensitivity to text and grateful melodic…

A Third Catarina Cornaro Opera: Not Halévy or Donizetti but Franz Lachner, and It’s Good!

Opera lovers may think they have never heard any music by Franz (or Franz Paul) Lachner. But, if they’ve enjoyed Cherubini’s Medea, they almost surely have heard – and been…

A new recording of Buxtehude and Schütz from Ensemble Correspondances

More often associated with the French Baroque, Ensemble Correspondances shifts its gaze to 17th-century German music to focus on contrasting Passion settings by Dietrich Buxtehude and Heinrich Schütz.  Through its…

Lyric soprano Sandrine Piau takes flight in late-Romantic repertoire

The premise for this new issue from Alpha is supposedly the tension between light and dark, suggested in the French term ‘clair-obscur’, and explored through orchestral songs inclined towards a…

Three Engaging New Song Cycles, Sung to Perfection on an Award-Winning CD by Soprano Deborah Sternberg

The general level of musical performance nowadays has risen around the world. Well-tuned orchestras pop up everywhere, and highly capable fiddlers, keyboard-ticklers, and singers (I’m tempted to write, in the…

Proud Songsters: a luxury CD from alumni of King’s College, Cambridge

Compiled by nine former choral scholars of King’s College, Cambridge and recorded just before the worldwide pandemic transformed our lives, this anthology is a marvellous century-plus traversal of familiar and…

Four Song Cycles by Saint-Saëns, Superbly Rendered by the Mellifluous Baritone Tassis Christoyannis

I raved about Greek-born baritone Tassis Christoyannis’s CD of songs by Félicien David and a follow-up 2-CD set of songs by Édouard Lalo . In American Record Guide, the late…

Formidable performances from singer/director Nathalie Stutzmann in Contralto

We’re used to thinking of castrati as the operatic superstars of the 18th century.  Even today one can readily bring to mind the names Farinelli and Senesino from among hundreds…

Schubert’s Women: a recital of poetry and song

Schubert’s Women, a programme of lieder and poetry,was born from a serendipitous collaborative pairing during a summer lieder master-course at the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden in 2017, which brought together the…