ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Legendary Dame Janet Baker
WORKS: Works by Handel, Purcell, Gluck, Mozart, Giordani, Elgar,
PERFORMER: Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano); ECO/Raymond Leppard & other orchestras & conductors
CATALOGUE NO: 465 253-2 ADD Reissue (1962-78)
This jigsaw tribute to Janet Baker spends much of its generous 73 minutes celebrating the expansive exuberance of Seventies Baroque music making. In Baker’s supreme partnership with the English Chamber Orchestra and Raymond Leppard, we hear her striking Jubal’s lyre, we’re swept along by the bracing physicality of ‘Dopo notte’ from Ariodante; and then are moved by her proud and desperate Gluck Orfeo.
That searingly intense commitment, and ardent yet elusive sense of yearning which breathes through so much of what she sings also characterises her deeply pondered Mozart with Colin Davis, and the extraordinary Dido recording with Anthony Lewis, made when she was just 29. ‘Remember me!’ Who will ever forget? Hilary Finch