My Heart Alone

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: J Strauss,Kalman,Lehar,Millocker,Suppé & Stolz
LABELS: Sony
ALBUM TITLE: My Heart Alone
WORKS: Arias by Kálmán, Lehár, Millöcker, J Strauss, Suppé & Stolz
PERFORMER: Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo-soprano), Simon Keenlyside (baritone); Tonkünstler Orchester Nö/Alfred Eschwé
CATALOGUE NO: 88697286002

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Bravo for the repertoire. Here among the usual operetta suspects – Lehár, Kálmán and Johann Strauss – are less familiar treats. Judging by the duet ‘Hab’ Ich nur deine Liebe’, Suppé’s Boccaccio is more than the run of Theater an der Wien stuff. And there’s a deliciously upholstered melody at the centre of ‘Dunkelrote Rosen’ from Millöcker’s Gasparone. Sadly, the cheers are more muted when it comes to the artists on this recording. No one would doubt that Angelika Kirschlager and Simon Keenlyside are vocal thoroughbreds, so there’s stylish and sensitive singing here with Keenlyside in particularly good voice. But Viennese operetta is about more than good voices. It’s about filling a song with the character or characters who sing it, and neither Keenlyside nor Kirschlager seem particularly good at this. So Kirschlager’s Hanna Glawari isn’t so very different from her Prince Orloff. And though her ‘Vilja-lied’ is nicely done, this is no Pontevedrian exile telling her fellow countrymen a heartfelt folk story from the homeland. And where’s the naughty boy in Keenlyside’s Count Danilo on his way to Maxims? Christopher Cook