COMPOSERS: Bizet,Gounod,Puccini & Verdi,Tchaikovsky
ALBUM TITLE: Soile Isokoski: Scene D’Amore
PERFORMER: Soile Isokoski (soprano);
Helsinki PO/Mikko Franck
CATALOGUE NO: ODE 1126-2
Deploying her well-produced and fresh tone with skill and imagination, Soile Isokoski defines eight lyric soprano heroines, each one quite different. Throughout, her control never limits expression. Tchaikovsky’s Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) is credibly youthful and emotionally alert, Bizet’s Micaëla (Carmen) a more mature and considered individual. Hers is a rich and complex study of Gounod’s Marguerite (Faust) in her extended double solo scene, which is technically impeccable. She presents a fully three-dimensional Mimì (La bohème), finds darker colours for Liù’s farewell in Turandot, and in another long extract from Otello she conveys Desdemona’s presentiment of death in her tone. It’s a remarkable achievement, underpinned with consistently excellent musicianship. All of this is familiar material, but Isokoski has thought it through both textually and musically. As a result, one listens with renewed attention, surprised by the wealth of possibilities she discovers. Her conductor, Mikko Franck, is also not one for a routine trot through everyday territory, and he and his players bring their own insights to bear, even if his discreet conducting could occasionally do with a hint more flow. The sound is warm and lucid.