Mozart, Adam, Bellini, Offenbach, Bishop, Benedict, Bernstein, J Strauss

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Adam,Bellini,Benedict,Bernstein,Bishop,J Strauss,Mozart,Offenbach
LABELS: Erato
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Sumi Jo Live at Carnegie Hall
WORKS: Works by Mozart, Adam, Bellini, Offenbach, Bishop, Benedict, Bernstein, J Strauss,
PERFORMER: Sumi Jo (soprano); Orchestra of St Luke’s/Richard Bonynge
CATALOGUE NO: 3984-21630-2
Recorded live at a Carnegie Hall concert in November 1996, here is an eclectic collection of arias and songs designed to reveal the Korean coloratura soprano’s versatility in a highly impressive array of styles. It opens with the beautiful Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio which Mozart wrote for inclusion in a rival’s opera at the behest of his sister-in-law, who sang the leading role. Sumi Jo despatches it with her customary blend of brilliance and charm, and goes on to deal equally effectively with the other 12 items on the disc.

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She excels not only in the fierce coloratura of such pieces as Adam’s ‘Ah, vous dirai-je, maman’, Elvira’s ‘Son vergin vezzosa’ from Bellini’s I puritani and the Doll Song from Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, but also in Elvira’s exquisite ‘Qui la voce’, to which she brings a pure legato and expressive warmth. Three songs by Korean composers are interesting, especially Yeon-Joon Kim’s ‘I shall live in the blue mountains’, and elegant orchestral accompaniments conducted by Richard Bonynge add to the pleasure to be derived from this thoroughly delightful disc. To sample it, try track 12, an exhilarating number from Victor Herbert’s Naughty Marietta with an enthusiastic contribution from the audience. Charles Osborne