Per Amore

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bizet,Gounod,Massenet,Mozart,Puccini,Smetana,Tchaikovsky & Weber
LABELS: Hanssler
WORKS: Soprano arias by Bizet, Gounod, Massenet, Mozart, Puccini, Smetana, Tchaikovsky & Weber
PERFORMER: Juliane Banse (soprano); Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Christoph Poppen


Despite her fresh lyric soprano and her youthful aspect, Juliane Banse is a singer with a 20-year career and a substantial discography. It’s weighted, however, towards Lieder and choral works, her opera roles rarer and often obscure. With this recital, though, she seems to be staking a claim to the core repertoire; convincingly so, demonstrating versatility, dramatic intelligence and an appealing lightness of touch.

She takes ‘Come scoglio’ with admirable attack, striking a nice balance between serious feeling and opera seria parody, and clarity of diction, also apparent in the Countess’s aria. Her Agathe is even better, vulnerable and heartfelt, somewhat light but often almost as fine-toned as Gundula Janowitz. Tatiana (Eugene Onegin) sounds passionately credible despite one slightly strained yelp, and in decent Russian. Her Bartered Bride aria is no less attractive in German, and she delivers Italian and French naturally enough, although her tone isn’t really rich enough for Mimì, or indeed Massenet’s Manon. She delivers the Jewel aria with unforced poise, though, rounding off an unusually attractive recital. Michael Scott Rohan