WORKS: Arias for Tenor Voice by Mozart, Gluck and Berlioz
PERFORMER: Andrew Kennedy (tenor); Southbank Sinfonia/Simon Over
CATALOGUE NO: SIGCD189
Since winning the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Rosenblatt Recital Prize in 2005, the promise shown by Andrew Kennedy has been confirmed by his rapidly developing international career.
His voice has grown in strength, well beyond the stereotypical ‘English tenor’ bleat. Without sacrificing the classical elegance that serve him as Mozart’s Belmonte and Emperor Tito, he has acquired a clarion ring at the top that equips him for Tamino, and bravura roles like Gluck’s Achilles. Indeed, he’s mastered the Gluck style convincingly, bringing out the expressiveness within the classical frame which so struck Wagner and others.
It helps that he sings French so naturally, making ‘J’ai perdu mon Eurydice’ as plaintive as ‘Che faro?’ and (almost) banishing thoughts of Offenbach. It also helps him with more lyrical roles by Berlioz. If there’s a problem here, apart from occasional forced tone, it’s only the sameness which besets all but supremely experienced singers in a programme like this. It might have been better varied with other repertoires he already sings – Britten roles, perhaps, and British and German Lieder. But with sensitive support by Over and the Sinfonia, it’s still refreshing to hear. Michael Scott Rohan