Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Stravinsky, etc

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: etc,Handel,Mozart,Puccini,Stravinsky
LABELS: Chandos Opera in English
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Great Operatic Arias
WORKS: Arias, duets & songs
PERFORMER: Yvonne Kenny, Della Jones, Barry Banks; Philharmonia Orchestra/David Parry
Though this disc is called ‘Great Operatic Arias’, it also includes three duets and some lighter numbers from operetta and even musical comedy. A mixed bag, then, but a delightful one, for the Australian soprano is in fine voice throughout, with the clearest English diction since her fellow-antipodean Joan Hammond, a smooth legato and ringing top notes. She is touching in Puccini’s ‘O my beloved father’ (an aria first made familiar to us by Hammond), ideally tender in Mozart’s ‘Gentle Zephyrs’ and the Pearl Fishers aria, and completely convincing in ‘I attempt from love’s sickness to fly’ and the other Purcell and Handel arias whose original language is English. Anne’s Lullaby from The Rake’s Progress is beautifully delivered. Barry Banks proves a reliable partner in the love duets from Linda di Chamounix and The Pearl Fishers, and Della Jones’s warm mezzo blends well with Kenny in the Semiramide duet. The familiar items by Sullivan, Zeller and Cole Porter are sheer delight. Helpful accompaniment from the Philharmonia under David Parry, and satisfactory recording. Charles Osborne