WORKS: Sole e amore: Arias
PERFORMER: Kiri Te Kanawa, Roger Vignoles (piano); Lyon Opera Orchestra/Kent Nagano
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-17071-2
This recording is a blissful milk-and-honey bath overflowing with the lush orchestration and mesmeric melodic lines of Puccini. Extraordinary care and craftsmanship have been lavished on the preparation and performances, making this one of the most vocally consistent and intensely musical discs Te Kanawa has ever made.
On 17 well-filled tracks, the recording contains two orchestral Intermezzi (from Manon Lescaut and Madama Butterfly), vibrantly executed by the Lyon Opera Orchestra under Kent Nagano, and three delightful songs with excellent piano accompaniment from Vignoles. Te Kanawa has always had a hint of melancholy emanating from her exquisite soprano sound and here she also uses all her technical and emotional resources to deliver powerful portrayals of Manon, Mimì, Butterfly and Liù.
However, Nagano, a truly gifted vocal conductor, must try to control his occasional humming and grunting. Elise McDougall