LABELS: Sony Classical
ALBUM TITLE: Erwin Schrott Arias
PERFORMER: Erwin Schrott (bass-baritone), Rinat Shaham (mezzo-soprano), Sorin Coliban (baritone), Maria Grün (cello); Vienna State Opera Chorus; ORF Symphony Orchestra Vienna/Daniele Rustoni
CATALOGUE NO: 88691971162
Erwin Schrott is that rare phenomenon: the heart-throb bass-baritone. He looks sultry and sexy, as the cover of this disc proves, and he has a superb voice which he uses intelligently and sensitively; he is also a fine actor. This disc exploits his versatility, though it doesn’t include Mozart, whose music Schrott made his name singing.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to judge his voice fairly from this disc, since the acoustic is so peculiar. The orchestra is well conducted but remote, while Schrott seems to be singing in a bathroom. Once you adjust to the pronounced echo,
there is plenty of pleasure to be had here – from his singing and adventurous choice of repertoire alike.
His three, fairly rare Verdi arias made me want to revisit the operas from which they come, and he is tremendous as Mephistopheles in Arrigo Boito’s eponymous opera. His French is excellent, too, as the four very diverse pieces he sings demonstrate: his dying Don Quichotte is especially fine. Despite the acoustic, this CD is well worth listening to.