Transfiguration

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: R Strauss,Wagner
LABELS: Ondine
WORKS: Soprano arias by Wagner & R Strauss
PERFORMER: Camilla Nylund (soprano); Tampere PO/Hannu Lintu
CATALOGUE NO: ODE 1168-2

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It wouldn’t be wise to listen straight through to this recital of women in advanced states of exaltation and/or delusion. Camilla Nylund is temperamentally suited to this kind of thing – Isolde’s so-called Liebestod is the disc’s big success – though not always vocally.
 
In the revolting final scene of Salome, as the heroine slobbers over John the Baptist’s severed head, Nylund sounds old enough to know what she is doing, which is wrong; and the interjection of Salome’s mother and step-father are essential, but omitted here. The one line sung by a second character in the Arabella excerpt is all too clearly sung by Nylund herself, yet she manages the conversational tone of that scene well, and her long address to the tree in Daphne is attractive too.
 
Nylund is also closely miked; I have no idea how her voice would come across in a theatre. Thanks to tactful and rather recessive orchestral accompaniment, she gives the impression of having a large voice, but she is lacking in colour and nimble inflection. Still, any opera lover will enjoy this. Michael Tanner