International Arts commentator Norman Lebrecht is waxing lyrically over the latest release involving the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The album ‘FOREVER’ out on the Erato label displays the lighter side of Diana Damrau, accompanied by The RLPO, conducted by David Charles Abell, and produced by Andrew Cornall. It is rated as Norman’s album of the week on Sinfini and recommended on internationally renowned arts blog ‘Slipped Disk.’ Read what Mr. Lebrecht has to say on Sinfini, then follow the links to read & see how the album was made. It has been a release I have been looking forward to with a certain amount of excitement, to say the very least. Being personally involved in the recording of the album was a real pleasure. Not only is Ms. Damrau one of the finest voices in the world, but she is a wonderful person to work with too…
Bavarian soprano Diana Damrau’s new song album ‘Forever’ is like a breath of fresh spring air, says Norman Lebrecht.
The voice soars free and the singer stamps her own emotions on the song
The Bavarian soprano usually covers mainstream opera from Mozart to Strauss with a dash of big Italian roles. Here, she dips into operetta, but with a personal twist. Aside from a handful of Johann Strauss, Lehár and Kalman, she sings mid-20th century Broadway rep, some in English, some in German. To my ears, My Fair Lady is much improved auf Deutsch (and with a burglar-scaring squeak), though Sweeney Todd stumbles a bit and Ms D does Andrew Lloyd Webber a favour by choosing Queen’s English for an aria from Phantom of the Opera, perhaps the most musical rendition it has ever received. David Charles Abell conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in top-notch sound and the only regret is the superfluous, expensive inclusion of a brittle-voiced Rolando Villazón in the Merry Widow duet.
The album’s best is saved for first, and last – a pair of Vocalises by film writers Wojciech Kilar and Frédéric Chaslin, wordless songs where the voice soars free and the singer stamps her own emotions on the song. Irresistible.
Artists: Diana Damrau (soprano), Roayl Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/David Charles Abell
Norman Lebrecht is a prolific commentator on music and cultural affairs and an award-winning novelist. See his blog Slipped Disc.“
(Listen out for the cheeky little trumpet solo in ‘Feed The Birds!’)
btw, it is great to see the re- emergence of that fine old label ERATO. As a young trumpeter, I would visit Discurio, in London’e Shepherd Market, at least twice a week to see if any new Maurice Andre recordings had become available. He recorded exclusively for the ERATO label in those days and the quality of both the playing and recording work was first class!