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Sarah Connolly live


Haydn Arianna a Naxos

Brahms Standchen; Da unten in Tale; Nachtanwandler; Feldeinsamkeit; Alte Liebe; Die Mainacht; Von ewige Liebe

Hahn A Chloris; L'Enamouree; Trois jours de vendange; L'Heure exquise; Quand je fus pris au pavillon

Korngold Gluckwunsch; Alt-Spanisch; Sterbelied; Gefasster abschied

Weill Lost in the stars; Speak low

Ireland Her song

Britten Tit for Tat

Sarah Connolly (mezzo soprano) & Eugene Asti (piano) at St John's, Smith Square, London

Signum Classics : SIGCD072 [75 mins Recorded October 2005]

Sarah Connolly recorded this recital live at St John's Smith Square in her belief that what a singer does in front of an audience is what counts, and in this case it counts for quite a lot. Her voice has positively blossomed recently, with a silky smoothness overlying crisp diction.

It's a wide ranging programme covering music dating from 1789 to 1968 and must surely contain something to suit everyone's taste and perhaps widen some horizons. With Eugene Asti, Haydn's Arianna two recitatives and two arias reflecting the emotional passage of Ariadne as she awakes to find herself alone and abandoned - becomes a miniature drama, invested with more sorrow than rage

The mood continues through the Brahms and Hahn songs, each presented with charm and distinction, but collectively a little heavy on grief. I welcomed the change of tempo with Trois jours de vendange and Quand je fus pris au pavillon.

Songs by Korngold and Weill give Connolly a chance to show off the full richness of her tone, and there is a luxurious feel to the way she stretches her voice to match the wistfulness in the poetry. She seems to have a real affinity for Weill; his two songs are most beautifully done leaving me wishing for more. They added two encores to their published programme, which make an equally appreciated bonus on the CD.

Eugene Asti provided superb support throughout, playing with elegance and assurance.

© Serena Fenwick