Emma Bell - Songs by Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter and Joseph Marx - MusicalPointers.co.uk
06 December 2004MusicalPointers.co.uk
Emma Bell's selection demonstrates that Marx does not deserve the near oblivion which has been his fate. The Strauss selection too, whilst including Traum Durch Die Dammerung and Schlechtes Wetter, has many which will be less familiar.
A wholly commendable new disc of intriguing repertoire, well grouped between the three composers, which has this young British soprano in mellifluous voice, powerful when required. She has a creamy tone, comfortable throughout her wide range, and impeccable diction. She embraces the stillness of Strauss's Freundliche Vision and the fun of his Muttertandelei (Mother-chatter). Andrew West's playing is alert and responsive and perfectly balanced in Tim Oldham's recording. Full texts and parallel translations, printed clearly for easy reading.
A particular pleasure for me has been to see that many of the translations (not to be found in the standard books) are by Emily Ezust, whose indispensable website, one of the glories of the free-access internet, has been cited frequently in my reviews. One of the best vocal records of the year.
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