William Berger - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Hommage a Trois - BBC Music Magazine
14 December 2013BBC Music Magazine
William Berger is a South African baritone currently living in the UK and enjoying an ever-growing international career. Here on his second solo disc, for Linn Records, he offers an extremely attractive selection of 18th-century operatic arias, and four duets also featuring the soprano Carolyn Sampson.
Six items from five Haydn operas - L'anima del filosofo
, Orlando Paladino
and La vera costanza
- dominate the programme, alongside Cimarosa's sparkling 20 minute operatic intermezzo Il maestro di cappella
. Berger's Mozart roles - Count Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Guglielmo, best of all Papageno - also get a useful showing.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's characterful accompaniments under Nicholas McGegan's expert baton prove advantageous at every turn.
Berger's agile lyrical high baritone is also impressive, with top notes almost tenorially easy. His quick intelligence and alert musicianship is most clearly on display in the gentle cantabile of Creon's ‘Il pensiero sta negli oggetti' from Haydn's L'anima del filosofo.
Related LinksScottish Chamber OrchestraWilliam BergerHommage a Trois