Anna Prohaska - Paradise Lost - The Classic Review

The Classic Review’s Year In Review – Our Top 10 Classical Albums for 2020

Anna Prohaska creates entire worlds when she sings. This album, which tracks the story of Eve in a loose, allegorical way, is particularly well suited to show off that skill. Prohaska begins with songs of Paradise and intense love (think Ravel and Wolf), ends up at a troubled, mundane, and earthly existence (think Mahler and Eisler), and at every step along the way the portrait of Eve is no less than cinematic. She imbues her texts with honest emotion, subtly manipulating consonants, rhythm, vibrato, and pitch all at once. The program is a masterwork, and full of clever moments – for example, in the climactic scene, our expectations are subverted, and instead of fear or dread as Eve bites down, we hear a nursery rhyme about a young girl losing a tooth in an apple. Pianist Julius Drake provides impeccable accompaniment that makes it sound like the pair has worked together for years. This album made me cry, laugh, dream, yearn, and think hard about what life demands from us. It’s far and away the best vocal music I’ve heard in a long time. ©

The Classic Review
01 May 2021