Emma Bell - Handel - The Independent

Scholl's following is founded on his consistently mellifluous singing, whereas what most impresses about the soprano Emma Bell (Linn Records CKD 252 ) is the way she can alter her style and tone-production - in fact her whole musical personality - between items. Bell's latest disc is devoted entirely to Handel arias and opens with a furious onslaught from Amadigi, where Bell becomes Melissa, summoning the powers of hell, her voice bright, feisty, defiant. But come Rodelinda's lament Ombre piante and rapture takes over, the beauty softened, the steel turned to sensuous velvet. There are beautiful instrumental solos, too, from members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Richard Egarr.

The Independent