Emma Bell - Songs by Richard Strauss, Bruno Walter and Joseph Marx - Opera Now

Linn's sound in this Lieder recital is magnificent. I listened to both the SACD and standard CD layer on this hybrid disc and was stunned by the tangibility and realism achieved. SACD was marginally preferable, as it should be, but the difference on my system wasn't of an order to make me advise readers wondering about the new formats to abandon the traditional CD format - it still sounds impressive. Emma Bell weaves a ravishing web of carefully controlled and modulated sound around a nicely mixed collection of familiar and unfamiliar songs. It's a handsome touch to begin and end with little known items by the conductor Bruno Walter, which are all worth hearing. Among the Strauss items the Mädchenblumen Op22 come off especially well.

01 January 2005