Anne Sofie von Otter
Frederica von Stade
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Natalie Dessay - French Opera Arias
Yet again, the fascinating French soprano Natalie Dessay has come up with a winning recital. Canary fanciers can love her without guilt: her high notes are all in place (up to a solid E natural), her skill with fast coloratura is astonishing, her pitch is ideal, and her breath control is massive. But she's as interested in creating character as she is in pure singing. For once Ophelia's long Mad Scene from Thomas' Hamlet is a truly dramatic, heartbreaking event, for instance; similarly, Manon sounds young and sassy, as she should. Rarities by Boieldieu and Offenbach are a joy to hear; "Je suis Titania" and Juliette's Waltz Song are suitably virtuosic and show-offy--she's as good as any of the so-called "Golden Age" sopranos in this repertoire. Her tone remains full and pretty; only the very top notes have a bit of an edge, but this hardly detracts. In short, this is a remarkable recital--interesting pieces, gloriously sung.
Biography on EMI