Alice Coote, one of the most distinctive mezzo-sopranos of today, makes her recital debut on Hyperion with pianist Graham Johnson, a stalwart of the label and tireless explorer of vocal repertoire. The Power of Love creates what Johnson describes as a pageant of English song and poetry. Its a journey through half a century of song, surveying not just human love but love of nature and even of money. Some of the most touching pieces here involve the loss of love through death, not least Ivor Gurneys Lights Out and Gustav Holsts Betelgeuse. Theres serenity, too, in mellifluous settings by Roger Quilter, while high spirits are supplied by Maude Valérie Whites The Spring has come and Warlocks sardonic Queen Anne, which includes the immortal lines I am Queen Anne, of whom tis said / Im chiefly famed for being dead.
From start to finish, the artistry of Alice Coote and Graham Johnson is of the highest order. --Gramophone,Feb'12
You won't hear many new albums this year with such power to haunt you long after they have finished...this album crystalises the very essence of music making:just a piano, a singer and you.It's time to get intimate with the power of love. DISC OF THE MONTH --Classic fm Magazine, Mar'12
Many Victorian ballads, once popular, quite often recorded on 78's no longer find room in a singer's repertoire today. The one that begins this recital by Alice Coote and Graham Johnson is still remembered by the older generation of song lovers, but how many who have reached 30 will know it? It is Molloy's Love's old sweet song with its chorus beginning just a song at twilight Sentimental? Oh yes, but even an unofficially qualified old cynic like me still enjoys it. --IRR,Feb'12
Alice Coote is one of the finest British Mezzo-Soprano since Janet Baker, an intellectual artist with an international career in recital, concert and opera. Here she selects classic English songs, but also, less expectedly , what's still thought of as Victorian parlour repertoire. Since her accompanist is the immensely knowledgeable and perceptive Graham Johnson, though, this proves both admirably suited to her distinctively creamy yet expressive voice, and occasionally revelatory. Performance ***** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine,Apr'12