In this collection, Natalie Dessay delivers exactly the splendid coloratura ornamentation that the listener will hope for. Some have criticized her performance of the more lyrical pieces, like the Pamina and Konstanza arias, complaining that her voice is rather light and lacking somewhat in the lower ranges. I simply did not find that a problem. It may not be quite what you are used to but, if you are open to it, it's a joy to listen to. Her genius in the Lucio Silla aria, and in the Fawn's aria from Ascanio, which demand just her style of virtuosity, is unquestionable. You must listen to this CD, just for them. The orchestra, under the direction of Louis Langree, is superb throughout -- never intrusive or overwhelming, always supportive. A good collection, including some lesser-known arias, this is highly recommended.
on 30 May 2001
In an interview in "Le Monde de la Musique" magazine, refering to this recording Dessay explained among other things, how she recorded the extremely difficult "Lucio Silla" aria, in parts. Well, recording is an art in itself and I personally don't have many problems with that. Especially if the singer has the qualities of this excellent french coloratura soprano. The voice is even throughout the whole range, her high notes are a joy to listen to and her agility is out of this world. Not everyone can sing these particular arias with such panache and be expressive at the same time. She is less mannered than Gruberova and has a fuller voice than Auger. Her approach is complementary to both aforementioned and, to my mind, seems to be the most satisfying in this field today. Certainly worth listening to!