Elizabeth Watts was born to sing Bach; no doubt about it!
From what we have seen of her luminous career so-far she
was born to sing full-stop. In a fairly long life of listening
I would go as far as to say that Ms Watts has one of the finest
voices to have emerged in England during the past thirty years.
The purity of tone; the beautiful line; the bloom at the top
and the secure middle and lower registers are just a small
part of what makes her so special. Over and above these givens
Ms Watts gets to the heart of the matter in her restrained but
gloriously knowing interpretations of these seventeen pieces.
The English Concert directed by Harry Bicket serves her well.
These are performances of insightful and elegant finesse.
Listen to the Aria and Recitative from the BVW199 Cantata
'Mein Herze Schwimmt Im Blut' for a simply radiant example
of Ms Watts craft. Elegant and refined, her seamless rendition
(with some extraordinarily long breaths!) is an exquisite and
deeply moving interpretation of this sublime composition.
For sheer exultant joy look no further than her take on the first
Aria from the Cantata 'Jauchzet Gott In Allen Landen', BVW 51!
Her consummate grasp of the mercurial runs is really thrilling.
(Mark Bennett's high-flying trumpet part is an absolute hoot too!)
The 'Alleluja' from the same work is another dazzling highlight!
Ms Watts hits every note bang in the middle with fearless aplomb and
Mr Bennett, again, matches her peerless performance step for step.
In every way a truly memorable and uplifting recording.
on 10 June 2011
Oh dear..there seems to be something very wrong with this disk when played as a SACD - I can't comment on it as a CD. It is to be quite frank, unlistenable. Whilst the music has the clarity usually associated with SACD recordings, Elizabeth Watts voice was clearly recorded separately, apparently on a cassette recorder in a cellar, and mixed in. This gives the recording a rather odd disjointed quality which, for me, just spoils it completely. If you have a SACD system - think twice about purchasing this recording. What a shame...