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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 January 2014
My first reaction on listening to this disc was one of genuine appreciation for such a steady, secure, even voice, essentially beautiful and mellow in production and capable of tackling these wondrous songs in their original key even though it is a genuine mezzo-soprano with a light, vibrant but tonally dark centre. However, contrary to a previous reviewer, I did not find Graham's voice to be especially large or resonant in the challenging space of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and I wonder if that is why the balance here is slightly too tipped towards her rather than being equally balanced with the orchestra; hence some instrumental detail is slightly recessed or obscured.

I have previously admired John Nelson's Berlioz but here he seems slightly restrained to match the classical poise and understatement of his elegant singer; hence there is little especially striking in these performances beyond a generalised loveliness. No song is particularly differentiated from another and to be honest, I found my attention wandering when usually I am riveted by these most engaging of melodies.

The rest of the programme is of plums from Berlioz's operas and dramatic cantatas. Graham sings in impeccable French and seems wholly at home in the idiom. However, in the last analysis, I do not find that she has the capacity to capture the special magic I hear in versions by Janet Baker or Frederica Von Stade.
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on 10 April 2016
The Best recent performance of Les Nuits. Warm sensual and lush sounding. A Modern Classic.
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on 20 May 2009
No spring chicken but having singing lessons; I was asked if I would like to work on Berlioz Villanelle and bought this CD by listening to excerts and finding this most suitable to my voice.

It is stupendous, I have loved the entire collection/performance and was bowled over by the voice of susan Graham.
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