Personally I always dread recordings with the words 'romance', 'love songs' or any such variance. It always gives an impression of something obviously targeted at a specific market, with one eye firmly on the lowest possible denominator.
'Romantique' by Elina Garanca then is that special utter delight that doesn't get pulled down by it's title.
Engineering, recording, arrangements and playing are all at the top of their game here, but the star of the show is of course Garanca, and she is aural perfection. Without needless comparisons to singers in days gone by, it is not going too far to say that Elina Garanca is certainly a contender for one of the greatest contemporary mezzo-soprano's. For me personally her voice is absolutely perfect, in every way that counts. But what lifts her above other singers who share the same repertoire, is the sheer warmth in her voice, and it is this that comes through in every note.
Talking of the repertoire, here we are treated to some less well-known pieces, but no less beautiful. And for anyone who is still fairly new to this material, or these composers, here is an ideal introduction.
Outstandingly beautiful singing and interpretation of some familiar, some more unusual choices (not least a tenor aria). For my money one of the finest singers ever to have graced the opera scene. Poised, passionate and intelligent, it's an unusual combination.
Worth the wait after DG delayed the release date. Shame Amazon couldn't get a pre-order out on the release date.
Elina Garanca has built on her previous releases and this is a worthy addition by the World's leading mezzo soprano. Her voice transcends the repertoire with ease, her velvety smooth as silk tones bring the music to life,from the very popular and well known Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix to the less well known pieces such as the Lalo.
This album has been previewed to death with audio and video clips being promoted for months. Unlike some films where previews show all that is worth seeing,this album is much more than its previews. If you are a fan of Elina you will love this album. If however you would prefer to hear an album of more popular content you may want to try Habanera first and then come back to hear this album.
BTW well done DG for not spoiling this release with poor engineering.