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.