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Great Operatic Arias 20 - Christine Brewer Volume 2
We were delighted when the internationally renowned soprano Christine Brewer agreed to record some of her favourite repertoire pieces on her first recital disc for Chandos in 2005. No surprise that it was a huge success – so we were even more delighted when she returned to record this second volume – repertoire which you would never hear in a single concert or operatic performance, but here capturing Brewer’s glorious range, wonderfully supported by Judith Howarth, Timothy Robinson and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Parry.
Christine Brewer’s earlier recital (CHAN3127) introduced into this series the dramatic soprano voice and included in its programme, as does its successor, arias from Gluck’s Alceste and Wagner’s Tannhäuser. In a previous age both operas were sung by Kirsten Flagstad, by general consent the greatest heroic-dramatic soprano of all. Christine Brewer now adds one of the most formidable challenges in the repertoire, Leonore’s solo in Act I of Beethoven’s Fidelio. Otherwise, the two significant extensions are in time, backward to Handel and forward to Britten and Menotti.
“This is a spectacular demonstration not only of Christine Brewer's vocal strength with every note firm from top to bottom, but of her extraordinary versatility in this wide range of repertory. She starts with a flawless account of the Countess's "Porgi amor" from Figaro with a wonderful range of tone colour. The Wagner items include both Elisabeth's Prayer from Tannhäuser and Elsa's Dream from Lohengrin, again both flawless, making one want to hear Brewer in a complete Wagner opera. ...when it comes to the aria from Korngold's Die tote Stadt and Magda's big aria from Menotti's The Consul one marvels at the power and tonal range of the voice.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009
“[The Beethoven] is the finest piece of singing on this disc by a country mile. Brewer’s diction is superb, whilst the voice cuts through the orchestra with laser-like precision. Furious and unyielding, it is a performance to treasure.” Opera Britannia, 30th July 2009
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