On his second release for Sony Classical, Erwin Schrott transfers many of his stage triumphs to an album of arias. For the most part Schrott has devoted this new CD to classics from the French and Italian bass-baritone repertoire, complementing them with compositions by Verdi and Massenet that are not often heard.
The singer also gives due place to his love of music by Spanish and Latin American composers: namely the Spanish composer Pablo Sorozabal, and the Brazilian composer Carlos Gomes.
“he has a superb voice which he uses intelligently and sensitively...Once you adjust to the pronounced echo, there is plenty of pleasure to be had here - from his singing and adventurous choice of repertoire alike...his dying Don Quichotte is especially fine.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2012 ****
“The best of his voice - a dark vocal plushness in his mid-range - emerges in the Toreador Song's verse portion, though beyond that he pushes for low notes that aren't really there...Declamatory passages go well for Schrott, especially when the language is Italian - one reason why some of the early Verdi arias are among the more convincing moments on the disc.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
“on disc, his pleasing lyric bass is a good fit for the characters he plays...this is far from the random bran-tub selection one now almost invariably encounters on recorded solo opera programmes of this type...[Don Quichotte's] valedictory music inspires some of Schrott's most sensitive singing...one of the most plausible champions of this repertoire in today's opera firmament.” International Record Review, September 2012
“Schrott finds perhaps his most rewarding role as Mefistofele in Boito's version of the Faust myth, reaching a feverish pitch of disgust as he derides mankind in "Ave Signor" and "Ecco il Mondo".” The Independent, 23rd June 2012 ***
“It's a bit of a mixed bag but, unlike some of his previous recordings, the best of it does capture the mixture of raunchiness and dramatic power he can generate in the theatre...[Pluses] include an electrifying Scintille Diamant from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann; excerpts from Verdi's I Lombardi and Attila, in which his sense of line is magnificent; Mefistofele's principal monologues, savagely ironic...Flawed but highly recommended.” The Times, 12th July 2012 ****
“The wide range and changing tones are distinctive in this selection from Verdi, Boito, Gounod, Massenet, Bizet and beyond. One minute Schrott’s exploring the ocean depths of his register; the next he’s bobbing on the surface, bright as any tenor.” The Times, 22nd June 2012 ***