Chanson d’avril a media hit, both at home and abroad.
In her recent review, Opera News critic Joanne Sydney Lessner positively gushed over star soprano Nicole Cabell’s 2014 album on Delos, Chanson d’avril (DE 3450). You just know you’re in for a rave review in a piece that begins with “At once womanly and ingenuous, Nicole Cabell’s luminescent lyric soprano finds its ideal channel in this exploration of French chansons.”
Our appreciative reviewer then went on to find something wonderful and highly perceptive to say about almost every selection – mostly in terms of Nicole’s ability to consistently find just the right vocal color, mood, and emotional feel to match each selection, music and lyrics alike. Having used adjectives like “seductive,” “voluptuous,” “liquid,” “luxuriant” and so forth, it’s hardly surprising that Ms. Lessner has discovered and expressed precisely the same virtues in Cabell’s singing that we at Delos perceived in our planning for this album. She also pauses long enough to call attention to pianist Craig Terry’s “sensitivity and style.” Just click here to learn more about this ravishing release’s effect upon a sensitive listener – as well as to enjoy a bit of superb music journalism!
Categories Delos Reviews
“These are absolutely thrilling renditions of this impossibly difficult repertoire by the finest exponent of it singing today.”
“We are in a golden age of tenors and Mr. Brownlee heads the list. … This cd captures a lot of his spectacular talent”
“A must CD for every opera lover especially those who love Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti.”
“If you love to spend a quiet time with dramatic nuances you must purchase this recital disc, This is stratospheric!”
“’Virtuoso Rossini’ is dazzling and will knock tenor buffs who live for those high notes back on their heels.”
“… impossible to be disappointed listening to a voice as magnificent as his”
“I love this CD! Brownlee has a tone that is warmer and richer than any other major tenor singing today”
Pizzicato Magazine has a new review for Ildar Abdrazakov’s Power Players recording. Below is an English translation of the review. Read the review in the original language at www.pizzicato.lu:
“Ildar Abdrazakov (38) is a Russian bass with a baritonal top end and a pleasingly rich, robust voice. His vocal production and focus, as well as breath control, intonation, and dynamics are extraordinary. With this impressive recital, he strengthens our already strong opinion that he is one of the finest basses of our time. By singing very different characters in this well-chosen program, he gets the chance to stylishly prove his creative versatility and security. He is at an age when he can actually adapt his voice to the essential colors of younger or older roles alike, such that he always sounds believable. Highly recommended for any opera fan!…” —Remy Franck, Pizzicato
See the full review at www.pizzicato.luCategories Delos Reviews
Categories Delos Reviews, featured
“This disc couples two great, nearly unknown piano trios from the second half of the twentieth century. … savour their music… Babadjanian was best-known for his chamber music…a mash-up of Rachmaninov’s dark emotional fixations, Khachaturian’s folksy language and an old-fashioned insistence on tying everything together with a motto theme. … Vasks’ lush orchestral sound is far away, but his love of contrast is here… You might think of Shostakovich or Weinberg. … If you’re a fan of either composer, or the repertoire sounds interesting, go for it. This is a very satisfying musical adventure.” —Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International
Categories Delos Reviews, featured, News
“Michael Samis’ debut solo album is as eclectic as anything we’ve seen in years. There’s a world-premiere of a major romantic concerto, another premiere of a romantic piece updated by a beloved conductor, and two works by important contemporary composers. We have Robert Schumann on one hand and a marimba duet on the other. … Carl Reinecke’s cello concerto is a pretty good one, unworthy of its obscurity. … You’ve heard things like it before but that won’t dampen your enjoyment, not when the music is this well-crafted, catchy and outstandingly played. … That’s especially because more than half of the album is even rarer and more eclectic. … How is such fantastic music so little-known? The Reinecke has never been recorded before; Samis discovered it himself. Ansermet’s arrangement of the Schumann piece is new to disc, too. … the “emerging” Gateway Chamber Orchestra from Tennessee, make for very good partners and the recorded sound is at the height of professional standards. Everything was recorded in one concert hall, so the solo pieces are surrounded by a little more reverb. Did I mention that Samis gives a truly heroic, attention-grabbing and, I hope, career-advancing performance in every single work? … So it’s an album built up from weird, unknown parts and worth much more than their sum. The twin threads of lament (Tavener, Bloch, Golijov) and romantic warmth (Reinecke, Schumann), plus the thrill of discovering over an hour of new stuff make this a major release.” —Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International
Categories Delos Reviews
“Ticheli’s writing, spare but never desiccated, is flecked with lovely instrumental colours. The playing is clean and characterful. … Most striking is the originality of Ticheli’s score, which avoids the usual watery clichés. Even those rippling harp figures don’t seem at all hackneyed. Climaxes – sparingly used – have tremendous body and bite, and like everything else in this well-crafted work they are appropriately scaled. The chorus’s gently rocking phrases at the close are a joy to hear. … Ticheli’s arrangement of the gift song Here Take This Lovely Flower…finds the John Alexander Singers in radiant concert; soprano Lorraine Joy Welling’s delivery has an artless purity that’s utterly right in this context. A sliver of sustained loveliness, well sung and recorded. … This is a very rewarding album that lovers of contemporary choral writing should hear. … it’s a measure of Ticheli’s considerable craft – and Alexander’s conducting skills – that…hold the ear from start to finish. As live recordings The Shore and There Will Be Rest have an added spontaneity, a subtle frisson, that makes them rather special; remarkably, Here Take This Lovely Flower is blessed with the very same qualities.…” —Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International
We at Delos are thrilled – though hardly surprised – to pass on excerpts from yet another rave review of composer Mark Abel’s recent album, Terrain of the Heart (DE 3438) – this one from the perceptive pen of Gregory Berg, in The Journal of Singing:
“Abel’s music has a richly blended texture and flavor all its own … the influence of contemporary music theater and rock music … mingling with more classical elements to create a truly distinctive voice. There is much to admire here, especially the clean, forthright way in which he sets these texts. … There is every reason to believe he will become an even more able art song composer.
The centerpiece of “Terrain of the Heart” is a cycle titled The Dark-Eyed Chameleon, which was inspired by what the liner notes describe as “a disintegrating love relationship … .” In the realm of art song and orchestral song, (such emotional pain) has inspired some of history’s greatest masterpieces, including Schubert’s Die schone Mullerin and Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. In such a crowded and intimidating field, Abel’s cycle actually manages to hold its own … . Both the words and music are by Abel, and by the time we reach the end of the last song, we have experienced something truly wrenching. … The Dark-Eyed Chameleon is a captivating and important work.
The other two works in this release are compelling in their own right … . Rainbow Songs also features Abel’s own lyrics … ; one has a sense of the composer turning the page and entering a healthier and more hopeful place, and we are glad to travel with him there. The music has an arresting beauty … . In Five Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, one must laud the composer … for trying to remain true to the stark and mysterious words of the poet and for succeeding to such an extent.
Abel is fortunate to have his songs performed by such enthusiastic musicians. Soprano Jamie Chamberlin’s sound is lovely, the sense of style ingratiating, and the delivery of text remarkably clear. Ariel Pisturino contends admirably with the relentless challenges posed by the Rilke songs. … Pianist Victoria Kirsch is superlative at every turn.” —Gregory Berg, The Journal of Singing
Full Review in The Journal of SingingCategories Delos Reviews
Remy Franck’s Pizzicato Magazine has a new rave review for Lawrence Brownlee’s Virtuoso Rossini Arias release! Read the translation below, or the visit www.pizzicato.lu to read in the original language:
Categories Delos Reviews, featured
“While American tenor Lawrence Brownlee may not have assembled the best-known Rossini tenor arias for this recital, it shows him to be a genuine interpreter of this repertoire – a recording in which he could have simply allowed comparison with other top singers with a few Rossini hits.
Brownlee’s singing is stylish and elegant; his highest notes are secure, sounding unforced, free and flexible. The long-held final note of ‘D’ogni più sacro impegno’ is just as impressive as the highest notes in the aria from ‘Il Turco in Italia’, bespeaking both effective breath control and stable vocal production. Vocal ornamentations are tasteful, and the mezza voce is remarkable. Everything is thus at hand for the delivery of these bravura arias in thrilling performances.
Categories Delos Reviews
“…diction is clear and the voice even and clear from top to bottom. Her ‘Sheherazade’ is also excellent, gentle and almost understated. … Cabell fans won’t be disappointed, and the program is a fine introduction to her artistry for anyone unfamiliar with her golden voice.” —Erin Heisel, American Record Guide