An English Silver Rose
Jamie Henderson | London , UK | 06/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This "highlights" recording, one of the most recent of the Chandos "Opera in English" series, is a superlative issue that must be heard by all lovers of Richard Strauss and fine singing. Indeed, the singing is truly exceptional; mention must be made immediately of the silken voiced Octavian of Diana Montague - from start to finish she maintains a scrupulous control of legato and beauty of tone (similar to, but in my view surpassing, Susan Graham). Rosemary Joshua's Sophie surpassess most other more famous singers of this taxing role; she is truly a match for the likes of Lucia Popp and Elisabeth Schumann. Listen to the ravishing floated pianissimos in the presentation of the silver rose scene, and the final trio and duet, and I am sure you will agree. Yvonne Kenny is a Marschallin sensitive to the nuances of both text and music; vocally she is not in the class of a Schwarzkopf, Janowitz or Fleming, but this is a moving portrayal. And Tomlinson, the great Wotan and Hans Sachs of our age, is an amusing, cavernous voiced, (slightly too) boorish Ochs. The success of this performance is also due to the excellent musical support given by the London Philharmonic and conductor David Parry. Those concerned by the fact that this recording is given in English translation need not be; the translation is singer friendly (though not all the words are audible), and the standard of performance is such as to almost make no difference. If only the work were given complete - but this is still a "must buy"!"