Power of Love

Michel Parouty
Diapason (France)
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Richard Bonynge waited a number of years to do this recording. An avid collector since his student days, he gathered a large umber of programs, piano reductions and other rarities written by English composers who were famous during the 19th century but now rarely heard. This CD offers a selection of arias by Arthur Seymour Sullivan, Michael William Balfe, William Vincent Wallace and the least known of the group, Michael Philip Faraday.Balfe was Irish, a composer and a singer who studied with Filippo Galli who was an authority on Rossini. He sang Figaro and Papageno but also wrote thirty operas (including Les Quatre Fils Aymon for the Paris Opera and L'Etoile de Seville for the Opera Comique). The Maid of Artois was written for Maria Malibran as was The Bohemian Girl...

Written by another Irish Wallace, Maritana was a success but Lurline, commissioned in Paris in 1848 was only staged in London during 1860. What have they got in common? Good craftsmanship combined with the knowledge of the voice and its possibilities, an elegance of musical line and an alternating display of tender, light hearted, nostalgic or moving arias. These composers wrote to please and honed their craft listening to the likes of Bellini and Donizetti. The elegant Romanticism of the period, as epitomised by Mendelssohn and Weber, also influenced these composers (Lurline is a nymph) and they also knew how to vary their orchestrations (some of these orchestrations have been revised for this recording.)

Deborah Riedel sings with great conviction in this repertoire, and she is well supported by both Bonynge and an orchestra that delivers a sparkling and loving sound. Riedel’s voice has a velvety quality… overall she manages to conquer this most seductive repertoire.