Melba Recordings

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Seduction

01/12/2001
Gramophone (UK)
Alan Blyth

An outstanding recital by an excellent young tenor singing superb Strauss

Here's a solo recital to warm the hearts of all lovers of attractive, well-contoured singing and engaging interpretation. Steve Davislim, a Zurich based Australian tenor, who has already pleased Covent Garden audiences with his Fenton and Zurich ones with his Tamino, is worth being spoken of in the same breath as his notable predecessors of similar voice - Peter Anders and Fritz Wunderlich - and praise can hardly be higher than that. Possessed of well-produced, sappy, lyrical tenor, he has the ideal instrument with which to sing Strauss.

Again and again, as one familiar piece followed another, I felt that there was little or nothing to criticize in these youthfully ardent, finely phrased performances. Like all the best Strauss tenors of the past he knows just when to sing full out, when to reduce his tone to a refined piano, also how to effectively employ rabato. Add to that German that sounds wholly idiomatic and you have the ingredients for a winner. Michael Kennedy supplies the well informed notes.

Reservations concern only the odd addition of two purely orchestral items from Capriccio and Der Rosenkavalier, when the space could have been used to let us hear Davislim interpret Flamand's Sonnet from the one work, the Italian Singer's aria from the other. Simone Young and her orchestra provide sensitive support to this outstanding talent. The recording is a shade too reverberant, but not worryingly so.