Melba Recordings

"... a label of fragrant distinction"

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Pure Diva

Audiophile Audition (US)
Steven Ritter

This is an interesting concept album dedicated to Australian soprano Joan Hammond (1912-96), a woman with a lively and lovely voice that might not have been the most beautiful ever heard but was certainly one of the most affecting. The dedicator is her student Cheryl Barker, at 51 hardly a student anymore, and in fact one of the mainstays on the world operatic stage today. The program reflects many of Hammond’s signature roles, and is an eclectic selection reflecting the soprano’s many interests, like “O, Silver Moon” from Dvořák’s Rusalka all the way to “Home Sweet Home.”...

... I was pleasantly surprised when hearing that masterpiece of the floating pianissimo, Korngold’s “Marietta’s lied” from Die Tote Stadt, where Barker negotiated the long lines with assurance and depth to her voice...

The program is a popular and tuneful one recorded as only Melba can in state of the art surround sound.