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Ralph P Locke
American Record Guide, November 2017

The performance is first-rate. The three singers are all either Czech or Slovak, which surely helps. Best is the most widely known of the three: tenor Pavlo Breslik. The soprano and bass-baritone both have a slow vibrato that is somewhat distracting, though it is narrow enough not to become a wobble. The baritone sounds happiest when singing light and high.

The chorus sounds very fine to my Czech-ignorant ears, and the whole is delightfully buoyed up by alert playing and conducting, in sound as fine and naturally balanced as one would expect from a performance—in front of a very quiet audience—in Vienna. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Fred Cohn
Opera News, October 2017

Dvořák divided solo duties between a soprano, voicing the bride; a tenor, as her infernal lover; and a bass, who along with the chorus serves as narrator. Here, much to the benefit of the performance, all three roles fall to native Czechoslovakians. Simona Šaturová’s use of language is the chief distinction of her work: you hear in her inflections both the girl’s naïveté and her capacity for love.

Pavol Breslik’s vocal equipment shades similarly light, and one can easily imagine a more heroic tenor in the role. But the very ingenuousness of his sound makes him a convincing seducer. He shows us how, despite the infernal circumstances, the maiden can hear her sweet lover in the specter’s blandishments. The voice itself betrays some moments of unsteadiness toward the beginning, but it gathers focus throughout the proceedings—a result, no doubt, of the live performance—becoming marvelously fresh and free for the work’s climax.

Adam Plachetka uses his lyric but dark-tinged bass-baritone to assert himself at the center of the performance: the narrator becomes the all-seeing presence who draws us into the cantata’s fantastic realm. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review

James H. North
Fanfare, September 2017

The music is stunning. …Simona Šaturová has a lovely, light soprano; …The powerful Wiener Singakademie chorus dominates, pointing the piece towards oratorio rather than opera.

Mirabile dictu! © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, June 2017

Two of the soloists are Slovakian; the bass-baritone Adam Plachetka is Czech. The score is full of vivid colour and recurrent motifs, the highlight of which is the frightening nocturnal journey to impending doom, a riveting affair well conveyed in this well-paced and idiomatic-sounding recording. Meister respects the importance of the wind writing in this score, balancing it well against the strings. Simona Šaturová is good, her early reminiscence of her lover being warmly and longingly textured even if she is very slightly shrill at the top of her range. Her prayer scene is particularly well done.

Adam Plachetka’s youthful, pliant bass is attractive… © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Paul E. Robinson
Musical Toronto, June 2017

Each of the soloists is excellent with Plachetka as the narrator being exceptionally strong. Cornelius Meister leads a fully committed performance with his fine chorus and orchestra. © 2017 Musical Toronto Read complete review

Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, June 2017

Simona Šaturová is pure and innocent as the girl but thrills when she throttles up. Pavol Breslik is smooth and eager as her ghostly spouse, Adam Plachetka sage-like as the narrator. A nice little discovery… © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, May 2017

It was high time for a new recording of Dvořák’s cantata The Spectre’s Bride. Fortunately, the performance is very good, with Cornelius Meister giving the music a lot of passion and drama without neglecting the more lyrical side. Soloists, choir and orchestra respond persuasively to Meister’s conducting. © 2017 Pizzicato

Records International, May 2017

Still one of the composer’s least recorded works, this cantata was an English commission premiere with huge forces in 1885 in Birmingham. The texts are from a poem by Erben, who supplied the inspiration for Dvořák’s most famous tone-poems, about a maiden who wishes for her missing lover and gets him back but without immediately realizing that he is dead as he hurries her off into the night. A diverting 80-odd minutes even if not of the most bone-chilling type. Czech-English texts. © 2017 Records International

Andrew Clements
The Guardian, March 2017

…there are shapely solo contributions from the ORF orchestra, and certainly some very fine expressive singing from soprano Simona Šaturová as the girl and tenor Pavol Breslik as the spectre. © 2017 The Guardian Read complete review

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