Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Justine Nguyen
Limelight, November 2018

American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is a rising star, that’s for sure. With a rich, opulent instrument that puts you in mind of the great Stephanie Blythe, she’s a thoughtful, dramatically attuned artist whose debut recording heralds great things.

A sensitive musician as well as a vivid communicator, Jamie Barton is one to look out for. © 2018 Limelight Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, April 2018

The long wait for Jamie Barton’s debut recital disc was worth every minute. Barton, double winner of 2013’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, is wonderfully idiomatic in Dvořák and Sibelius, and she and her pianist give a performance of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder that is up there with the greatest. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine

Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, November 2017

The great element which has enabled [Jamie Barton] rise to stardom is, of course, her voice—large, rich, fully controlled. She is one of the few singers who can delight an audience simply by the sheer beauty of her voice. Nowhere is this beauty more evident than here.

In the second section of the program Barton sings seven short Gypsy songs by Dvořák. She and her pianist Brian Zeger communicate exactly the proper mood of each song, whether boisterous and fun-loving or quiet and reflective. In these latter songs, Barton produces some exquisite soft singing, with amazingly steady sustained tones.

But it is the opening section of Mahler songs that makes this recording stand alone. There are 8 songs—the 5 Rückert lieder followed by 3 other Mahler gems. I do not have words to describe the beauty of these songs—the music itself, the poetry, Mahler’s incredible sense of how to create a mood—especially one of sadness, longing, and thoughtfulness—and Ms Barton’s glorious sound reinforcing the emotions surely felt by any sensitive listener. These are some of the most beautiful recordings I have ever heard. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Fred Cohn
Opera News, May 2017

The vocal line of Sibelius’s song “Flickan kom” reaches its culmination on an A-flat above the staff. …That A-flat on this disc brings out something very special in Jamie Barton’s voice. The note retains the lush texture of the mezzo-soprano’s middle register, but with the ascent on high now lending the sound an extra edge of urgency: it sounds like she’s unleashing a torrent of passion.

The extraordinary voice provides pleasure up and down its range—and throughout this recital. It’s a big sound, unforced in its amplitude, never shuddering under pressure. Even at loud dynamics (as in the climax of Mahler’s “Um Mitternacht”), Barton seems to have something in reserve. She has an exciting chest register, flintier than the rest of her voice, but marvelously solid. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review

Tim Pfaff
Bay Area Reporter, April 2017

…the mezzo [Jamie Barton] lays down serious creds with an opening group of Mahler songs, including the Rueckert Lieder. But as anyone who heard her recent Jezibaba in Dvorak’s Rusalka at the Met knows, she sings Czech like it’s her mother tongue, and her group of Dvorak songs is masterful. To hear for yourself the musical force of nature this woman is, there’s an astounding set of Sibelius songs. In my mind I’ll probably always hear “Svarta rosor” in Flagstad’s voice, but when Barton lets loose with it, memories of Flagstad flee. © 2017 Bay Area Reporter Read complete review

Barry Bassis
The Epoch Times, April 2017

Spellbinding from beginning to end and all performed with that luscious voice, this is an album lovers of art songs will treasure. © 2017 The Epoch Times Read complete review

Ali Kashani
Parterre Box, March 2017

Jamie Barton has one of the great voices in the world today, sumptuous, flexible, and capable of light and shade, her sizeable mezzo pours forth seamlessly. Her tremendous operatic potential has already found a firm footing.

Barton finds a splendid partner in pianist Brian Zeger who conspires with her to create an exquisite atmosphere for the monumental song. His playing enriches every selection in this album. His years of experience working with singers show in his naturally supportive and responsive collaboration. His pianism has clarity and warmth, delicacy and power.

He phrases with flexibility without losing the shape of a melody. He highlights individual voices but always keeps the big picture in mind. Zeger arguably does his best work in the Dvorák selections, capturing the playful buoyancy of the gypsy songs, leading Barton as well as supporting her.

Barton brings an intimate grandeur to the Sibelius songs, satisfyingly filling out the large vocals while retaining an immediacy in her delivery.

Though her voice and musicality would be enough to declare this album a thorough success, Barton’s attention to the text must not go unmentioned. Her German is very good and although I cannot speak to the quality of her Czech or Swedish, I can say that she is diligent with her enunciation.

All Who Wander is everything a song recital should be. Delivering both familiar and unfamiliar fare in beguiling interpretations, Barton and Zeger take the listener into the world of each song with deft musicality and emotional sincerity. © 2017 Parterre Box Read complete review

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2017

For her debut recital, the fast-rising American mezzo Jamie Barton has made an appealing selection of the tried and true and the unusual. …Barton possesses a beautiful voice, which in the opera house comes across with considerable power…

Barton’s voice is exciting to encounter, and there are enough successes outside the Mahler group to give a recommendation. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, February 2017

Jamie Barton is a wonderful lyric narrator in this challenging program. Vocally she convinces with a beautiful and luminous timbre, a good articulation and a rich palette of colors and nuances © 2017 Pizzicato

Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, February 2017

[Jamie Barton’s] voice is rich, generous and vibrant, big but beautifully controlled, impeccably smooth throughout its range. It’s the sort of instrument you could listen to all day, in any sort of repertoire. She’s an intelligent, sensitive musician too, and evidently a good programme-builder, here offering Dvorák and Sibelius to complement her Mahler.

This really is an exciting talent, and a terrific disc. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch |, January 2017

…Barton delivers rapturous tone and radiant expression. …I was especially curious about “Ich ging mit Lust,” a song I first heard when Jessye Norman sang it to me a cappella… Its wide-arching phrases evoke a forest resonant with birdsong: what magic to hear those phrases with live birdsong in the air! No one will erase that memory, but Barton complemented it (as did Zeger, with his silken touch). For encores we had more Mahler: “Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder,” abuzz with the sound of bees at work in the hive, and “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen,” the valedictory to end all valedictories, delivered with preternatural equanimity, as if for the first time and the last. © 2016 Matthew Gurewitsch |

Jason Victor Serinus
Stereophile, January 2017

Barton’s grand and rich voice is perhaps as big as Flagstad’s, Farrell, and Nilsson’s, with tone as beautiful and unforced as the first two singers’. Its compass extends from the bottom of the mezzo range to an easy, room-shaking high C. But as easily as Barton can envelop you with sound, she can also grab you by the gut, and propel you deep into the emotional heart of music’s great mysteries.

It is the emotional depth of Barton’s artistry that sets her apart from other singers blessed with exceptional voices. She may not have as wide an emotional range as Cecilia Bartoli, whose outsized personality expands far beyond the reach of her modestly-scaled instrument to encompass comedy and tragedy with equal flair. But when Barton tackles repertoire that suits her emotional strengths, …she has the power to render you breathless and at her mercy. © 2017 Stereophile Read complete review

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, January 2017

In this intensely melancholic writing, Barton communicates a real sense of yearning to moving effect which felt extremely spiritual. The text that aches with emotion Um Mitternacht (At midnight) is enchantingly sung, maintaining an intense expression that adds to the dream-like quality of the writing and concludes with a sense of resignation. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review, December 2016

To all the songs, Barton brings a rich and creamy voice with an especially strong lower register, plus a sense of deep commitment in songs such as Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. Brian Zeger provides solid piano accompaniment, particularly in the Rückert-Lieder. Mahler lovers will be very pleased with Barton’s handling of this material—but as so often occurs when a recording is focused mostly on a performer, Barton does not present an all-Mahler disc, instead veering off in a couple of other directions. Actually, the CD shows her voice to be beautifully suited to the music of Dvořák and Sibelius as well as to that of Mahler, so it accomplishes its purpose of highlighting her abilities and her sound. © 2016 Read complete review

James Manheim, December 2016

…sample Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, and you’ll hear justification for Joyce DiDonato’s blurb in the graphics about how Barton “reminds you of how capable the human voice is of creating something of absolute beauty.” Barton has not only a gorgeous sound, but attractive control in the long lines of the Mahler, and she shifts gears easily into the more folkish mood of Dvorák’s Gypsy Songs, Op. 55. © 2016 Read complete review

Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, October 2016

…the singing of Georgia-born mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton scatters rejuvenating sparks like the Santa Ana winds. …this insightfully-conceived, expertly-engineered, and lovingly-presented Delos release, Barton crushes any doubts about her role as one of today’s vocal superheroes. If the flame flickers, deprived of the life-giving oxygen of great singing, her voice is the flint needed to rekindle the musical conflagration. © 2016 Voix des Arts Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group