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Ken Meltzer
Fanfare, July 2016

…Jessica Pratt’s vocal arsenal includes ravishing trills, admirable security in coloratura passages, and brilliant high notes. And so, the bravura songs on this recital, such as Dell’Acqua’s Villanelle, Delibes’s Les Filles de Cadix, and Rossini’s Addio ai viennesi are particularly impressive. The rendition of Bellini’s La ricordanza, which features the same melody as “Qui la voce” from the opera I puritani, is the fine work of an artist who has essayed the great coloratura role of Elvira. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Joanne Sydney Lessner
Opera News, July 2016

Jessica Pratt turns her dark, ample coloratura soprano to the salon songs of the bel canto composers. Her sizeable instrument is agile, with a rich and full low register, but she is equally capable of floating exquisite pianissimo high notes. She flies unfazed through the saucy fioritura in Delibes’s “Les Filles de Cadix” and trills earthily in Donizetti’s “La zingara.” Her cadenza in the showpiece “Villanelle,” by the little known composer Eva Dell’Acqua, is arresting. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2016

Why Leo Weiner’s name has so quickly fallen into oblivion is particularly strange after those early compositions had been so enthusiastically greeted by the critics. One of his favourite scores was Csongor and Tund, a work he loved so much that he tried to cast it in as many guises as possible so as to ensure its continued life in the concert hall and in the theatre. The story is of the Prince and the Fairy who fall in love, but are attacked by every type of evil the world can muster. For Weiner, it started life with a commission to write incidental music for the play in 1913, and in that form it was first heard in 1916, though a scherzo had already been been played in the concert hall. From that score in 22 sections he constructed several orchestral suites, but having considering a six-movement version as being ideal, he then turned to the idea of creating a ballet in nine sections, which eventually became fourteen. It is that long forgotten 1959 version that we now have on disc for a world premiere recording. A gorgeous piece, though by the 1950’s Weiner’s style of composing had long passed into the history books. I would ask you to forget its time frame, and to listen to it for its beauty and colourful scoring. Valéria Csányi certainly seems to love the score, her persuasive performance and excellent playing of the Budapest orchestra doing everything they can for the music. Weiner seemed equally in love with the Ballade for clarinet and piano, later adding a version for viola and piano with a few changes, then orchestrating the piano part of the clarinet version, and soon after that he did the same for the viola work, but now with a different orchestration. We hear it in the viola and orchestra guise and with the seductive tonal quality of Mate Szucs, the principal viola of the Berlin Philharmonic. Excellent sound quality throughout. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

David Mellor
Classic FM, January 2016

The Australian coloratura soprano Jessica Pratt has an extremely well-schooled and secure technique, and this excellent, wide ranging recital, makes good listening throughout. It derives from one of the many concerts that have been put on down the years by the warm-hearted London lawyer and connoisseur of the voice, Ian Rosenblatt. For me, this album would be worth acquiring just for one favourite item—the Belgian composer Eva Dell’Acqua’s charming and stylish Villanelle… © 2016 Classic FM Read complete review

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