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William R. Braun
Opera News, April 2016

Conductor Sebastian Weigle and his Frankfurt forces conjure an orchestral carpet of considerable color. …Weigle’s interpretation has something obligatory about it, and it doesn’t sink down on the scene like a benediction.

The longest and most difficult role, that of the Nurse, is sung with notable success by Tanja Ariane Baumgartner. …she clearly sounds the pitches, even the grace notes. She sings with much more listenable tone than other exponents in the obsequious Act II opening. The fast-rising soprano Tamara Wilson is the Empress, and she is mightily impressive. The top of her voice is bright and clear, and there are really beautiful passages, but she also has enough power for her Act III monologue. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review



Ralph V Lucano
American Record Guide, March 2016

Conductor Weigle steers his forces confidently through the complexities of the music, never neglecting its lyricism. …the Frankfurt Opera orchestra can produce thrilling volume—just listen to the tremendous explosion of sound before the Empress’s melodrama in Act 3. The lines in the final ensemble are kept remarkably clear, and the little splashes of color that abound in the score are always given their due.

The outstanding singers are Baumgartner’s Nurse and Stensvold’s Barak. Her smooth, absolutely steady mezzo easily rides the ups and downs of her lengthy part, and she makes the difficult writing sound natural and conversational. Stensvold has the warmth of voice and personality Barak needs. When the Dyer sings, the music always calms down. The chatter and din disappear and the spotlight falls on the baritone, who must be ready for it. When Stensvold sings, our ears perk up and we listen raptly. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, December 2015

Tamara Wilson is in ringingly clear, gleaming voice as the Empress, on top of all the notes right from the tricky bird-like twiddles in her first appearance to the fearsome top D flat in her big Act 2 scene, unleashed with thrilling power and accuracy. Above all, she movingly communicates the necessary sense of burgeoning humanity as the character develops throughout the opera. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




David Nice
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

Outstanding, hair-raising in fact, is what Strauss and Hofmannsthal regarded as the crux of the opera, …Lyric-dramatic soprano Tamara Wilson burns here, and it’s a great operatic journey from the best-played of all violin solos to horror and resolution. It’s also the first time I’ve shed any tears in the denouement. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine





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