A song recital
by Malena Ernman -
'... lively and charmingly refreshing ...'
Malena Ernman is a talented young Swedish mezzo-soprano whose recent appearances have included Nerone in David McVicar's production of Handel's Agrippina at the Theatre du Champs Elysee, Dona Elvira at the Monnaie and Lichas in Handel's Hercules under William Christie at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. She has a beautiful, rich mezzo-soprano voice with a lovely sense of line and a good feeling for words. Characteristics which are shown off to good effect in this recital disc, encompassing songs in German, English, Norwegian, Swedish, French and Italian (I think; the booklet is frustratingly vague about the original languages of the songs).
There are sixteen songs on the disc, four groups of four, each group corresponding to a particular season, starting with spring. Each group ends with a song which was especially composed for Ernman and two of the songs use new texts.
Ernman casts her net quite widely in the songs; she displays a lively intelligence projecting this highly imaginative programme. Perhaps not every item works perfectly, but I wish that more artists took such risks when assembling discs.
Copyright © 6 January 2005
Robert Hugill, London UK