Barbara Bonney

Im Chambre séparée: The Operetta Album

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AllMusic Review by

These are attractive songs from Viennese operettas that were extremely well known in the years immediately following their premieres. Soprano Barbara Bonney sings them all in character and sings them all beautifully. The ones that will be most familiar to modern audiences are Schwips-Lied (Tipsy Song) from Johann Strauss II's Eine Nacht in Venedig, Vilja-Lied from Lehár's The Merry Widow, and Wein, du Stadt meiner Träume, which isn't from an operetta but is in the same style. The Schwips-Lied is most often heard in an instrumental version, so listeners may be surprised to hear the charmingly drunken, singing laughs in it. The piano accompaniment here does not do justice to most of these songs. In many places, the arrangements sound insipid: a single line of melody echoing the voice in the right hand, while the left hand has the usual "oom-pah-pah" chords. Although this allows Bonney's voice to be prominently featured, it wouldn't have hurt to have fuller, richer accompaniments for even more effective and affective performances. Nonetheless, these are charming songs, charmingly and skillfully performed.

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