Anne Sofie von Otter / Bengt Forsberg

Chaminade: Mots d'Amour

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With her great voice, great intelligence, and great interpretations, Anne-Sofie von Otter is one of the marvels of the age. Her voice is strong, supple, and beautiful. Her intelligence infuses her performances, lending them both wit and profundity. Her repertoire ranges from the most exalted and elevated Handel to the most down-and-dirty Weill, and she brings equal conviction to each. At the height of her career, it must seem that von Otter can sing anything. However, while she can sing anything, that doesn't mean she should sing anything. Her Offenbach disc was beautifully sung, tremendously witty, and brilliantly interpreted, but, frankly none of it matters because the material was so trite and tawdry that von Otter sounded like she was slumming. And this disc of chansons by Chaminade is just as beautiful, witty, brilliant, and maybe even more silly and shallow. Chaminade is a fine composer of light chansons, sweet little ditties of dubious delight, but with all the best will in the world, a whole disc of her songs is at best tedious and at worst numbing. Although von Otter sings with her customary beauty, intelligence, and insight, she is lavishing her gifts on material that is simply far beneath her. This is for lovers French song and lovers of von Otter only.

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