Naxos has released recitals devoted to the little-known songs by Romantic opera composers Bellini and Donizetti and continues its series with this album featuring Giacomo Meyerbeer, whose French grand operas were once central to the repertoire but have now for the most part faded into semi-obscurity. Meyerbeer was born in Berlin, achieved his first success with Rossinian operas in Italian, and established his legacy in Paris, so it is appropriate that the recital includes songs in Italian, French, and German. Soprano Sivan Rotem has the coloratura to easily handle these often operatically challenging songs, and she sings with thoughtful and effective attention to characterization, highlighting the emotional range of the music. Her vocal production can sound somewhat effortful, though, and her voice lacks the gleam that might make this repertoire really shine. The songs are consistently graceful, charming, and lyrical, but they lack the appealing vibrancy to draw us into their world. The image of dried roses on the album cover offers a commentary, probably inadvertent, on the effect of the songs: they may no longer be fresh, but they have some value as mementoes of the past. Pianist Jonathan Zak provides strong and sensitive accompaniment. Naxos' sound is immediate and clean.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Sei canzonette italiane|