Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman's solo recital, Night and Dreams, includes an exceptionally attractive selection of songs with nocturnal themes, most of them serenely radiant in tone. She writes in the program notes, "We wanted beautiful music… something that was languid, sexy, romantic, different," and the repertoire she has chosen is fully successful in meeting those standards. It's an appealing mix of familiar songs -- Debussy's "Beau soir," Duparc's "Chanson triste," Montsalvatge's "Cancíon de cuna para dormir a un negrito," Hahn's "L'Heure exquise," Duparc's "Phidylé," and Mozart's "Abendempfindung an Laura," -- as well as some lesser-known jewels like Poulenc's "C'est ainsi que tu es," and Brazilian composer Francis Hime's "Anoiteceu." After the sassy exuberance of Surprise, her previous album for Deutsche Grammophon, a collection of German, French, and American cabaret songs, Night and Dreams demonstrates Brueggergosman's versatility in her sure command of this more refined and reflective repertoire. The warm expansiveness of her dusky voice beautifully captures the languor and sensuality that characterize many of these songs. As fine as she is in the traditional classical pieces, her voice really blossoms in the sultry Spanish and Latin repertoire, where the music invites her to bring an improvisatory spontaneity to her interpretation. The program is put together with unusual care; the juxtaposition of the songs is often striking and creates an inexorable and satisfying sense of flow. Pianist Justus Zeyen is a responsive and virtuosic partner. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is clear, well balanced, and warmly present. A lovely album.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
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