Obsessions is Deborah Voigt's long-overdue solo recording debut. Blazing her way through excerpts from the dramatic roles of Wagner and Strauss, she shows why she has dominated that repertory on the world's biggest stages since the early '90s. It's exciting to hear a voice with such carrying power, but also a youthful beauty that many singers of lighter music would envy. Her singing is never forced, never harsh, and always lyrical. Best of all, she invests these vocally imposing excerpts with genuine drama, turning them into vivid character portraits.
For the most part, Obsessions is drawn from the operas that Voigt sings regularly on-stage, but it also includes arias from roles Voigt has yet to tackle, like Elisabeth's "Dich, teure Halle" from Tannhäuser, and Salome's "Es ist kein Laut zu vernehmen." In every case, she pretty much hits the nail on the head. It would be hard to find a better modern recording of this repertory. Richard Armstrong and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra are magnificent -- sometimes electric, sometimes expansive, and always in perfect balance with Voigt. The sound and production are as good as they get.