Soprano Miah Persson is a warmly engaging singer and Roger Vignoles is the model of an intelligent, supportive accompanist, but the sterile and unforgiving acoustics of the sound of the Wigmore Hall release doesn't do the performers any favors. (The album is also recorded at a somewhat low level, so the volume may need a boost.) Early in the recital Persson doesn't sound entirely loosened up. In the songs early in the opening set of Schubert lieder she doesn't quite convey the effortless agility and shimmer that characterize the later Schubert, Grieg, and Sibelius songs (and that are typical of her singing in general). The sensitivity of her feeling and her intuitive grasp of the music and texts are immediately evident, and as the recital progresses, the ease and freedom of her vocal production blossom and catch up with the strength of her interpretive skill. She sounds entirely at ease in Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, with clarinetist Richard Hosford, which she sings with beautifully modulated colors, a gleaming tone, and great passion; it's one of the highlights of the album. The Sibelius songs, in her native Finnish, soar radiantly and naturally. Vignoles' performances are supple and responsive, but unusually circumspect, almost to the point of being self-effacing. Persson is a theatrically astute singer, best known for her performances in opera, and this release demonstrates her substantial gifts in the smaller dramas of art songs.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Six Songs, Op. 48|