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Recorded live from concert performances at the Barbican in 2013, this is a strong release. There are two main glories to the performance: the first is Richard Farnes’s conducting of the LSO, which is taut and controlled but evolves at a natural pace. The orchestra responds with some exquisite playing and the fifteen Variations really help ratchet up the tension. The second is Sally Matthews’ Governess; this is a voice with infinite colours and the soprano knows how to maximise her gift. She conveys nervous excitement en route to meet the children in Bly, and then delineates the increasing sense of danger and menace until the final tragedy – and all with a shimmering soprano that never fails her. Andrew Kennedy is suitably spooky as Quint, and Katherine Broderick unleashes her considerable soprano as the wretched Miss Jessel. Catherine Wyn-Rogers is less fruity than many as Mrs Grose and it helps create a rounded character rather than caricature. Lucy Hall’s lovely voice is perhaps too mature for Flora and Michael Clayton-Jolly is a secure and affecting Miles.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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