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Another Rosenblatt Recitals release is Jessica Pratt’s Serenade, a collection of French and Italian songs. Beautifully recorded, as is Feola’s disc, this shows all the soprano’s voice with clarity, warts and all. Pratt is a cult star in Italy, where she tackles some of the most florid roles that bel canto composers ever flung at their prima donnas, and which can raise an audience to fever pitch. However, with a song recital she doesn’t have the visual advantages of staging or live atmosphere, and all attention is focussed purely on the voice. Curiously for a high coloratura she has a rich lower range, quite juicy, and can certainly summon some heftwhen she chooses. But as the voice ascends it traverses a wavering and generally toneless middle (though at times positively sour) before ascending to a confident top. Consider her performance of an old diva favourite, Dell’Acqua’s ‘Villanelle’, which shows her positive stylistic intent and ability to float a note (both for the good) against her rather vague French, oft suspect intonation and lack of tonal beauty. Vincenzo Scalera’s timid accompaniment is unobtrusively correct.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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