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There’s an attractively soft-grained quality to Maximilian Schmitt’s tenor too, in his recital Wie freundlich strahlt der Tag. It takes its name from Flotow’s Alessandro Stradella, indicative of the Romantic repertoire Schmitt tackles here: Lortzing, Marschner, Nicolai, Weber, plus Wagner and Schubert. The arias now have an almost faded charm. Schmitt has the advantage of smooth vocal production and he sings within his means; this is not always for the good, for some of these arias require more heftthan his lyric tenor possesses. There is a lack of differentiation between his characters and it all becomes polished but bland. His final aria, Rienzi’s prayer, is elegantly turned, but makes one aware that Schmitt wouldn’t last one act onstage in the complete opera – both the advantage and disadvantage of recordings, I suppose. Sympathetic conducting from Patrick Lange adds to the smoothness.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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