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Krassimira Stoyanova has been a star in Vienna for almost two decades now, but it’s only in the last few years that her reputation has become more international. Her disc of Puccini songs demonstrates why she’s amongst the most sought-after sopranos of the day. Stoyanova’s voice has a cool, almost instrumental quality, which then bursts into a surprisingly rich and warm sound when she unleashes it, but always with a sense of control. Composed between 1875 to 1919, Puccini’s songs offer a similar emotional range to his operas, albeit honed down in scale. For a sample try ‘Mentia l’avviso’, written in 1883 as a college examination piece. The song offers some sensitive vocal writing before bursting into a tune Puccini reused as ‘Donna non vidi mai’ in Manon Lescaut 10 years later. Stoyanova sails through it in glorious voice and Maria Prinz’s accompaniment is as equally accomplished. For lovers of good singing, and for something a little bit different, this disc is highly recommended.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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