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Firstly, soprano Chen Reiss’s album of Beethoven arias, Immortal Beloved, in which she explores beyond the usual repertoire – see my interview with her on page 78 to hear her thoughts on Beethoven and his vocal writing. Reiss led this project, researching and choosing her own arias, and her strong personal connection with her material clearly shows. She possesses an elegant and silvery soprano and is already a greatly successful Susanna and Sophie, but the middle of the voice is growing in warmth and amplitude and without pushing her resources she also has access to a welcome touch of steel in her tone as displayed in the recitative to Ah! perfido. She isn’t fazed by the coloratura challenges of ‘Fliesse, Wonnezähre, Fliesse!’ or the chest voice of ‘Primo Amore’. It makes for a satisfying and cogent recital, and does achieve her aim of making one revaluate Beethoven’s composing for soprano. Richard Egarr’s conducting is generally light and fl eet and helps keep the whole thing moving rather than becoming bogged down in grandiosity.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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