Classical CD of the month

The reason why a bits-and-bobs arias recital becomes CD of the month is simply the artistry of its soloist, Simon Keenlyside

Name Tales of Opera

Composer Various

Artists Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Munich Radio Orchestra /Conductor: Ulf Schirmer

Label Sony Classical 

The many fans of this intelligent, lithe-voiced baritone will need no reminding of his prowess in, say, Mozart or Britten. But here he also takes on Verdi, Wagner, Leoncavallo — beefy roles that his type of voice just isn’t supposed to be able to handle.

While he might not be able to boom his way through this repertoire in an opera house, the intimacy of the recording studio allows him to adapt thrillingly. He never blusters but finds the through-thought in even the most hackneyed warhorse. His ‘Eri tu’ from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, for instance, is less a furious tirade than an agonised traversal of a cuckolded husband’s pain.

Elsewhere, he provides an object lesson in legato as Tchaikovsky’s Yeletsky, and brings the right elegant touch to French roles. But throughout, his approach remains the same. As the title of the disc suggests, this is not mere vocal showing-off — these are stories and Keenlyside is a most eloquent narrator.

James Inverne is editor of Gramophone. A full review is published in the November issue

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

GP-led sites behind almost three quarters of COVID-19 jabs in England

GP-led sites behind almost three quarters of COVID-19 jabs in England

GP-led vaccination sites have delivered nearly three quarters of COVID-19 vaccine...

GPs should ignore calls to throw away usable COVID-19 vaccine, says RCGP

GPs should ignore calls to throw away usable COVID-19 vaccine, says RCGP

Suggestions that vaccination sites should throw away usable doses of COVID-19 vaccine...

GPs urged to use influence to dispel COVID-19 vaccine myths and boost BAME uptake

GPs urged to use influence to dispel COVID-19 vaccine myths and boost BAME uptake

GPs have been encouraged to use their ‘huge influence’ to bust misinformation around...

Six in 10 over-80s vaccinated against COVID-19 as figures expose regional variation

Six in 10 over-80s vaccinated against COVID-19 as figures expose regional variation

Six in 10 people aged over 80 in England received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine...

Summary of changes to the GP contract 2021/22

Summary of changes to the GP contract 2021/22

The BMA and NHS England have agreed minor changes to the GP contract for 2021/22....