Magazine article Gramophone

'Joyce & Tony'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Joyce & Tony'

Article excerpt

'Live at Wigmore Hall' Arlen Over the Rainbow I Berlin I love a piano Bolcom Amor E Curtis Non ti scordar di me C Dougherty Love in the dictionary S Foster Beautiful Dreamer Haydn Arianna a Naxos, HobXXVIb/2 Kern Leave it to Jane--The Siren's Song, Oh, My Dear--Go little boat. Show Boat Life upon the wicked stage; Can't help lovin' dat man. Very Warm for May--All the things you are Moross A Lazy Afternoon H Nelson Lovely Jimmie Rodgers My Funny Valentine Rossini Belta crudele. La danza Santoliquido I canti della Sera Villa-Lobos Magdalena--Food for thoughts Joyce Di Donato mez Sir Antonio Pappano pf Erato [B] [2] 2564 61078-9 (95' * DDD * T/t) Recorded live at the Wigmore Hall, London, September 6 & 8, 2014

Joyce DiDonato concerts are never demure events. The question is how the addition of Antonio Pappano--and the overall air of a musical holiday--makes a difference. Over these two discs, music that needs special pleading certainly gets it, especially with the little-known composers of the first half, though the second disc of more popular repertoire threatens to run amok.

With its mixture of recitative and arioso, Haydn's Arianna a Naxos scene can grow tedious. But DiDonato's remarkable evolution as an actress now allows her to convey dramatic precision while respecting the music's classical outlines. Where she might have pushed her voice harder in years past, she now seems to look more deeply into her vocal core for fine shades of emotion that catch the most minute change of mood. If there's a single moment that illustrates DiDonato's growth from an effective artist to one who achieves greatness, it's the vocal decrescendo that suggests her lover's ships fading into the horizon. Such things can be gimmicky, but here DiDonato conveys the cold slap of reality: he's not coming back--an effect underscored by reverberent recorded sound that conveys just how alone Ariadne is. …

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