Lesley Garrett - Soprano in Red

Author: 
Andrew Lamb

Lesley Garrett - Soprano in Red

  • (The) New Moon, Softly, as in a morning sunrise
  • (The) New Moon, Lover, come back to me
  • Casanova, Nuns' Chorus
  • Casanova, Laura's Song
  • (La) Belle Hélène, 'Beautiful Helen', On me nomme Hélène la Blonde (Hélène)
  • Perchance to dream, We'll gather lilacs
  • Ziguenerliebe, 'Gipsy Love', Hör' ich Cymbalklänge
  • Bitter Sweet, If Love Were All
  • (L') Étoile, Je suis Lazuli!
  • (L') Étoile, O petite étoile!
  • (The) Dancing Years, Waltz of my heart
  • Friederike, Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst?
  • (Der) Opernball, 'Opera Ball', Im chambre separée
  • (The) Contrabandista (or The Law of the Ladrones), Only the night wind sighs alone
  • (Die) Lustige Witwe, '(The) Merry Widow', ~, Es lebt eine Vilja, ein Waldmägdelein (Vilja-Lied: Hanna, Chorus)
  • Orphée aux enfers, 'Orpheus in the Underworld', J'ai vu le Dieu Bacchus
  • Orphée aux enfers, 'Orpheus in the Underworld', Maintenant, je veux, moi qui (Menuet et Galop infe
  • (The) New Moon, Softly, as in a morning sunrise
  • (The) New Moon, Lover, come back to me
  • Casanova, Nuns' Chorus
  • Casanova, Laura's Song
  • (La) Belle Hélène, 'Beautiful Helen', On me nomme Hélène la Blonde (Hélène)
  • Perchance to dream, We'll gather lilacs
  • Ziguenerliebe, 'Gipsy Love', Hör' ich Cymbalklänge
  • Bitter Sweet, If Love Were All
  • (L') Étoile, Je suis Lazuli!
  • (L') Étoile, O petite étoile!
  • (The) Dancing Years, Waltz of my heart
  • Friederike, Warum hast du mich wachgeküsst?
  • (Der) Opernball, 'Opera Ball', Im chambre separée
  • (The) Contrabandista (or The Law of the Ladrones), Only the night wind sighs alone
  • (Die) Lustige Witwe, '(The) Merry Widow', ~, Es lebt eine Vilja, ein Waldmägdelein (Vilja-Lied: Hanna, Chorus)
  • Orphée aux enfers, 'Orpheus in the Underworld', J'ai vu le Dieu Bacchus
  • Orphée aux enfers, 'Orpheus in the Underworld', Maintenant, je veux, moi qui (Menuet et Galop infe

Lesley Garrett has won herself a huge following, and I am happy to count myself among those who respond to her straightforward, unaffected vocalizing, to the clarity and brightness of her voice and its ringing top notes. What also appeals about Garrett’s recordings is the attention paid to less familiar material and the quest for authenticity of period style. Both facets are fully evident in this collection of operetta numbers from Paris, Vienna, Berlin, London and New York, ranging in time from classical Offenbach through to Coward, Novello and Romberg. The eager entreaties of Laura’s Song from Casanova, the bright expressiveness of “If love were all” and the sheer joyfulness of “Waltz of my heart” (complete with piano contribution) strike me as highlights. Especially gratifying, though, are the rarities. In the pedlar Lazuli’s two numbers from Chabrier’s L’etoile, Garrett’s clarity of diction shows off Jeremy Sams’s lyrics to fine effect and she should certainly win the Sullivan faction over with the first recording ever of an engaging little number from the pre-Gilbert operetta The Contrabandista.
The aria from La belle Helene is performed to Michael Frayn’s text for the current ENO adaptation of the work as La belle Vivette, while in Novello’s “We’ll gather lilacs” double tracking permits Garrett to duet with herself. Ensemble and momentum go curiously adrift at the choral entries in Offenbach’s “Hymn to Bacchus”, but this detracts only a little from another delightful Garrett collection.
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