"...This is singing from an artist who enters the whole being of the characters she portrays just as the LPO enters the worlds of the eight composers"
The Sunday Telegraph - October 2009
“Apart from her warmly mellifluous voice, Barker has a reputation as an intelligent, thinking soprano, and it shows here. She has a way of bypassing singing as pure technique and arriving at the emotional and psychological truth behind the characters she sings.
As Marguerita in the death scene from Boito’s Mephistopheles she is pungently intense, but at the same time elegant and unforced. The highlight here is her highly charged performance as the vexed Sarah in The End of the Affair, except for what concludes: a wonderfully radiant, transcendent performance of Arabella’s closing scene. It’s glorious Strauss for all lovers of his voluptuously rich, scented art.
Supporting her is wonderfully paced playing from the London Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor David Parry.”
The Australian - October 2009
“…it is a pleasure to have her remarkable talents represented on a recital disc. One of the disc’s major positive points is the way it combines familiar and lesser known repertoire. Baritone William Dazeley and soprano Gillian Keith provide excellent support in the ensemble numbers, and the luxury accompaniment from the orchestra, under Parry’s singer-friendly yet spirited direction helps to create an overall impression of high quality.”
“Cheryl Barker is always clean in her placing of notes and clear in her articulation of the English words. She is ready with a trill, has an ample supply of high notes and (in the Mefistofele aria, for example) reinforces the lower register effectively; Her associates have some additional qualities. Gillian Keith’s light soprano appears pure in tone and evenly produced and William Dazeley (surely one of our best baritones) has an attractive timbre, heard pleasingly throughout. …the orchestral playing is refined and responsive.”
Gramophone - Awards Issue 2009
“This is an imaginative collection , combining the well-known (‘Stridono Iassu’from Pagliacci) with rarities such as the Death of Marguerita from Boito’s Mephistopheles. Barker has a voice well-suited to the live opera house with plenty of steel to cut through an orchestra … David Parry and the LPO provide first-class accompaniments, as ever.”
Classic FM Magazine - November 2009
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