Debut recital CD of this well-loved Greek soprano who has made her name as Violetta, Mimi and Liu all over the world but now turns to repertoire close to her heart, Russian songs including rarities by Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov and Dargomishky as well as favourites by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Accompanied by the expert Malcolm Martineau this is an album full of surprises and delights.
"...there is so much about her singing that is a pleasure to hear. There is no doubt that she is well inside the songs and throughout the recital she illuminates the poems through sensitive and expressive phrasing and shadings of tone. Her pianissimo singing is exquisite - just listen to how she floats the tone in the last bars of Rachmaninov’s Oh, do not sing to me (tr 17) - and the soft singing in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Wind (tr. 12) is truly admirable. There is also glow and intensity in the more dramatic songs - Rachmaninov’s In my garden at night (tr 20) is a splendid example....Malcolm Martineau accompanies extremely well and the recording can’t be faulted."
"...Kelessidi responds to the Tchaikovsky pieces as winningly as those of his younger compatriot [Rachmaninov]..."The rose, the nightingale" concludes with Kelessidi soaring grandly on wordless melismata..."
*** (top rating)