Dessay, Kozena, Villazon: a trio of quality operatic releases

Classical buffs bemoan the dramatic decline in the number of CD releases; some buffs are already tolling the bell for the classical recording business.

As a casual buyer of classical CDs I see it differently – why bother buying everything when you can hear a lot of what you fancy on the remarkable BBC Radio 3?

And I just don’t see the need for endless recycling of the repertoire: who on Earth needs yet another recording of Beethoven’s Ninth or Verdi’s La Traviata?

The kind of CDs I tend to buy – operatic extracts and recitals by favourite sopranos, mezzos and tenors – keep me well sated.

Favoured recent releases include:

* Natalie Dessay – Italian Opera Arias

* Magdalena Kozena – Ah! Mio Cor: Handel Arias, and

* Rolando Villazon – Cielo e Mar.

Three magnificent voices captured at the peak of their powers – should keep me happy for a while.

Gerry Smith

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