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GRAMOPHONE (03/2005)
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Harmonia Mundi
HMG 501835

Code-barres / Barcode: 0794881985128



Reviewer: Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

An emerging talent makes a somewhat curious debut


Annette Dasch is a young German soprano who is picking off the formative stage-posts of professional opportunity with a special interest in period performance. This surprisingly esoteric debut disc of 17th-century German song draws on this penchant through categories of Baroque artifice : love, peace, nature and so on. The results are more effective than affecting since Dasch is a singer who uses her brooding, mezzo-like timbre to greater declamatory than poetic effect. The Krieger examples, such as Adam's Flueg, Psyche, flueg, are articulate and well projected and Dasch brings a nobility of expression to Erlebach's Unser leben (very much the centrepiece of the disc).


Yet however unusual the vocal quality for a soprano of her age, approximate pitching often exacerbated by astringent surges through long-notes - does not make for much consistent enchantment. Tonal coloration is pretty unrelenting from track to track. I enjoyed Seelchen by Heinrich Albert and several other well-delivered songs, all expertly played by the members of Alte Musik Berlin but a penetrating voice in this repertoire is only viable if it is matched by scope (beyond just good diction) and expressive range . One suspects Dasch is often caught between two stools, musical instinct versus Baroque vocal mores. If that's the case, then this was not the wisest repertoire for a debut disc but she will probably end up as the finest Susanna of her generation and I'll eat my words.

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