> Inessa Galante EP [AT]: Classical Reviews- February 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Campion £3.50

Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751)

Adagio [8:45]
J.S. BACH (1685-1750)

Ei wie schmekt der Coffee [4:29]
Cantata 144 – Genugsamkeit (arr. D.Golightly) [3:26]
G. CACCINI (1545-1618)

Amarilli mia bella (arr. N.Ingman)
J.S. BACH (1685-1750)

Magnificat – Quia respexit [2:28]
Cantata 21 – Seufzer tranen Kummer (arr. D.Golightly) [3:45]
Inessa GALANTE (soprano)
Orchestra of Latvian National Opera/Aleksandrs Vilumanis
London Musici/Mark Stephenson
Rec Riga Recording Studio, Latvia 1995, St Silas Church, Kentish Town 1999


This is an EP designed to promote the Latvian soprano Inessa Galante. Everything is subservient to her, from the copious biography that shunts a description of the pieces to a tiny corner of the sleeve notes (there may be someone more interested in her gig at a famous Thames-side restaurant than the music of Bach, but I wouldn’t want to meet them), to the soppy arrangements of baroque arias. Fair enough, she is hardly the first diva to be given a bigger billing than the music. But is she worth it? Yes and no. She sings tunefully and melodiously, although there is very little style to the singing to distinguish it from the bunch. Diction is not especially clear, and there is the occasional forced note.

It is difficult for a "serious" listener not to sound disparaging about the kind of music that is synonymous with Classic FM, so I won’t even try. There is no shame in enjoying pleasant music inoffensively presented, and this is indeed pleasant. Unfortunately it does not stand up to any closer inspection. The vocalise of Albinoni’s Adagio is frankly bizarre, sounding like lost aria from Tosca. The Bach arias swim in a soup of vibrato, and the Caccini is comical to anyone expecting anything from the 16th Century. Everything is old fashioned – gloriously or hideously depending upon your disposition – and everything is reduced to a tune over a lush accompaniment. There is nothing here for a specialist collector, but it will tickle the ear of Auntie May.

Aidan Twomey

There is nothing here for a specialist collector, but it will tickle the ear of Auntie May. … see Full Review

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