MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Plaisir d’amour
Angela Gheorghiu (soprano), Alexandra Dariescu (piano)
rec. 2018, Wathen Hall, St Paul’s School, London
Sung texts with English translations enclosed
DECCA 483 4999 [67:19]

This new recital disc celebrates Angela Gheorghiu’s 25 years as a Decca artist. The repertoire has never been recorded by her, bar Plaisir d’amour which she once set down in an Italian version. 25 years is a long time in the career of a singer and one could expect some decline in voice quality, often an increased vibrato and more strain on the top notes, but those defects are conspicuous only by their absence. The two Romanian songs that open the recital are charmingly sung with perfect legato, she sings the Debussy melodies with feeling and exquisite nuances and in Fauré she is also on her home ground. In particular Aprés un rêve is excellent. She also seems to have a soft spot for Rachmaninov. Spring Waters with its flowing piano accompaniment offers truly great singing and her pianist Alexandra Dariescu makes the waters flow with extra brilliance. Back in time to the late 18th century, Paisiello’s Nel cor più non mi sento is light and expressive. Even better is Bellini’s lovely song to the moon, Vaga luna, with elegant rubato and caressing phrasing. The second stanza is softer still, and I couldn’t resist reprising the song at once.

More Italian repertoire follows with three of Tosti’s best songs. In Ideale there are actually some signs of wear, but her nuances are so lovely, even though I think she could have begun more softly. But this is sensitive music making. Both Sogno and La serenata are equally good, the latter quite powerful – but still with fine nuances.

Moving over to French songs again she sings a charming piece by Rameau, Le Grillon (The Cricket), which was a new acquaintance to me. Chopin’s Tristesse may on the paper seem to be something unknown, but in reality this is one of his best known piano pieces, the Étude Op. 10 No. 3, arranged for voice and piano by Félia Litvinne, who also provides the melancholy text. Litvinne (1860 – 1936) was a Russian-born soprano with a French-Canadian mother who studied with among others the legendary Pauline Viardot. She settled in Paris but sang all over Europe and also in the US, including one season at the Metropolitan Opera. She was best known as a Wagner singer but also tackled coloratura roles and sang Aïda opposite Caruso in Monte Carlo 1915. Her voice is preserved in 35 recordings which are available on CD. Tristesse is a fine adaptation of the Chopin piece and it is so sensitively performed here. In Plaisir d’amour Angela Gheorghiu embellishes the tune discreetly – to good effect. And this is followed by one of Hahn’s most delicious melodies: L’Heure exquise, which is exquisitely sung.

The recital spanning over a number of languages and nationalities, the last part offers German Richard Strauss with an inward Morgen! and a sweeping Cäcilie; Irish Malcolm William Balfe with I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls from his greatest success The Bohemian Girl – and here is nostalgia a-plenty; back to Romanian Brediceanu and Cine m’aude cântând (Anyone who hears me singing) – a welcome rarity; Brazilian Villa-Lobos and Melodia sentimental – also a song worth returning to; and finally Spanish Obradors, whose El vito bubbles over with vitality – a perfect finale to this delicious world tour.

With excellent support from Alexandra Dariescu, state-of-the-art recording and an inviting essay by Jan Tolanski in the booklet this should be a disc for the wish list of Angela Gheorghiu’s many admirers.

Göran Forsling

George STEPHĂNESCU (1843 – 1925)
1. Cântecul fluieraşului [2:39]
2. Mândruliţă de la munte [3:00]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862 – 1918)
3. Nuit d’étoiles L4 [3:07]
4. Beau soir L6 [2:41]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845 – 1924)
5. Après un rêve Op. 7 No. 1 [2:58]
6. Mandoline Op. 58 No. 1 [1:50]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943)
7. Son, Op. 8 No. 5 [1:26]
8. Vesenniye vody Op. 14 No. 11 [2:17]
Giovanni PAISIELLO (1740 – 1816)
9. Nel cor più non mi sente [2:15]
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801 – 1835)
10. Vaga luna [4:02]
Paolo TOSTI (1846 – 1916)
11. Ideale [3:31]
12. Sogno [2:55]
13. La serenata [3:35]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683 – 1764)
14. Le Grillon [2:48]
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810 – 1849)
15. Tristesse [3:50]
Jean-Paul-Égide MARTINI (1741 – 1816)
16. Plaisir d’amour [3:45]
Reynaldo HAHN (1874 – 1947)
17. L’Heure exquise [2:25]
Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)
18. Morgen! Op. 27 No. 4 [3:23]
19. Cäcilie Op. 27 No. 2 [2:19]
Michael William BALFE (1808 – 1870)
20. I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls [3:27]
Tiberiu BREDICEANU (1877 – 1968)
21. Cine m’aude cântând [3:51]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887 – 1959)
22. Melodia sentimental [3:18]
Fernando OBRADORS (1897 – 1945)
23. El vito [1:49]

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount