Sarah Connolly recorded her latest album live in front of a hugely enthusiastic audience at St John's Smith Square in London last October. It's a hugely impressive disc, testifying to the versatility and range of a singer who has already drawn comparisons with Janet Baker.
The high points include some wonderfully rapt Brahms—particularly Die Mainacht, in which time seems to stand still—and a very erotic group by Reynaldo Hahn. Connolly sounds gorgeous in Korngold, too, though he wrote better songs than those included here. Less successful, perhaps, are Haydn's Arianna a Naxos, the opening item in the concert, where you sometimes feel her voice isn't quite sufficiently warmed up, and a couple of Kurt Weill's Broadway songs, where she occasionally sounds a bit too refined.
Songs by Britten and Ireland form the encores. Eugene Asti is her sensitive, technically assured accompanist.