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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Massenet With The Late Sally Silver Is Perfect Fare For A Summer's Night 

By Norman Lebrecht on August 2, 2019

Jules Massenet: La vie d’une rose (Somm Recordings)

★★★★☆
🎧 Apple Music Amazon

Sally Silver — also known as ‘Silver Sally’ — died last November of cancer at 50 years old, casting a pall over the British opera scene, where she was a vibrant and ever-willing participant. Never a showy diva, Sally landed roles in any opera from Handel to Thomas Adès, pursuing a particular love for French chanson. This posthumous album — curated by Sally, accompanied by her friend Richard Bonynge and produced by her husband Jeremy Silver — is a delight from start to finish.

It’s not just the sparkle she brings to Massenet’s somewhat timeworn drawing-room songs — though that alone is worth the price of admission — it’s the slightly-knowing false-innocence that she injects into numbers like Passionément and Souhait. Sally sings like someone who knows the meaning of life and the value of each moment. The mezzo Christine Tocci, who joins in several duets, gives as good as she gets. Why go to see a Massenet opera when the small stuff is so good, and so concise?

This must be Richard Bonynge’s first recording of the decade. He’s still a decent pianist, in case you’re wondering, a little prone to heavy elbows in the triple fffs but, unlike many condcutors, knowing when to sit back and do as little as possible. This is perfect fare for a summer’s night.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
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Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | A New Holiday Season Choral Release That Isn’t About Christmas

By Norman Lebrecht on November 29, 2019

The Purcell Singers latest release is a compelling spiritual journey through British and American choral works.
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PRIMER | Behind The Scenes Of Tafelmusik And Vesuvius Ensemble’s O Come Shepherds

By Hye Won Cecilia Lee on November 27, 2019

Tommaso Sollazzo, Marco Cera, Francesco Pellegrino, and Lucas Harris talk about zampognari and other Southern Italian traditions that go into the Tafelmusik/Vesuvius Ensemble’s upcoming O Come Shepherds concert.
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SCRUTINY | Sir Andrew Davis And The TSO Offer Rare Treat In Massenet’s Thaïs

By Stephan Bonfield on November 8, 2019

The TSO, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, the Toronto Mendselssohn Choir, and a talented cast of singers, treat Toronto to a lively, nuanced performance in the nineteenth-century French grand opera tradition.
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