Susan Chilcott: The Shining River (Opus Arte)
Susan Chilcott (Voice); Iain Burnside (Piano);
Until her untimely death in 2003, Susan Chilcott was placed among the outstanding lyric sopranos of her generation, one whose captivating stage presence, dramatic vitality and vocal poetry created memorable portrayals of heroines in Verdi, Janácek and Britten, among others. Her last recording was of songs by Copland, acclaimed at the time of its first release for her 'commanding authority' and 'youthful vitality' (Gramophone). This recital is now complemented by a range of Shakespeare-inspired songs from Berlioz to Dominick Argento, never previously released.
"It is rare to come across an opera star who is as good an actress as she is a singer." (Antonio Pappano)
"…one of the most compelling and intense English operatic stars to emerge in the last decade …" (The Guardian)
"...this disc is precious... both recordings capture the blaze in her tone and the fire in her soul that made her so special. Copland's 12 Poems of Emily Dickinson and Ophelia songs by Strauss and Berlioz are reminders of the unflinching way in which she could confront the darker recesses of the human psyche. Elsewhere, though, there is light, joy, laughter and quite astonishing beauty." (The Guardian)
"Frustratingly few of her performances were ever captured on disc, which makes this commemorative release from Opus Arte all the more precious and valuable... Partnered by the pianist Iain Burnside, one of her closest colleagues, Chilcott sings from the heart in Copland’s more homespun numbers, bringing all the naturalness of her radiant, creamy soprano to bear on the music. Her complex, yet always generous, outlook on the world also made her an ideal interpreter of Dickinson’s more melancholy and spiritual words." (The Sunday Telegraph)