PAOLO TOSTI Songs Ben Heppner 4715572

Heppner sang all these with restrained eloquence -- confiding in us his longings and fears and, finally, his joy. He wasn't there like some opera singers, merely to put his glorious instrument on display . . . His purpose, and that of his sensitive accompanist, Craig Rutenberg . . . was to serve the music . . . Endearingly unpretentious, yet stylish and even profound, Heppner did everything right. If more art-song recitals were like this, the art-song recital might not be a dying form.

. . . this is a striking, vocally outstanding portrayal of a difficult character . . . Heppner has a new CD out of songs by Tosti, and most welcome it is . . . Heppner's 19 songs make a pleasing recital.

. . . the Canadian tenor clearly loves this repertoire, and his ardent and idiomatic singing of these lovely Paolo Tosti songs provides unalloyed pleasure . . . Heppner's program offers a well-chosen selection . . .

Heppner restores . . . their rightful diginity as charming period settings of superior lyrics, full of buoyancy and grace.

Heppner's selection of mostly Italian, but also English and Frensh songs get "salon orchestra" treatment from Michael Rot and Steven Mercurio . . . Heppner sings them with all his heart (a big one) and soul, and his voice, while not juicily Mediterranean, can counterfeit Italianate passion. His diction is exemplary.

Ben Heppner's choice of 19 of the musician's 400 or so songs stresses the passionate, yearning side of Tosti's output . . . Heppner has the instrument to make them sound wonderfully direct and honest.

By far the greatest Tristan of our time, and arguably the greatest Tristan of any time, Ben Heppner's sizeable and heroic voice can take on the sweetness and lyricism demanded by these works. His pianissimos are quite wonderful, and wonderful as well is the absolute sincerity and commitment hey conveys . . . the finest works, "Ideale", "A vucchella", etc., are delivered with incomparable luster and integrity . . . Sound engineer Hans-Ulrich Bastin provides us with an opulent and still intimate ambience.

Heppner maintains a true singing-line, nourishes his tone, feels the music and the words, doesn't stint, doesn't overdo and succeeds wonderfully well in adapting his voice and its timbre to a type of music not readily associated with it . . . This i s a good record, and the accompaniments . . . are tastefully arranged and performed.

beachtenswert . . .

Ben Heppner stellt sich vorteilhaft in eine lange Ahnenreihe. Da wird nicht geschmettert, sondern fein phrasiert . . .

Excellent musicien, capable, malgré la largeur de sa voix, de phrasés subtils et d'exquises nuances, Heppner apporte ŕ ces échos salonnards sa foncičre probité...

Heppner consigue extraer una sonoridad casi lírica, suave y muy sentimental, sin caer en el empalago o en la blandenguería, ya que sabe encontrar el tono apropiado. ... Heppner deja de lado la potencia o el heroicismo de sus roles operísticos y demuestra que se puede frasear y cantar con la morbidez adecuada ... Heppner logra combinar el fraseo refinado con el sentimiento sin caer en excesos melodramáticos ni en la asepsia o la inadecuación de otros. ... este recital de canciones de Tosti es un placer auditivo ...

... Ben Heppner nos emociona con una voz de color mediterráneo, desgranando [las canciones] con una ductilidad y sencillez encomiables y dotándolas de los acentos necesarios para conformar un disco en que se revaloriza la estatura de este autor de salón considerado secundario.

Een goede cd voor wie hunkert naar een stukje nostalgie . . . de sypathieke Ben Heppner . . . is weer helemaal terug.