First Rate Verdi

Johan Reuter lends his considerable baritone skills to some of Verdi's lesser known arias.

Composer: Verdi
Repertoire: Rare Verdi
Artists: Johan Reuter (bass-baritone), Kammerensemble Deutschen Oper Berlin/Heise-Glass
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Vocal
Label: Michael Storrs Music MSM 004

The Michael Storrs Music label has a policy of presenting great singers with reduced orchestral accompaniments. On the first few MSM discs the result has sometimes sounded a bit etiolated, but here at last is the hit the company deserves. On this recording oflesser-known Verdi arias, the scaled-down accompaniments sound nimble and charming rather than thin and unsupportive, and Danish bass-baritone Johan Reuter proves himself a Verdian of the first order. Authoritative in the avenging aria from Oberto, heartbreaking as Joan of Arc’s tormented father, and full of passion as a desperate lover in an aria from Alzira, he brings each track alive with astonishing vividness.