Notes and Editorial Reviews
At the heart of this program of Beethoven songs performed by Ian Bostridge and Sir Antonio Pappano is the song cycle An die ferne Geliebte (To the distant beloved). Bostridge describes it as "the distillation of Beethoven as lover". Among the other items are the rapturously lyrical 'Adelaide', the sombre 'In questa tomba oscura' and a selection of Beethoven's settings of folksongs from the British Isles, which elicit the participation of violinist Vilde Frang and cellist Nicolas Altstaedt. "When we all play together," says Pappano, "it's like a family making music at home."
In The Song of the Flea, Pappano invests the fidgety piano part with piquant playfulness whilst allowing Bostridge to flex his comedic muscles to the full. In An die ferne Geliebte, Bostridge’s warm lyricism casts an enveloping spell – though some of his expressive traits can be a touch predictable, their range circumscribed if affecting.
– BBC Music Magazine
This newcomer fuses Bostridge’s detailed, borderline fussy manner with Pappano’s sprightly playing, buoyant and delicate. One misses limpidness in Bostridge’s tone, admittedly, but he makes the songs his own in a performance that is never less than engaging and, as usual, conveys an unflinching and persuasive belief in the material.