Album: Danielle de Niese, Beauty of the Baroque (Decca)

The gamine soprano follows up last year's Diva compilation with this excellent set on which she revisits the Baroque music that first drew her into performance.

It's an intriguing and enjoyable programme, ranging from John Dowland love songs to the glories of Bach cantatas and Pergolesi's towering "Stabat Mater", by way of Handel, Purcell and Monteverdi – love both sacred and profane. The English Concert provides suitable support throughout, from solo theorbo on Dowland's "What if I never speed?" to the trio of harpsichord, theorbo and viola da gamba with her delightful duet with counter-tenor Andreas Scholl on Monteverdi's "Pur ti miro", and the ensemble playing elsewhere.

DOWNLOAD THIS Ombra mai fu; What if I never speed?; Stabat Mater; Schafe können sicher weiden