Album: Frances Bourne, The Truth about Love (RCA)

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The Independent Culture

An anthology of 20th-century lieder is a brave choice for this debut album by the mezzo-soprano Frances Bourne, the risk compounded by her decision to use the French translations of Kurt Weill. She's on safest ground with familiar material like "September Song" in a Palm Court-style setting, and "Bilbao Song" in a cabaret arrangement. But "Surabaya Johnny" is a touch too stiff for a supposed "blues chanté", while the three songs from The Threepenny Opera are less engaging than might be hoped. It's also easy to hear why Daryl Runswick's tricked-out arrangements of Britten's Four Cabaret Songs are rarely performed.

Pick of the album:'September Song', 'Bilbao Song'

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