Album: Massanet – Werther, Villazón/Koch/Pappano/Royal Opera House (Deutsche Grammophon)

There is a moment in Act 1 where it seems as though Werther and Charlotte will be in love for ever.

As with so many crucial points in Massenet's opera, this is the Clair de Lune, and what follows is misery. The role of the orchestra is brilliantly realised in Antonio Pappano's performance with the Orchestra of the ROH. Vocally, this live recording is less assured. Sophie Koch's Charlotte persuades but Roland Villazón's hypersensitive Werther has more sob than suavity.