Joyce DiDonato, Antonio Pappano Joyce & Tony, Live At Wigmore Hall - Album review

Download: Arianna a Naxos; La Danza; My Funny Valentine; Over the Rainbow 

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The Independent Culture

Culled from last September’s two recitals at the Wigmore Hall, this double-album explores both American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato’s European artistic homeland and her native land, through separate discs of cantatas and Great American Songbook classics, sensitively accompanied by Antonio Pappano’s thoughtful piano arrangements.

Understandably, the most testing piece opens the show, DiDonato capturing the huge emotional swings of Haydn’s “Arianna a Naxos” in an incandescent performance that threatens to overshadow the rest of the programme.

But a jaunty dash through Rossini’s “La Danza” helps shift gears for the second half, in which both she and Pappano offer light-spirited takes on Kern, Berlin and Arlen, before a yearning “Over the Rainbow” finds her, heels clicked, back in her native Kansas.