Cherry Ripe

Richard Gate
Limelight (Australia)
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… Cherry Ripe … is a collection of songs and arias from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which are of very high quality. I listened to them without looking at the track listing in order to approach them with an open mind and often I believed that I was listening to Mozart. The music has been collected by Richard Bonynge, who must be warmly congratulated, from many sources—composers who are well known such as Cimarosa, Thomas Arne, Grétry, William Boyce, Paisiello, J.C. Bach and Soler; other composers known to us from history books such as Hook, Mayr and Hasse; and others who are virtually unknown such as Winter, Portugallo, Generali and Zingarelli. The music by the lesser composers is just as attractive as that by more famous names. Some of the songs, such as ‘The Nightingale’ by Hook, have beautiful obbligato parts for solo instruments. All of the music is sung by the late Deborah Riedel with what seems to me flawless musical and vocal art; the accompaniments conducted by Bonynge are excellent and the orchestra first class. The record is a reminder of the deplorable loss Australian (and international) music suffered with the death of Deborah Riedel earlier this year. It is tragic that there will be no more records from her. This one is a major achievement in the Australian recording industry and a fitting memorial to her. Notes and texts and translations are provided.