Cherry Ripe

Michael Southern
Pittwater Life (Australia)

We are fortunate to have in Australia a recording company like Melba, which promotes both Australian performers and Australian music. Here it is the musicians who are to the fore with a recital, probably her last and certainly her last recording, by the late Deborah Riedel with a fine selection of English and European songs and arias.

Riedel was at her best when she made this recording, a glorious voice with some very familiar material like The Lass of Richmond Hill, The Nightingale and, of course, Cherry Ripe itself. Some of the European material is less known but there are some short and sweet songs like Il Raton di Proserpina, four brief lines, and the six line Giannina e Bernardone (When a woman is in love).

Fine orchestral accompaniment under Richard Bonynge who gets better as he grows older. Bonynge incidentally wrote the notes for the beautifully illustrated and presented package. This, through the tragedy of Ms Riedel’s untimely death, becomes a treasure for those who love Australian music making.