Melba Recordings

"... a label of fragrant distinction"

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BBC Music Magazine (UK)
Hilary Finch

The years drop off Richard Strauss (why do we so often see - and hear - him as hoary-headed, I wonder?) in this new disc of his orchestrated songs. The young Australian tenor Steve Davislim is a widely sought-after Mozartian - no bad qualification for Strauss - and his lithe, rhythmically and verbally alert tenor has the red blood surging from the start, in a performance of Heimliche Aufforderung whose buoyancy emphasises the heady drinking song within the love song.

Davislim's sense of line, and warm, supple legato create an Allerseelen and a Morgen! without indulgence, where tender sentiment never slides over into sentimentality. And a combination of youthful ardour and rhythmic rigour makes Ständchen really live, lightly suspended in quivering air. Simone Young's instinctive sense for pacing in Strauss fuses with Davislim's Classical elegance in a nicely judged Der Rosenband; and Davislim's smiling nobility of tone recreates exactly that sense of sanctified ecstasy unique to Strauss in songs such as Ich trage meine Minne.