Gramophone Recording of the Month August 2019
Gramophone December 2019 Critic`s Choice
BBC Music Magazine Award 2020 Finalist Vocal
Like many of Janáček’s late masterpieces, the genesis of the ‘Diary’ is unseparable from its composer’s intense, obsessional love for Kamila Stösslová. A song-cycle like no other, here it’s the main work in a recital which showcases the extraordinary talents of Nicky Spence, Václava Housková and the vocal trio Voice.
This excellently recorded performance is strikingly direct. The ebb and flow of the drama is brilliantly captured. Nicky Spence’s tenor is flexible across a huge range…Drake’s accompaniment is always alive to the operatic nuance of the work…This is a magnificent realisation of a viscerally rewarding work. BBC Music Magazine *****
Not only does Spence’s voice offer a rare mix of steely strength and velvety tenderness but his bright, vibrant timbre communicates a touching, wide-eyed sense of ardent longing, tinged with melancholy...[Drake] conjures up the cycle’s sound world superbly from the start…As persuasive an introduction to Janáček’s songs as you’ll find. Gramophone