Gramophone Awards 2015 Winner - Recital
A welcome return of Carolyn Sampson and Ex Cathedra to Hyperion, performing the rich, fulsome music of the French Baroque. Their recording of love songs from Rameau’s operas (Hyperion CDA67447) was hugely acclaimed for Sampson’s stylish, fluid, seductive performances, and ten years later her artistry is even more dazzling.
Sampson is quite remarkable. She has the capacity to soften the vocal line with carefully controlled vibrato, but also deploys tone of crystalline clarity...bright, vibrant, responsive and entirely in tune with the expressive language and virtuosic demands of the period. BBC *****
don't be put off by the apparently recherche repertoire: this is a programme that leases as much today as it did in [Fel's]...the longer we listen to Sampson's voice, the more she seems to inhabit the aura of Fel...Sampson's performance is the more admirable for evoking the spirit of another singer. Start to finish, Jeffrey Skidmore devotedly shapes and paces the programme. Gramophone
Sampson is here in glorious voice. She turns ornaments with the exquisite skill of a master jeweller. The support from Skidmore and his excellent chorus and orchestra is unfailingly accomplished and idiomatic. It is difficult to envisage a more fitting tribute to one of the great divas of the past, a singer of whom her friend Voltaire said, ‘Those who have only ears, admire you; those with feeling as well as ears love you.’ Opera