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Recordings: Alla Breve

January 10, 1988|ALLAN ULRICH

GLIERE: CONCERTO FOR SOPRANO AND ORCHESTRA. MILHAUD: "QUATRE CHANSONS DE RONSARD." ARIAS BY ARNE, HANDEL, MOZART, PROCH, BENDEICT AND ALABIEV. Beverly Hoch, soprano; Hong Kong Philharmonic conducted by Kenneth Schermerhorn. MCA Classics MCAD-25966. In this remarkable debut recital, American-born and -trained Hoch proves herself one of the more adept coloraturas of her generation. She sails through the shoals of Galli-Curci-Sutherland territory with sublime ease and uncommon accuracy. Still, beyond the glitter, questions inevitably arise. The Queen of the Night's second aria needs more dramatic-soprano weight at the lower end of the scale; Gliere's orchestrated 1942 vocalise misses an ideal infusion of tone-color. Canary fanciers probably won't complain either about the singing, Schermerhorn's sturdy accompaniments or MCA's budget price.

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