Eine Wucht: Jennifer Johnston
Jennifer Johnston’s enigmatic, elegant Lady de Hautdesert
Johnston’s superb interpretation lifts the whole performance up a couple of notches.
Impeccably sung, with great warmth of tone, by Jennifer Johnston.
Jennifer Johnston had taken the trouble to learn the words, projecting them with a quiet radiance that commanded attention. With a noble timbre reminiscent of Janet Baker, she found an unexpected kinship between these modest songs and Elgar’s Sea Pictures.
Both baritone and bass, each on peak form, are masters in the art of acting as well as singing. The same was true for Lady de Hautdesert, sung with vivid lyricism by the rising-star British mezzo Jennifer Johnston.
Jennifer Johnston was a formidable Jocasta, venomously spitting out her dismissal of the oracles while Gardiner thrillingly energised the cascading wind instruments beneath her.
Some of the most moving solo singing came from Jennifer Johnston, whose mezzo glows with unforced feeling and whose pure style fits well into the period-instrument world.
Alto Jennifer Johnston’s serene majestic sound and fine taste were in evidence all evening.