Natalie Dessay : Pictures Of America


96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; Sony Classical 88985342842 (supplied by

Arguably better known for her classical operatic roles (though her farewell stage performance was in 2013), French soprano Natalie Dessay here chooses 11 jazz standards and well-worn – nearly all intimate – songs from musicals. A Deluxe Edition (limited territories only) has a second part where she acts as narrator for sparse musical equivalents composed by Graciane Finzi to eight paintings by Edward Hopper. That version ends with Barber’s Adagio and which, since WW2, has remained an emblematic piece for America. You don’t get, or need the words here, for Dessay’s American is completely idiomatic. She’s accompanied by a small close-mic’d jazz ensemble, while the voice (‘voices’ in ‘A Place That You Want To Call Home’ where Dessay sings duo) has its own overlaid, even closer ambience. A matter of taste this, but musically it’s a really enjoyable set. CB

Sound Quality: 85%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Sensitively recorded, though noise is slightly higher than possible (and the spuriae at 40-42kHz are on all tracks), this 96kHz download still captures the thrill of violins out to ~20kHz and the close-miked vocal to ~25kHz. PM