Christiane Karg/Malcolm Martineau
Star rating: * * * *
As is often happily the case in such circumstances, Karg was a fresh new voice, a find who delighted her listeners in a programme of German and French songs.
In a coherent first half of settings all about flowers – predominantly roses – Karg came across as very personable, a light soprano who enjoys telling the story of what she is singing about with a polished, soft sheen to the voice. There may have been a slight thinning on top with some of the higher notes in her first set of Strauss, but by Fauré and Debussy, her expert technique in control and intonation was well into its stride. Clearly confident on stage, it would be interesting to see her in opera.
Moving to the more contemplative Seven Early Songs by Berg, Karg injected deepened body, even a sultriness, to her sound, with accompanist Malcolm Martineau ever the responsive perfect partner at the piano.