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Emma Kirkby

, soprano

Emma Kirkby still spends more time on aeroplanes than is healthy, but is enjoy-ing herself too much to stop just yet. Throughout her career she has fielded questions—such as “What will you do next? Lieder, romantic repertoire? Have you thought of opera?” (in such cases, usually pronounced “op-rah”)—by insist-ing that there is plenty to challenge and delight her in her chosen field of Renaissance, Baroque and Classical song, and that she has no intention of growing out of it. This is still her position, but she has lately dipped her toe into a few other areas—Mahler (just one piece), Stravinsky (a handful of works), the odd German lied, preferably with fortepiano, and, most recently, the songs of Amy Beach. Each excursion has been great fun and high-ly educational, but she still likes to spend most of her time back home with the likes of Dowland, Lawes, Purcell, Blow, Bach and Handel. Two reviews recently gave her special pleasure; the Amazon bulletin board found her “surprisingly musical” in Amy Beach, while James Manishen of the Winnipeg Free Press opened his review with this paragraph: Emma Kirkby grabs you with her voice, her style, her technique, her distinctiveness and her presence. But as deviant it might seem, she’s invisible as the music unfolds. “An art that conceals art,” the lovely phrase goes. So too was her appearance here… With such magnificent repertoire and so many exciting ensembles to work with, there’s only one answer to the question “What next?” It is “Luckily, more of the same!”

Alessandro SCARLATTI: Stabat Mater
Emma Kirkby
September, 2005