Das Rosenband – soprano Inga Kalna new disc with songs from her native Latvia4:28, 11th February 2021
Inga Kalna has sung lyric coloratura roles for the last 20 years, more recently becoming best-known for her Baroque and Mozart work. Kalna is Latvian, and there are two interesting twists to her new recording, Das Rosenband.
One is that she treats us to songs in her native language; the other, that she essays Strauss lieder, which from her previous recordings I might have thought were a touch heavy for her. Wrong again! Like Fomina, Kalna’s voice here provides surprising richness of tone and weight, plus a ravishing luminosity – her first phrases could almost be a mezzo, but she has a wonderful spin at the top. The Latvian songs are by Jāņis Mediņš and Alfrēds Kalniņš, two giants of that country’s Romanticism, and they have a sweep that matches the Strauss well. Kalna performs with pianist Diana Ketler who takes her opportunities to shine as well as supporting her singer.
So once again there is much enjoyment to be gained from a well-constructed recital. And I would like to compliment the cover: an attractive portrait of the singer at her glamorous best, engaging the viewer with a warm smile. It makes a pleasing change from the trend of dour performers staring us out as they slump.