Forbidden Fruit

ALPHA COVERITUNES.inddForbidden Fruit is a CD by baritone Benjamin Appl and Pianist James Baillieu due for release on June 23rd.  It’s a sort of themed recital dealing with the Garden of Eden and the Fall.  It starts with the English traditional song “I Will Give My Love an Apple” and finishes with “Urlicht” from Mahler’s setting of text from Das Knaben Wunderhorn.  In between there are about 25 songs, some solo piano and quotes from the Bible which take us on a journey from all kinds of temptation, through consequences, to (maybe) some kind of redemption.  In all there’s 69 minutes of music.It’s musically varied with songs in English, French and German ranging from well known Lieder and Chansons to cabaret and other genres.  Appl is excellent in all three languages with exceptional diction and sense of text.  He’s also stylistically versatile.  Those who have seen him live will not be surprised that his Schubert, Debussy and Quilter songs sound like a most excellent Liederabend but he can also find something darker and edgier for Eisler, Weill, Brühne and Heggie.  I particularly liked the his grim take on the Eisler setting of Brecht’s “Die Ballade vom Paragraphen 218”.  It’s a very fine performance by Appl with sensitive contributions from Baillieu.

The sound quality is excellent and very natural.  It was recorded in high resolution (96kHz/24bit)  in the Auditorio Stelo Molo RSI in Lugano in July 2020 and is being released as a standard resolution CD or as Hi-res and standard res FLAC and MP3.  I listened to the hi-res version.  There’s a digital booklet with lots of useful information and full texts in it too.

Highly recommended.

Catalogue number: Alpha Classics ALPHA912


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s