I’m listening with mixed feelings to Daniel Barenboim’s new Elgar album on Decca.
It is beautifully and idiomatically played by the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Sea Pictures are sung by Elina Garanca in a much deeper, richer tone than we are used to from a long run of marvellous English mezzos. The colours of her voice are kaleidoscopic.
But the words are something else.
I am sure that Ms Garanca, who is married to the London-born conductor Karel Mark Chichon, speaks English with fluency and grace.
But back in Latvia she does not appear to have been taught to sing in English, which is a very specific discipline. English is not naturally a musical language. It needs nurture and expertise for its syllables and vowels to enhance a musical line.
This is Garanca in the new recording of Where Corals Lie.
And this is Dame Janet.