Hermann Baumann is easily one of the finest horn players of the second half of the 20th century. He came to prominence as a soloist in the 1960s and in 1964 won the prestigious ARD International Music Competition in Munich, beating out Jessye Norman for first place
Joan Sutherland first sang the role of Alcina in 1957 and continued to sing it until 1983. The role allows her to display her technical agility, the breath control on long phrases and her stunning trill. It must be admitted that her diction is not clean – but what glorious singing. Teresa Berganza as Ruggiero is Sutherland's equal throughout the entire opera. Her approach is less overtly spectacular but her "Verdi prati" is an object lesson in classic vocalism. With a glorious contralto voice, Monica Sinclair attacks the role of Bradamante with gusto. The three octave scale which concludes her Act 1 aria is not stylistic, but it is exciting. In the shorter roles Mirella Freni and Graziella Sciutti are excellent. Freni was at the beginning of long and glorious career. The male roles are of less importance in this opera but they are very well sung by Luigi Alva and Ezio Flagello.
Cliff Richard is indisputably Britain’s all-time greatest hit-maker – the ultimate pop star! No other UK band or solo artist is even close to equalling his 123 single hits, or can claim to have occupied a place in our charts for the equivalent of over 20 years! Highlights of this remarkable career are too numerous to mention, but where is his music is concerned, Sir Cliff holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He is also the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in 5 consecutive decades. Stronger Thru The Years is a brand new 2CD collection bringing together his finest songs of love and reflection.