Let the Bright Seraphim, Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas


This Signum Classics CD provides a very attractive program of music from four baroque masters: J.S. Bach, Telemann, Scarlatti and Handel. Much of the music is quite familiar, but other selections are not, altogether forming an interesting program. The selections revolve around the two featured artists, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins. The two appear together in excerpts from Bach’s cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51, Scarlatti’s chamber cantata Su le sponde del Tebro (On the Banks of the Tiber), Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine, HWV 74 and Let the Bright Seraphim from the oratorio Samson. These numbers are interspersed with solo trumpet ones that include Telemann’s Trumpet Concerto in D major and several transcriptions from Handel oratorios, operas and The Water Musick.

The music and the performances are all top shelf. I should note that Mr. Steele-Perkins plays an instrument of the period. Accompaniment is provided by the Armonico Consort under it’s founding director Christophper Monks. The magic of the recording is provided by Ms. Thomas. She is a singer who possesses a wonderfully crystalline, sweet and enchanting soprano voice, and employs it with irreproachable intonation. Here’s a little sample of her art.