December 31, 2016
Jamie Barton's debut album, released November 11 on Delos Music, is earning rave reviews from San Francisco to London.
Accompanied by pianist Brian Zeger, All Who Wander features lush, romantic melodies by Mahler, Dvorak, and Sibelius.
"The voice is rich, generous and vibrant, big but beautifully controlled, impeccably smooth throughout its range. It’s the sort of instrument you could listen to all day, in any sort of repertoire. This really is an exciting talent, and a terrific disc."
"Barton’s grand and rich voice is perhaps as big as Flagstad’s, Farrell, and Nilsson’s, with tone as beautiful and unforced as the first two singers’. Its compass extends from the bottom of the mezzo range to an easy, room-shaking high C. But as easily as Barton can envelop you with sound, she can also grab you by the gut, and propel you deep into the emotional heart of music’s great mysteries. It is the emotional depth of Barton’s artistry that sets her apart from other singers blessed with exceptional voices. She has the power to render you breathless and at her mercy. I expect that you, too, will marvel at how, as Barton expands her voice to huge proportions, her sound and heart also expand to encompass every emotion of a woman lost in memories of a great, lost love."
“Jamie Barton has one of the great voices in the world today. Sumptuous, flexible, and capable of light and shade, her sizeable mezzo pours forth seamlessly. Barton’s voice at full cry is thrilling to behold but the majesty of her instrument never overwhelms the songs. Her ability to lighten her tone, especially in the tricky upper middle voice, notably allows her to sing with expressive freedom. All Who Wander is everything a song recital should be. Delivering both familiar and unfamiliar fare in beguiling interpretations, Barton and Zeger take the listener into the world of each song with deft musicality and emotional sincerity.”
“A rising star, Barton seems as comfortable on the concert platform as the opera stage. In these art-songs admirable throughout is Barton’s alluring tone and gorgeous phrasing. My highlight is Mahler’s magnificent Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, a multi-faceted score full of world-weary introspection. In this intensely melancholic writing, Barton communicates a real sense of yearning to moving effect, which felt extremely spiritual. The text that aches with emotion in Um Mitternacht (At midnight) is enchantingly sung, maintaining an intense expression that adds to the dream-like quality of the writing and concludes with a sense of resignation.”
Music Web International
"Barton is the most important American mezzo-soprano since Stephanie Blythe, another phenomenon capable of singing everything, and very well. Instead of Bellini’s Adalgisa and Wagner’s Fricka, which are her calling cards on opera stages around the world, the singer opted for a more intimate and very demanding repertoire. Barton has been given a voice and that abundance of means could betray her; fortunately those fears are unfounded. Her instrument is a column of generous, opulent sound that dominates to the point of allowing her to completely abandon herself to the chosen material in order to concentrate on the interpretation."
El Nuevo Herald
"We listened to All Who Wander on a rainy afternoon in London; Barton’s singing is just as much a warm hug on a cold day as it is a refreshing breeze in the heat.”
"Barton’s voice is delicate throughout, a sound that the audiences are not accustomed to hearing in the opera house where her potent mezzo soprano exhilarates with its brilliance and forwardness."
"Perhaps the song on the record which encapsulates best what Barton can do is Sibelius’ “Säv, säv, susa”. She conveys its arched structure from repose to violence and back again with real conviction, and the final long vowels are unbelievable.”
The Arts Desk
"She is emphatically her own artist. All Who Wander is a testament to Barton’s artistic individuality—and, equally importantly, to the depths of her talent. No, the Twenty-First Century has given us no Flagstad or Callas, but what a gift we have been given in Jamie Barton."
Voix des Arts