Here they are coupled with three excerpts from the opera, including the ecstatic Act Three trio, and two of Strauss’s most languorous solo songs. At 44:36 this makes for a short CD.

The disc is a showcase for soprano Yvonne Kenny. Her voice has been described as “silvery”; that, plus her accuracy of pitch and sure dramatic instincts, ensures her success in Handel and Mozart. Her Marschallin from Der Rosenkavalier has also been acclaimed, and you can hear why in the Act One monologue recorded here. Her pointing of detail and sympathetic intelligence bring the character of the ageing beauty vividly to life.

At this stage of Kenny’s career she is still able to project her middle register, but I feel that these pieces respond more fully to a larger voice. Despite her positive attributes, something is missing: compare the recordings by Gundula Janowitz, Jessye Norman or Soile Isokoski.

Fritszch and the Queensland Orchestra give solid support, though the recording rather crowds them around the soloist. Harms’s robust Octavian and Gore’s slightly mature sounding Sophie are fine – but it’s Kenny’s show. If you’re a fan you won’t be disappointed.

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