Gods, Kings & Demons Weigle CD

“That the German bass René Pape is one of the most compelling artists to have emerged internationally in the last 15 years is proved again by his phenomenal singing on his new recording of arias by Gounod, Boito, Berlioz, Verdi, Wagner and others. This imaginative program allows Mr. Pape to portray, chillingly, various gods, kings and demons, as the title suggests.”

– Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“René Pape, only in his early forties, has been such a strong presence on world stages for the last decade that it’s surprising he hasn’t recorded a solo recital sooner . . . With brisk support provided throughout by the Dresden Staatskapelle and Staatsopernchor under the direction of Sebastian Weigle, this is a fine showcase.”

– Christopher Cook, BBC Music Magazine (London)

“René Pape is certainly one of today’s towering figures in opera, literally and figuratively: the bass’s unbeatable combination of physical stature, charisma, intensity and voice is presented with an extraordinary level of artistic integrity. His musical and dramatic intentions are motivated by intelligence and commitment . . . Pape makes a strong impression as Gounod’s devil, a role he’s done onstage: “Le veau d’or” is explosively exciting but in firm vocal control and nicely shaded.”

– Ira Siff, Opera Now (London)

“René Pape has the most beautiful bass voice to have emerged in Germany in the last 40 years. For sheer sensuous fullness and smoothness, combined with impressive volume, we have to go back to Karl Ridderbusch for a comparison . . . Pape seems to have everything, including a magnetism which he exerts not only when he appears on stage — how many performances of Tristan have been rescued from mediocrity by King Mark’s arrival . . .”

– Michael Tanner, International Record Review

Pape is a good god, a good king and a still better singer . . . Pape's singing here is altogether admirable in its sonority, firmness and command of the legato line. He has a natural dignity of utterance and his diction is exceptionally clear, sampled on this record in five languages . . . The support of orchestra and chorus from his native Dresden is an asset, and the recorded sound is excellent."

– John Steane, Gramophone (London)