Temptation, prohibition, good, evil… ‘how relevant are these in today’s world?’ asks Benjamin Appl. With the complicity of pianist James Baillieu, we are taken on a musical arc from simple folk songs through to the great song composers such as Schubert, Schumann and Wolf, along the way visiting the Impressionists Debussy and Poulenc, exploring ‘new objectivity’ with Weill and Eisler and enjoying compositions by Casucci, Heggie and others. The metaphor of forbidden fruit gives Benjamin and James a wide ran ge of possible interpretations. Whilst some of the song settings centre on sensuality, others focus on socially immoral topics such as incest or sensitive subjects such as abortion. The German baritone embodies each of these stories with a passion and dramatic sense that makes this album a kaleidoscopic and astonishing journey through time and space.
“The Guardian” 23 June 2023 Forbidden Fruit review – from Schubert to Marlene Dietrich on wide-ranging and tasty concept album ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Benjamin Appl/James Baillieu (Alpha)
Sustaining intensity with even the tiniest sound, Appl’s baritone is velvety smooth, supported by Baillieu’s responsive piano at every turn.