Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, among others are amazing. But never mind all that. The real question is, how does composer and soprano Susan Botti sound?
When Botti is hot, she is incandescent. Her soprano sears the score, consumes it, and breathes it back as musical fire. And that's when she's singing other composers' material. When she's singing her own music, Botti is transformed from re-creator to the creator of an intense, immensely emotional music. If Botti the performer of Kurtág is utterly convincing, Botti the performer of Botti is ruthlessly compelling.
This is not to say that Botti doesn't have interpretive range. Her voice can be as sorrowful as a sob, as soft as a farewell, and as fine as a line drawn with a sharp knife on the soft skin above the heart. And this is not to say that Botti can't sing lyrically. She is no crooner, but if she has to, she can sing a tune with suppleness, if not exactly elegance. But technique is only part a relatively small part of Botti's performance. The point is emotional display of the rawest and most elemental form. Her art is Dionysian, not Apollonian, and Botti is a bacchante, tearing the emotional flesh from the rigid bones of the score.