Rossini's Soirees musicales may be salon music but they are by no means minor Rossini. The seeds of several fine things, up to and including the late Petite messe solenne/le are sown here. They make a marvellous self-contained programme, dominated by the soprano in the ariettes but nicely mixing voices in the four duets. So it is odd that they have not been more frequently recorded as a set.
Nimbus's new recording is greatly welcomed, especially as it gathers together some skilled Rossinians in June Anderson, Rail Giménez, and Kathryn Bouleyn. Giménez is wonderfully precise in his delivery and phrasing and June Anderson, as in the theatre, melts our hearts.