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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67186
Recording details: December 2000
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2002
Total duration: 11 minutes 21 seconds

'Full of rare delights … this well-recorded disc is highly recommendable' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Fink is one of the best singers I’ve encountered in some time, and she goes a long way to making this recording the most enjoyable anthology of Spanish songs I’ve heard' (American Record Guide)

'Recommended with enthusiasm' (International Record Review)

'A strong case for the inclusion of at least some Spanish Song into mainstream repertoire … Vignoles’s accompaniment is beautifully defined throughout; the perfect foil to Fink’s delicately nuanced, smooth and increasingly sensual singing' (The Independent on Sunday)

'One of the loveliest mezzos of our time' (The Sunday Times)

'Enthusiasts for song recitals should certainly investigate this disc, which offers one beautiful song after the other, running the gamut from elegant art songs to simple, folk-like tunes' (Fanfare, USA)

'The performances are excellent' (Turok’s Choice)

'A delightful recital' (ClassicsToday.com)

'On sent qu’elle connaît parfaitement ce répertoire et cette langue' (Répertoire, France)

Colección de canciones amatorias
composer
1913

Introduction  EnglishEspañol
Canciones amatorias was first performed in 1913 at the Barcelona debut of the great Catalan soprano Conchita Badía, to whom two of the songs are dedicated. Only two of the Renaissance poems are attributed—Nos 3 and 6, to Luis de Góngora (1561–1627), said by some to have been the greatest poet of the late Golden Age, and among other things a notorious wencher, gambler and dueller—but all seven inhabit a recognisable world of courtly melancholy alternating with somewhat artificial rhetoric. This is underlined by the piano writing, which frequently suggests a lute or vihuela in its figuration and harmonic colour as in the first and third songs whose texts would not be out of place among the lute songs of John Dowland. But Descúbrase el pensamiento also includes a more tonadilla-like section in 3/4, where the press of emotion seems to find release in physical movement.

In Mañanica era, the sound of bells on midsummer morning is conjured up in a lilting 3/8, its delicate counterpoint weaving in and about the voice part like the breezes and flowers among which Venus is pictured taking the air. Only at the end do music and words reveal the poem’s sad conclusion.

The fourth song Mira que soy niña introduces that well-known staple of song literature, the young girl surprised by love. Its turbulent piano interludes and constant refrain of ‘¡Ay, ay, ay, que me moriré!’ suggest something of the same erotic confusion as Hugo Wolf’s Mörike setting Erstes Liebeslied eines Mädchens, though without that song’s Germanic explosiveness. A similar pianistic undercurrent propels the melismatic energy of No lloréis, ojuelos. At about one minute the shortest song of the cycle, its showy manners are perhaps not quite in tune with the sentiment of the poem, unless Granados is trying to suggest the bravura of pained love. After all this amorous excitement, Iban al pinar, the second of the two Luis de Góngora poems, comes as a breath of fresh air. One can easily imagine the sway of the mountain girls’ skirts in its lilting rhythms and refrain of ‘unas por piñones, otras por bailar’. At first sight the triumphant ending of this song can seem to pose a problem for the interpreter, as it threatens to pre-empt the final song, Gracia mía. It may be for this reason that the Canciones are not always performed complete, and sometimes not in the printed order. However, if taken on the wing and carried off with sufficient élan, the join between the two songs is the reverse of anti-climactic, raising the tonality by a semitone while at the same time plunging into the first recognisably ‘Spanish’ rhythmic pattern of the cycle.

from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2002

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