The Seis canciones castellanos by Jesús Guridi—improbably lush late-Romantic effusions to have been written after the Spanish Civil War, in 1939 … found the soprano in her best voice and most communicative form. The fourth song in particular—‘No quiero tus avellanas’—was simply exquisite as a piece of sustained singing, beautiful as sound, meaningful as sense. The remaining two scheduled items, both also happily Spanish, found the soprano in evermore expansive and unbuttoned form … if her name belies the connection, her wholly idiomatic singing of the repertoire certainly makes the matter of Schwartz’s nationality crystal clear: this is music she was born to sing, and does so quite wonderfully … in response to her warm reception she gave three encores, all of which played to her strengths. The first, Granados’ ‘La maja de Goya’, was a lovely miniature of longing, sound and sense fully interlocking. (Opera Britannia)
A deeply seductive album of Spanish songs by composers including Granados and Turina, performed by the young Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwartz, whose commitment to this repertoire is described above, and is evident from her utterly enchanting performances.
A work from Granados’ Goyescas, perhaps more familiar in the piano version, opens the programme, which continues with Tonadillas en estilo antiguo, a set also inspired by the paintings of Goya and in which this soprano demonstrates her wonderful emotional and dramatic range. The folk-influenced set of songs by Guridi is a beautiful series of Castillan melodies, creatively transcribed by the composer with aplomb. The recital is completed by works by Turina, Toldrá and Montsalvage, including the latter’s universally popular ‘Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito’.