> Aga Winska - Romantic inspirations [RJF]: Classical CD Reviews- July2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Aga WINSKA (soprano)
Romantic inspirations

Franz LISZT O lieb', so lang du lieben kannst
Antonin DVORÁK Kdyz nine stara matka
Antonin DVORÁK Siroke rukavy
Emmerich KALMÁN Csardas of Mariza: Höre lch Zigeunergeigen, from the operetta Grafin Mariza
Johann STRAUSS Aria of Gabriele: Gruss dich Gott, du liebes Nesterl, from the operetta Wiener Blut
Franz LEHÁR Aria of Hanna Glavari: Es lebt' eine Wilja, from the operetta Die lustige Witwe
Ludomir ROZYCKI Waltz of Caton: To dawny moj znajorny, from the opera Casanova
Stanislaw MONIUSZKO Przasniczka
Gabriel FAURÉ Les Berceaux
Francis POULENC Les chemins de l'amour
Manuel PONCE Estrellita
Giuseppe VERDI Siciliana of Elena: Merce, dilette amiche, from the opera I Siciliani
Vincenzo BELLINI Aria of Elvira: Qui la voce sua soave, from the opera I Puritani
Giacomo PUCCINI Aria of Lauretta: O mio babbino caro, from the opera Gianni Schicchi
Giacomo PUCCINI Aria of Mimi: Si, mi chiamano Mimi, from the opera La Boheme
Piotr TCHAIKOVSKY Dien' li tsarit
Sergei RACHMANINOV Viesiennyie vody
Recorded November 2001.
AGAW 2002 [64.35]


Available from agawinska@pi.b

In February 2002 the site posted my review of Windka’s 1990 disc of Mozart coloratura arias, and Exultate Jubilate, reissued on the Pavane Label (ADW 7249). In that review I praised Ms Winska's performance in those pieces and suggested that her then young voice had sufficient heft to indicate future directions and developments. The singer read the review and has submitted this wide ranging more recent performance for comment.

Whereas on the Pavane disc, Warsaw born Ms Winska was accompanied by her home-town Philharmonic, here the accompaniment is piano. It may be, guessing from the photographs in the booklet, that the duo perform recitals together and it is from such performances that the very varied repertoire performed here is derived. Not only is the variety on the disc impressive, so is the fact that all the items are sung in the original language. After her studies Ms Winska seems to have based herself in Belgium so I listened first to the French songs, that being the main language of the south of that country. It was immediately obvious that, as expected, her voice and interpretative powers have grown significantly. However, in her attempts to convey nuance and emotion, Ms Winska too often thickens the tone to give weight, which with the addition of vibrato and loss of legato produces an uneasy effect on my ear. The Vilja Lied (tr 6) illustrates this downside, whilst in the preceding number from Wiener Blut her earlier purity of coloratura is still to be heard to good effect.

The booklet contains all the words in the original language, and in the case of the Russian extracts, in Cyrillic script. There are no translations.

Ms Winska claims that of her vast repertoire, her special favourite is the 'romantic period' and she has been singing more lyric parts. Listening to tracks 13-16, which are certainly ambitious, I can hear why. Somewhere here, between operetta and the lyric repertoire she might find her developing fach, but she needs to go back to some fundamentals of vocal production, and re-discover not only some of the steadiness and purity of her earlier years but also to caress and float, as well as attack, a phrase.

The microphone catches the piano tone well but too often puts an 'edge' on the singer's tone which accentuates a certain harshness.

Robert J Farr

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