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
Robert J Farr