Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Dux Records

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (1932) [10.33]
Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879-1957)

Chants d'Auvergne (1925): Baïlero; Pastourelle; La Delaïssado; Pour l'enfant; Uno Jionto Pastouro; Lou Coucut [22.35]
Alban BERG (1885-1935)

Sieben Frühe Lieder (1910, 1928) [14.53]
Samuel BARBER (1910-1981)

Adagio (1936) [5.35]
Anna Bajor (sop)
Sinfonietta Cracovia/Jerzy Maksymiuk
rec. St Catherine's Church, Cracow, Nov 1997. DDD
DUX 0101 [54.27]


This disc is built with the voice of Anna Bajor as its focal point. She is recorded in a stone-resonant church acoustic and in this respect the disc is unique among the pages of the Bachianas Brasileiras 5 discography. Bajorís voice which happily ranges from pianissimo to triple forte exults in this setting. She has indeed a most beautiful voice. Try the section from 5.01 onwards in track 1. It is not all plain sailing as she does not enunciate perfectly at the start of the Dansa although she is spot-on from 0.47 onwards. When Bajor's voice is challenged to great heights the church acoustic seems to open welcomingly and allows it to bloom fully.

The Canteloube songs have been well known since the 1970s and two events: the Dubonnet commercial and the issue of the matchless Netania Davrath Vanguard LPs. Maksymiuk and his orchestra touch in many delicious details including the soft ascends-descends in Baïlero. The only substantive criticism I have is that the selection is too sleepy-eyed. It would have benefited from the insertion of more eager songs. As for the Berg songs these came early in Bergís career before his fully developed voice. They fall somewhere between Wagner, Schoeck and Zemlinsky. The Barber adagio is, of course, for strings alone. I am not quite sure what it is doing here. In any event it is taken at a no-nonsense fast clip which suggests that its lugubrious pleasures can be taken breathlessly. I am not sure it works fully but at least it is not one of those glue and caramel readings. The resonance of the acoustic certainly adds to the experience. Listening to this I rather wish we could hear the Elgar Introduction and Allegro, Howells and Bliss Music for Strings and RVW Tallis done in this location.

Why were there not more tracks from Bajor? Her voice is treasurable, strong as an oak, yet lithe and pliable.

All the words are printed and given in either German or Polish translation. The disc was not made for the English speaking market although background notes are in English.

Voice fanciers should take a tip and try to track down a copy. Bajor's voice is well worth catching. I see this disc becoming a collector's item.

Rob Barnett


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