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.
Bajor’s 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
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 Berg’s 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
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