Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Waldemar HENRIQUE (1905 – 1995)
Thirteen songs
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887 – 1959)
Canção Do Poeta Século XVIII
Nesta Rua
Vióla Quebrada
Jaime OVALE (1894 – 1955)
Lorenzo FERNÂNDEZ (1897 – 1948)
Dentro da Noite
Alberto NEPOMUCENO (1864 – 1920)
Xavier MONTSALVATGE (born 1912)
Cradle Song
Consuelo VELASQUEZ (born 1924)
Besame Mucho
Annette Celine (soprano); Christopher Gould (piano)
Recorded: no information available
BRANA RECORDS BR 0003 [55:38]
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Mark Walmsley
Brana Records
Suites 6 and 7
Meridian House
28 Station Road

The Brazilian-born Waldemar Henrique, whose name and music were new to me, has pride of place in this selection of Brazilian and Latin-American songs. In fact Montsalvatge is the only European composer represented here … and this by his beautiful Cradle Song. The thirteen songs are quite varied and range from the simple, direct, folk-like essay to the more sophisticated art song. His music is fresh and unpretentious, often moving in its simplicity and always quite attractive.

Much the same may be said of the works by the other Brazilian composers, though Villa-Lobos is clearly in another league. Canção Do Poeta Século XVIII is a real gem completely new to me though it and Vióla Quebrada have been recorded by Teresa Berganza (CLAVES CD 50-8401).

This interesting recital ends with a “hit”, Velasquez’s Besame Mucho. This has been arranged in many versions and has even become a jazz standard recorded by several jazzmen and even by the Beatles!

I approached this disc with much trepidation: much unfamiliar music mostly by equally unfamiliar Latin-American composers with the added bonus of three rarely heard songs by Villa-Lobos. However, I must report some disappointment, for Annette Celine’s voice is no longer what is used to be. It no longer has the suitable suppleness and firmness for which these songs call. Quicker songs are often a problem and one clearly feels that Christopher Gould, a fine pianist from what I can tell, must quite often “put on the brakes” to keep apace with Celine. I am sorry not to be able to register more enthusiasm about this potentially promising release. A pity for this could have been a quite attractive and enjoyable disc.

Hubert Culot

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