Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Joaquin RODRIGO (1901-1999)
Cançó del grumet for Soprano and piano [1.57] (1938)
Pastorcito santo [2.51]
Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios (1948): Con qué la lavaré [2.25]; Vos me matásteis (2.23); De dónde venís amore [1.11]; De los álamos vengo Madre [2.19]
from Cuatro Cançones Sefardíes (1965): Nani, nani [3.21]; Morena me llaman [1.04]; Adela [1.54]
from Con Antonio Machado: Canción del Duero [2.16] (1971)
Pastoral for Piano [2.39] (1926)
de Cinco Sonatas de Castilla (1951): Como un tiento [5.17]
de Album de Ceclia ('six pieces for little hands') (1948): María de los Reyes [0.40]; A la Jota, Jota de las Palomas [1.09]; Canción del Hada rubia [1.17]; Canción del Hada morena [0.44]; El negrito Pepo [1.54]; Borriquillos a Belén [1.55]; Berceuse de Printemps [2.23]
Set Cançons Valencianes for Piano and violín (1982): Allegretto [2.51]; Andante moderato [2.20]; Allegro [1.49]; Andante moderato e molto cantabile [3.44]; Andantino [2.36]; Andante religioso [3.16]; Tempo de bolero [2.35]
Sonata Pimpante (1966): Allegro [7.03]; Adagio [8.12]; Allegro molto [4.09]
Isabel Monar, soprano; Ala Voronkova, violin; Mac McClure, piano
Notes in Catalán, Castellano and English. Texts and English translations (not parallel)
Recorded at la Sala Paper de Musica de Capellades, Barcelona, Spain, May 2001
COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0077 [72.54]

Comparison recording
Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios, Louisville Orchestra, Robert Whitney, cond.; Audrey Nossaman, soprano. Louisville First Edition LP LOU-606


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It is good to have this beautiful music available on CD. I have loved the Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios for many years in the version with orchestra as performed by the Louisville Orchestra. I have the same kind of affection for this music that I have for Les Nuits d'Été of Berlioz, and that comparison is apt as to the character of the music, given that the Berlioz is totally French, and the Rodrigo totally Iberian.

Which is why it saddens me to report that although the music on this disk is excellent, the performances are not always worthy of it. Isabel Monar sings with great conviction and intelligence, but at times finds herself beyond her limit of control of pitch and timbre. Pianist McClure plays very well in the solo pieces; but just occasionally when the going gets tough in accompanying Ms. Monar he betrays the habits of a rehearsal pianist - that is, he tends to slap at the insecure notes, pound the secure ones and to accomplish little in phrasing or dynamics. Violinist Voronkova also plays with passion and intelligence, but, for example, some of the fierce double-stopping of the third of the Cançons Valencianes is on the edge of her technique. We sympathise with these artists in their efforts to play well for us, but their occasional lack of success distracts us from the music.

The finest performances on the disk, and some of the finest music, are the atmospheric Canciones Sefardies, numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6 from the Cançons Valencianes and the second and third movements of the virtuosic Sonata Pimpante. The solo piano music is played exquisitely. The artists deserve to be remembered for these. Hopefully this disk will inspire additional recordings of this marvellous music.

The Columna Música producers continue their curious habit of presenting original language texts and translations on separate pages in the booklet. There is almost no information at all on the music other than a rave review by Xaver Montsalvatge of this recording. The Álbum de Cecilia, subtitled pieces for little hands, is also available in a guitar arrangement. The music is simple, but very worthy of the thoughtful performances it here receives. The Sephardic Songs are in the Ladino language, a mix of Spanish and Hebrew. Nani, nani is, not surprisingly, a lullaby.

Paul Shoemaker

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