Para Entonces: Spanish Poetry in 20th-21st Century Song

By Berg, Gregory | Journal of Singing, March/April 2009 | Go to article overview

Para Entonces: Spanish Poetry in 20th-21st Century Song


Berg, Gregory, Journal of Singing


Para Entonces: Spanish Poetry in 20th-21st Century Song. Helen Tintes-Schuermann, mezzo soprano; Julio Alexis Muñoz, Winifred Goodwin, piano; William Terwilliger, violin. (MSR Classics MS 1192; 62:10)

Manuel de Falla: "El Pan de Ronda que sabe a verdad," "Oración de las madres que tienen a sus hijos en brazos." Eduardo Toldrá: Seis Canciones: "La zagala alegre," "Madre, Unos Ojuelos Vi," "Mañanita de San Juan," "Nadie puede ser dischoso," "Cantarcillo," "Después que te concocí." Joaquin Rodrigo: Canciones Sefardies: "Respóndemos," "Nani, Nani," "Morena me llaman." "Cantico de la Esposa." Federico Mompou: "Cant del Alma," "Pastoral," "Llueve sobre el rio." Xaviér Montsalvatge: Cinco Canciónes Negras: "Cuba Dentro de un Piano," "Punto de Habanera," "Chévere," "Canción de Cuna para Dormir a un Negrito," "Canto Negro." Gordon Goodwin: Para Entonces: "Si Yo Te Rindo," "Para Entonces," "El Viento."

This disk offers persuasive testimony to the richness of Spanish art song in the twentieth century. It presents twenty-three songs by six composers and includes a most notable world premiere recording. Actually, the subtitle of the disk makes clear that this is meant to be a celebration of great texts as much as anything else, and these lyrics range from the grit and grime of everyday life to the mystery of the great beyond. And repeatedly these songs demonstrate how beautiful this language is when it is assuredly set to music and skillfully sung.

Mezzo soprano Helen TintesSchuermann brings a large, colorful voice to the proceedings, as well as a scintillating flair for the language and infectious exuberance for the music. A few songs tax her upper range to the point of stridency, and others call for more delicate grace than she can comfortably deliver; but those pieces that dwell in the lower and middle registers of her voice, and which call for more lyric expression, are superbly realized, on a par with some of the best recordings ever made of Spanish art song. One fairly consistent problem is that her voice lacks the clean purity that would have made the delicious dissonances in these songs more clearly discernible. It is in these instances that we wish we were hearing the voice of a Dorabella or a Cherubino rather than an Amneris or Klytemnestra. …

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