“An all-Dvorák song recital may still seem a luxury.
The Gypsy Songs, and not just their famous fourth ('Songs my mother taught me'), have found a secure place in the repertoire, but not much else is heard at all regularly either in recital or on disc.
They may lack the variety of mood to constitute a fully satisfying programme on their own, but they never fail to give pleasure. One cause of the continued unfamiliarity of the B160 set is that Czech is an alien language to most recitalists. Not, however, to the Argentinian mezzo Bernarda Fink, who comes from a Slovenian family, lived in Prague for a while and has made a special study of Czech music. Her diction is very clear. Her tone is rich and deep, and the manner has warmth and dignity, though these seem to be its limits. If you come to the Gypsy Songs with Anne Sofie von Otter's recording in mind, you'll miss, in Fink's singing, a lot of colour, imagination and temperament.
But there may be some relief, too. Her recording with Bengt Forsberg is exciting but assertive. Fink and Vignoles may prove more companionable. But this new issue is most welcome: tasteful and often lovely performances and a generously comprehensive selection.”