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Third release on ONYX from young Dutch mezzo and rising star Christianne Stotijn
Beautiful collection of 20 Tchaikovsky songs representing the whole range of his creative life from his first performed composition “My Genius, My angel, my friend,” written when we was 16, through to the last published song from the year of his death “Again, as before, alone”. Includes favourites such as “None but the Lonely Heart” and “Why?” but also rarely heard songs such as “Mild Stars Looked down”, “The Cuckoo” and “The Gypsy Song”
Christianne learnt Russian especially for this recording and toured it widely before recording it with her superb pianist Julius Drake. This recording should do much to re-evaluate Tchaikovsky as one of the greatest composers of song and not just a writer of pretty tunes.
At the Ball, Op.38 No.3
None But the Lonely Heart, Op.6 No.6
Over Burning Ashes, Op.25 No.2
My Genius, My Angel, My Friend!
Lullaby, Op.16 No.1
Reconciliation, Op.25 No.1
The Sun Has Set, Op.73 No.4
The Fearful Moment, Op.28 No.6
Mild Stars Looked Down, Op.60 No.12
Had I Only Known, Op.47 No.1
The Lights Were Being Dimmed, Op.63 No.5
Not a Word, My Friend, Op.6 No.2
Why? Op.6 No.5
The Bride's Lament, Op.47 No.7
The Gypsy Song, Op.60 No.7
Do Not Believe My Friend, Op.6 No.1
It Was in Early Spring, Op.38 No.2
Cuckoo, Op.54 No.8
Can it Be Day? Op.47 No.6
Again, as Before, Alone, Op.73 No.6
“The two best-known songs open proceedings: "At the Ball", with its reminiscence of unrequited passion to the lilt of a sad waltz, and then "None but the lonely heart". Everyone conceivable from Rosa Ponselle to Frank Sinatra has recorded this, but Stotijn loses nothing in comparison with ghosts from the past. Her voice is a full-blooded mezzo but steady and true, without a hint of that vibrato that can often disturb the line in Slavonic singers... The piano parts are superbly done: in every sense these songs are duets. Tchaikovsky's songs are not nearly well enough known and this superb recital should encourage more interest in them.”
“…Christianne Stotijn is that artist in a thousand whose personality shines through everything she does. Her Russian characterisations and folk inflections seem spot-on in the vivid narratives of 'Had I known', 'The Bride's Lament' and 'The Cuckoo'. Here, too, as in their often wonderful Mahler recital together, Julius Drake's focused narratives make us want to hear even more from him... But Stotijn's charisma and her beautifully recorded altoish depth of tone is enough to hold me spellbound.”
“For the most part these are angst-ridden stories of death and lost love. The two best-known songs open proceedings: 'At the Ball', with its reminiscence of unrequited passion to the lilt of a sad waltz, and then 'None but the lonely heart'. Everyone conceivable from Rosa Ponselle to Frank Sinatra has recorded this, but Stotijn loses nothing in comparison with ghosts from the past. Her voice is a full-blooded mezzo but steady and true, without a hint of that vibrato that can often disturb the line in Slavonic singers (Stotijn is from The Netherlands). The emotional climax of the selection comes with 'The Bride's Lament'. This outpouring of grief can seem over melodramatic but Stotijn and Drake find exactly the right mood. The piano parts are superbly done: in every sense these songs are duets. There are a couple of other light moments – 'Cuckoo', one of 16 children's songs composed in the 1880s, and a 'Gypsy Song' from around the same time. Tchaikovsky's songs are not nearly well enough known and this superb recital should encourage more interest in them. Highly recommended.”
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