“I want my singing to have drama, to send a message, sometimes people cry when they hear me-this is what's important. I want people to love me or hate me because of the emotion of my singing” Ewa Podles
Wigmore Hall Live proudly presents an all-Russian and Polish recital by the enigmatic Ewa Podles, widely regarded as the world’s leading contralto and one of the true great singers of our time.
Recorded live at Wigmore Hall on 23 January 2008, this release marked Ewa Podles´ return to the Wigmore Hall stage after an absence of sixteen years.
With her unique, dramatic voice of staggering range, agility and amplitude, Ewa Podles gives the kind of towering performance that has come to be expected of an artist who has acquired cult status and a near-fanatical following within the operatic world.
In addition to her rigorous operatic calendar, which notably includes her highly-publicised return this year to the Metropolitan Opera Stage after twenty-four years, Podles´ is one of the most acclaimed recital and concert performers in the world.
Accompanying Podles´ is the distinguished Garrick Ohlsson, whose solo performance of Szymanowski’s Masques “was a mastery display of sustained and imaginative virtuosity, matching the singer’s” Opera Now
“The Polish-born American singer Ewa Podles is something of a cult figure, a true contralto of a quality rare nowadays. …she makes 'None but the lonely heart' remarkably touching and unhackneyed, and is a fearsomely defiant gypsy in 'Zemfira's song' - no wonder the audience erupts. Altogether, a healthy reminder that power and passion still have their part in memorable Lieder performances.”
13th March 2009
“What comes over loud and clear is Podles's astonishing, bronze-toned lower registers and her remarkable, if slightly grand manner, and powers of declamation. The centrepiece is an unnerving performance of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death, though the tracks you will want to return to are songs by Rachmaninov in orientalist mode, which she delivers in ways that are simply overpowering.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.