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Columna Musica


Victoria de Los Angeles Lucero mío
Lullabies and folk songs
Xavier MONTSALVATGE (1912 - 2002)
1. Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito from Canciones negras [2:19]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828)
2. Wiegenlied, D498 [2:33]
Manuel de FALLA (1876 - 1946)
3. Nana from 7 canciones popolares españolas [1:29]
Trad. (arr. Charles Villiers Stanford)
4. Irish Lullaby [3:06]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897)
5. Wiegenlied, Op. 49 No. 4 [2:35]
Geni SADERO (1886 - 1961)
6. Era la vo [2:35]
Ernesto HALFFTER (1905 - 1989)
7. Panxoliña [2:25]
Trad. (Cancion sefardi)
8. Durme, durme, hermozo hijico [1:07]
Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841 - 1904)
9. Möglichkeit [2:07]
Trad. (popular catalana)
10. El noi de la mare [2:46]
Trad. (popular vasca)
11. Din, dan, boleran [2:46]
Trad. (popular catalana)
12. Josep i Maria [1:11]
13. An Sylvia, D891 [2:38]
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710 - 1736)
14. Stizzoso, mio stizzoso from La serva padrona [3:27]
Trad. (popular catalana)
15. Margarideta [1:27]
Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879 - 1957)
16. Chut, chut [1:57]
Trad. (popular catalana)
17. La filadora [1:28]
Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660 - 1725)
18. Le violette from Il Pirro ed il Demetrio [2:16]
Leo DELIBES (1836 - 1891)
19. Les filles de Cadix [3:01]
Trad. (popular catalana)
20. La ploma de perdiu [1:36]
21. He! beyla-z da le! [1:46]
Trad. (popular catalana)
22. Els tres tambors [1:06]
Jerónimo GIMÉNEZ (1854 - 1923)
23. La tarantula from Le tempranica [1:29]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868)
24. Duetto buffo di due gatti [2:54]
Manuel GARCIA MORANTE (b. 1937)
25. Coplilla a Victoria de los Angeles [2:06]
Victoria de Los Angeles (soprano)(1-24)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)(9), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano)(24); Students from the Victoria de los Angeles Foundation/Jordi Homs (25); Orchestre de la Société des concerts du Conservatoire/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (1), Sinfonia of London/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (4, 6, 19), Orchestre des concerts Lamoureux/Jean-Pierre Jacquillat (16, 21), Spanish National Orchestra/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (23); Manuel Garcia Morante (piano)(2, 10, 13), Alicia de Larrocha (piano)(3), Geoffrey Parsons (piano)(5, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22), Gerald Moore (piano)(7, 9, 24), Oscar Ghiglia (guitar)(8), Renata & Graciano Tarragó (guitars)(11)
rec. 1950 - 1992
Sung texts enclosed
COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0198 [54:21]
Experience Classicsonline

Lucero mío, cariño mío, 'My bright star, my darling' was what Victoria de los Angeles always called her son Alexander. When he was just a few months old it was found out that he had Down syndrome, but to his mother he was always a 'blessing' and the cover picture to this disc tangibly reflects her joy. They were together all the time and in the evenings they sang together many of the songs included here, songs that have accompanied Alexander ever since. This issue is a co-production between the Catalan Down Syndrome Foundation and the Victoria de Los Angeles Foundation, the latter having substantially contributed to the former's fund-raising and Columna Música have contributed to making this a valuable issue for humanitarian as well as musical reasons.

Some titles are presented courtesy EMI, including those conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, three of which are extracted from the mid-60s album 'Songs around the world', which was included in its entirety in the seven-CD-box 'The voice of an angel', issued just months ago by EMI. Also the two Canteloube songs as well as the zarzuela aria (tr. 23) as well as the songs with Gerald Moore and a few others are from the EMI vaults. It is a special pleasure to get the famous Cat duet with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, recorded live at Royal Festival Hall as part of the 'Tribute to Gerald Moore' concert in 1967, where Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau also participated. It should also be said that the great baritone is actually heard on this disc in duet with Victoria de Los Angeles in Dvorak's Möglichkeit (tr. 9), a fact that the documentation fails to observe.

Spanning from Din dan Boleran (tr. 11), recorded in 1950 with a guitar duo, to the eight songs recorded live at Wigmore Hall with Geoffrey Parsons in the early 1990s, the disc covers, remarkably indeed, forty-two years of a singing career with practically no deterioration in vocal quality. Since the demise of Collins Classics in 1998 these Wigmore Hall recordings have as far as I know been unavailable to the record buying public and it is good to have them back. In fact there isn't a song here that I would want to be without in my collection.

Among the most charming numbers are Serpina's aria from La serva padrona (tr. 14) and Delibes' delightful and rhythmically stirring Les filles de Cadix (tr. 19) but every piece is worth returning to. The recording quality varies a lot, not surprisingly considering the time span and the various venues, but since most of the recordings are of later dates the overall impression is very good.

The concluding song, recorded in 2008, is truly moving. The text was written by her pianist Manuel Garcia Morante on a flight from Madrid to Barcelona after a concert where Victoria de Los Angeles had 'sung like the angels'. Morante gave it to her, she read it attentively and then put it away. This was in 1989. Almost twenty years later Helena Mora of the Victoria de Los Angeles Foundation found it in an envelope, gave it back to Morante and asked him to set it to music. He did and it was decided that it should be sung by a group of youngsters from the Down Syndrome Foundation. It is indeed a very special experience to hear it and I can't help quoting the poem that Manuel Garcia Morante wrote twenty years ago. In English translation it goes:

Victoria of the Angels,
Of the angels, victory.
Friend of the angels
And a little bit their mistress.

Singing with them,
Praying with them,
playing with them
And laughing with them.

When she sings of her woes …
They sadden
And if she shares her joy …
They will sing.

She and they,
They and she.
What angels for such a mistress!
What a Mistress of the Angels!

Words coming from the heart of a musician very close to Victoria de Los Angeles - and every track on this disc testifies to their truth.

Göran Forsling 


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