Granados, Rodrigo, Nin, Guastavino & Ginastera

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Granados,Guastavino & Ginastera,Nin,Rodrigo
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Canciones Amatorias
WORKS: Songs
PERFORMER: Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano); Roger Vignoles (piano)
This anthology of Spanish songs is full of rare delights, with melodies which will haunt you for days if not weeks. As well as Granados’s familiar and touching mini-cycle La maja dolorosa, there is the whole of his less often heard Colecciòn de canciones to Renaissance texts, with appropriately contrapuntal accompaniments. There are unhackneyed selections from Rodrigo’s song output and Joaquín Nin’s vivid folksong arrangements. And then, instead of settling for the predictable Falla or Obradors, the programme heads off for Argentina, with charming songs by Carlos Guastavino, and folksong arrangements by Ginastera with complex accompaniments and a Bartókian edge. This transatlantic excursion is explained by the fact that the mezzo Bernarda Fink, a familiar figure on the European circuit, was born and educated in Buenos Aires. She sings with evident affection for the repertoire and a consistently beautiful tone; Roger Vignoles’s accompaniments are full of colour and rhythmic subtlety. Altogether, this well-recorded disc is highly recommendable. My only reservation is that the emotional range, whether in the choice of songs or in their interpretation, seems somewhat constrained, rarely reaching wild desperation, equally rarely cracking a smile, let alone a laugh. But, if not quite a fiesta, this is certainly a feast. Anthony Burton