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Classical Music Review

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Sueños de España
(Spanish Art Songs)


Composers: Various
Performed by: Shudong Braamse (soprano), Teresa Ancaya (piano) and Dr. Robert Phillips (guitar)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 February 2019

Soprano Shudong Braamse blends vocal artistry with technical skill in her recording of Sueños de España. This treasury of Spanish art song relates stories of passionate love, broken promises, and heartfelt prayers...

Shudong Braamse's performances on Sueños de España are nothing short of breathtaking. Accompanied by Teresa Ancaya (piano) and Dr. Robert Phillips (guitar), the trio deliver an essential collection for lovers of operatic recordings.

The album opens with Sebastián de Iradier's 'Un Adios', which describes a troubadour leaving his lover and the ancient city of Granada forever. Braamse performs the role of the troubadour, displaying the pain of abandoning one's love and ancestral home. Her wide vocal range encompasses every note in the song comfortably and naturally, from the low, brooding tones to the sweeping higher ones.

This spirit is revealed throughout the album, from 'A Tus Ojos', a homage to the eyes of one’s sweetheart, to 'Ave María', a prayer to the Virgin Mary for strength and protection.

The album contains 19 beautifully delivered tracks (1 hr, 8 min, 11 sec). What made this such a joy to listen to was the feeling that all three performers were doing this out of the love of it, rather than for any monetary gain. The way they work together felt like a group that have been been performing together for years, when in reality they probably never met before making this recording.

It's a classic, timeless release, that really does showcase Braamse's wide vocal range.

Track listing:

Sebastián de Iradier
01 - Un Adiós

Fermín María Álvarez
02 - Amor y Olvido

Mariano Obiols Tramullas
03 - Rosa

Francisco Asenjo Barbieri
04 - Lo Que Está de Dios

Antonio Reparaz
05 - A Mi Nazarena

Joaquín Valverde
06 - Niña Pancha

Francisco Fuster
07 - A Tus Ojos

Ramón Carnicer
08 - Las Quejas de Maruja

Manuel Fernández Caballero
09 - Amor Sin Esperanza

Cristóbal Oudrid
10 - La Pajarita

Vicente Costa y Nogueras
11 - Melodía

Rafael Taboada y Mantilla
12 - ¡Desengaño!

Sebastián de Iradier
13 - El Arreglito

Francisco de Borja Tapia
14 - A la Incredulidad

Mariano Nicasio Rodríguez de Ledesma
15 - O Sí o No

Juan Cantó Francés
16 - Ave Maria

Antonio de la Cruz
17 - ¡Ay! Mar Que Son Mis  Lágrimas

Antonio de la Cruz
18 - El Caudillo de los Ciento

Fermín María Álvarez
19 - A Granada


Darren Rea

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