The collection of music on this enjoyable disc is either arranged from original folk sources or originally composed for soprano and guitar. It covers a somewhat surprisingly wide-ranging degree of expressive content for female voice and the six-stringed acoustic guitar. In this way, we are drawn into a more personal, intimate mode of expression, which speaks to a small, select, group of listeners, and which, in its natural mode returns to its folk-based roots.
The disc contains songs by three major Spanish-born composers; Fernando Sor, born in 1778 in Barcelona, was admired by the greatest composers of the day, including Chopin, Rossini, Moscheles, Cherubini and Méhul. His wide-ranging output has genuinely musical charm and originality and the twelve Seguidillas for voice and guitar, a rare vocal work, is a wonderful set of songs, often highly atmospheric, which range from sadness, unrequited love and passion, to suspicion and humour. The result overall is a genuine masterpiece, constituting one of the first song-cycles ever written.
The Catalan Roberto Gerhard was born in Valls in 1896 and lived and studied in Spain until he was almost 30, when he began studies with Schoenberg in Vienna and Berlin. He eventually settled in England and lived in Cambridge, until his death in 1970. The collection of Cantares, seven Spanish songs for voice and guitar (out of which, only six were chosen for recording by Rozario and Ogden), are founded on the original folk-based material which sets the musical scene at once. Gerhard’s settings preserve the inherent sense of momentum which all folk-music possesses but they are almost paradoxically ‘modern’ yet timeless. The Cantares constitute Gerhard’s last vocal work of any kind.
The music of Joaquin Rodrigo, since the mid-1970s, has become the most famous internationally of any living composer, owing to the immense popularity of his Concierto de Aranjuez of 1939. It’s interesting that the famous second movement of this Concerto was turned, in 1988, by the composer’s widow, Victoria Kamhi, into a song for voice and guitar with the title of Aranjuez, ma penseée. Present on this disc are also Rodrigo’s Villancicos and three Spanish songs from his 12 Canciones populares espanolas. Also included are Coplas del pastor enamorado (1983), Folias Canarias (1959) and the Romance de Durandarte which was one of the last works by Rodrigo to be published during his lifetime, appearing in 1995 when he was 92. Rodrigo’s settings are simpler in style, compared to Gerhard’s, the composer preferring to let the vocal line express almost all of the emotion.
The notes are in English with a French translation. Full texts in Spanish and English are included.
Patricia Rozario has built a worldwide reputation as much for her operatic work as for her many premières of works specially written for and dedicated to her by composers such as Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener, who alone has now written over thirty works for her, making their collaboration unique in the field of contemporary music.
Rozario’s wide concert and opera repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music and her concert operatic appearances are too numerous to mention. However, highlights of her première performances include Pärts’ Como Anhela le Cierva, Beastly Tales by Roxanna Panufnik, and Tavener’s Life Eternal, Ikon of Eros, Veil of the Temple in London and New York, Lament for Jerusalem in Australia and Schuon Lieder at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Most recently she has premiered John Casken’s Farness with the Northern Sinfonia and Chansons de Verlaine at the Wigmore Hall, and Jonathan Dove’s settings of Vikram Seth, as well as Minterne, with Steven Isserlis and Phillippe Honoré.
Other notable concert appearances include Pärts L’Abbé Agathon with the Danish National Symphony Orhcestra, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Northern Sinfonia, the US première of Tavener’s Solemnitas in Conceptione, Vaughan Williams’s Pastoral Symphony with Andrew Davis, Britten’s Les Illumintations with Daniel Harding, Gorecki’s Third Symphony in Athens, and Pärts’ Como Anhela la Cierva with Vladimir Jurowski in Paris, Moscow and Gothenburg. She has so far appeared eight times at the BBC Proms, the most recent being her appearance in Tavener’s Cantus Mysticus with the London Sinfonietta.
This season Patricia performs Casken’s Farness with Northern Sinfonia, appears at Vienna’s Ehrbar Sall, at the David Oistrakh Festival in Parnu, Estonia, and gives recitals at several major music festivals. Future plans include a major USA tour of a new work by Roxanna Panufnik with Chanticleer.
Her extensive discography includes Songs of the Auvergne with Pritchard, Haydn’s Stabat Mater under Pinnock, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Hickox, Casken’s Golem (a Gramophone award-winner), recordings with Graham Johnson for the Hyperion Schubert Series, and several major works of John Tavener, including Mary of Egypt, the Akhmatova Songs with Steven Isserlis, Eternity’s Sunrise (nominated for the Classical Brit Awards 2000), and Schuon Lieder.
Patricia Rozario was awarded the OBE in the New Year’s honours, 2001 and the Asian Women’s Award for Achievement in the Arts, 2002.
“I found myself totally caught up in the experience, so much so that the sixty minutes fairly flew. Much of that was because of Rozario’s magnificent singing. Long an exponent of Tavener’s vocal works, Rozario, in her Ravinia debut, brought a wide range, radiant timbre, phenomenal dexterity and pitch, superb German diction and total expressive conviction to the cycle.” Chicago Tribune
The present recording of Spanish Songs by Rogerto Gerhard, Joaquin Rodrigo and Fernando Sor shows Patricia in repertoire which she has always loved singing but has never had the chance of recording up till now and the results are delightful. The recording took place with Patricia and Craig Ogden in a church in Chipping Norton during three cold days in November, a most unlikely place and time for our chosen repertoire. However, one still remembers the colourful warmth of her singing which brought with it an exhilarating sense of discovery and unforgettable moments of carefree banter between artists and crew
Australian born guitarist Craig Ogden is one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of thirteen. In 2004 Ogden was honoured by the Royal Northern College of Music with a Fellowhip in recognition of his achievements. He is the youngest instrumentalist to have received this award from the RNCM.
Craig has released seven recordings on the Chandos label. His recording of all three solo Rodrigo guitar concertos with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra was greeted with wide acclaim. Classic CD concluded this recording to be “one of the most winning performances I have encountered” whilst Rodrigo’s daughter wrote: “This recorfding has confirmed your position among the greatest guitarists”. Ogden’s CD, Music from the Novels of Louis de Bernières featured as high as No. 10 in the classical charts and was the London Daily Telegraph CD of the Week, stating “this disc is pure joy”. Selling over 10,000 discs in three months it is Chandos Records fastest ever selling CD and Ogden now performs regularly with Louis de Bernières in ‘words and music’ recitals. Craig also records for film and has featured on the British hit, Notting Hill. One of the new generation’s most prominent players, Craig Ogden’s performances have taken him throughout the UK, into Europe, the USA, South East Asia, South Africa and Australia in recital, on radio and on television.
Craig Ogden has performed concertos with all the major UK orchestras and also with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, Riga Kammermusika, St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra, National Orchestra of South Africa, Lund Symphony Orchestra, Sweden, Tasmania Symphony, West Australian Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. He regularly appears as soloist and chamber musician at major London venues including the Purcell Room, Queen Elisabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican and collaborates regularly with many of the UK’s top artists and ensembles, including the Brodsky Quartet, Nash Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, tenors Mark Padmore, Ian Bostridge and John Mark Ainsley, Claire Bradshaw, Judith Hall, Paul Tanner and Gerard McChrystal. In February 2008 Craig made his debut as presenter on BBC Radio 3 in a programme on the Segovia Legacy, co-presented by Louis de Bernières. Craig Ogden is Principal Lecturer in Guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.
Ogden’s world première performances include a concerto written for him by GerardBrophy (Australia) with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Sun Trap for solo guitar by Jonathan Cole commissioned by the Britten Festival, The Hinchinbrook Riffs by Nigel Westlake and an Alec Roth song cycle for the Chester Festival. He has also given UK premieres of guitar concertos by John Corigliano, and Aaron Jay Kernis, USA. Commissions currently in planning include concertos from John McCabe, John Metcalf and Ciaran Farrell.
On This Recording
- Cantares: No. 1. La indita
- Cantares: No. 2. El toro
- Cantares: No. 3. La ausencia
- Cantares: No. 4. El galan y su morena
- Cantares: No. 6. La muerte y la doncella
- Cantares: No. 7. Reinas de la baraja
- 12 Canciones populares: No. 10. En jerez de la Frontera
- 12 Canciones populares: No. 2. De Ronda
- 12 Canciones populares: No. 9. Adela
- 3 Villancicos: No. 1. Pastorcito Santo
- 3 Villancicos: No. 3. Aire y Donayre
- 3 Villancicos: No. 2. Coplillas de Belen
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 1. Cesa de atormentarme
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 2. De amor en las prisiones
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 3. Acuerdate, bien mio
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 4. Preparame la tumba
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 5. Como ha de resolverse
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 6. Muchacha, y la verguenza
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 7. Si dices que mis ojos
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 8. Los canonigos, madre (Seguidillas del Requiem eternam)
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 9. El que quisiera amando
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 10. Si a otro cuando me quieres
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 11. Las mujeres y cuerdas
- 12 Seguidillas: No. 12. Mis descuidados ojos
- Coplas del pastor enamorado
- Folias canarias
- Romance de Durandarte
- Aranjuez, ma pensée (Aranjuez, my memory): Aranjuez, ma pensee