The colors and rhythms of Spanish music have attracted composers of many periods and countries. Everything on this disc is Spanish in origin or idiom, with songs by Spanish composers, by Russians composers adopting Spanish dress, and by Ravel, a composer for whom Spain was always a musical inspiration. The songs by Glinka, Dargomyzhsky, Rubinstein, and Minkov are charming if not particular Ibérian in flavor, but Shostakovich captured flamenco rhythms and inflections with great skill (though it does seem odd to hear them voiced in Russian). The Falla, Granados, and Ravel songs are more familiar and full of color.
Olga Borodina has a beautiful voice, smooth and creamy, a little throaty but rock solid in the middle and low registers and wonderfully clear and brilliant at the top. Her approach to these songs is direct and forthright and without much subtlety; in the Falla Cançiones, for example, she lacks the delicate shadings and idiomatic phrasing of Victoria de los Angeles. But she sings them well enough to give considerable pleasure, and the sound and the accompanist are good.
Copyright © 1999, Alexander J. Morin