l' andalousie au coeur -2023
L’ Andalousie au cœur
On the occasion of the bicentenary of Pauline Viardot’s birth in 2021, pianist Francisco Soriano set himself the task of making known one of the most interesting parts of Viardot’s work: her Spanish-inspired songs in various languages, many of them unpublished. He was helped by his fellow artists on this recording, soprano Natalia Labourdette and mezzo-soprano Helena Ressurreicao, as well as researchers Nicholas Zekulin and Andres Moreno Mengibar and musicologist Miguel Lopez Fernandez. This album represents the fruit of those labours. Featuring world-premiere recordings, L’Andalousie au coeur shines a spotlight on these Viardot songs, including four of her arrangements of music by her friend, Chopin, in a programme that has also been performed by these artists in recitals at the Opera Comique in Paris, the Fundacion Juan March in Madrid and the Festival de Musica Espanola de Cadiz. In 1842, Viardot made her only trip to Spain, visiting Madrid, where her father ManuelGarcia had been a star tenor, as well asAndalusia and Granada. During Viardot’s performances in Madrid, audiences were delighted when she sang encores during which she accompanied herself on the piano in a selection of Spanish songs. Viardot would include Spanish songs in her recitals whenever possible, and this album reflects that key part of her heritage and output. The songs heard on this release are gathered from across Viardot’s career: they are rich, varied and colourful. Hers was a powerful, versatile compositional voice, and in celebrating her Spanish songs in particular, this programme reveals Viardot at her most elemental – in touch with her roots. That this album represents only a fraction of her output is testament to Viardot’s prolific creative brilliance.