Helsinki Recital

Helsinki Recital

by Karita Mattila

SACD(Super Audio CD - SACD Hybrid)

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Karita Mattila brings her dusky soprano to a strong and varied program of songs by French, Finnish, Russian, and Czech composers. Her performance of five songs by Duparc, including a particularly ravishing reading of "L'Invitation au Voyage," is warm and sensual. Kaija Saariaho wrote "Quatre Instants" for Mattila, who premiered them in Paris at the Châtelet Theatre in 2003. Saariaho's deeply expressive settings of the poetry of Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf are largely atonal, but her vocal lines are lyrical and soaring, with accompaniments that underline the intense emotions of the texts, and Mattila sings them with the abandon of a woman in the throes of passion. Mattila is perhaps strongest in the Slavic repertoire; the five Rachmaninov songs fall ideally for her voice, and she fully invests herself in the intensity of their sentiments. "Kakoje Stsastje," the final song of the set, is especially effective. Dvorák originally wrote his "Gypsy Songs, Op. 55," to texts in German, but Mattila sings them in Czech, which seems better suited to their character than German. Mattila is especially free and uninhibited in these songs, and her rollicking enthusiasm is infectious. Pianist Martin Katz provides an unusually sensitive and nuanced accompaniment. The SACD recording, made at a live recital in Helsinki, has a few extraneous noises, but generally the sound is clean, with good balance between the performers.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/12/2007
Label: Ondine
UPC: 0761195110058
catalogNumber: 1100
Rank: 138977


  1. Applause
  2. L'invitation au voyage ("Mon enfant, ma soeur"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  3. Romance de Mignon ("Le connais-tu, ce radieux pays"), song for voice & piano, Op. 2/3
  4. Au pays où se fait la guerre, song for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  5. Chanson triste ("Dans ton coeur..."), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 2/4
  6. Phidylé ("L'herbe est molle au sommeil"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  7. Quatre instants, for soprano & piano
  8. Georgian Song ("Do not Sing, My Beauty"), for voice & piano, Op. 4/4
  9. Twilight, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/3
  10. Fragment from Musset, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/6
  11. The Muse, song for voice & piano, Op. 34/1
  12. What happiness, song for voice & piano, Op. 34/12
  13. Gypsy Melodies (7) (Zigeunermelodien) for voice & piano, B. 104 (Op. 55)

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