by Tabea ZimmermannTabea Zimmermann


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Publicity surrounding this release by violist Tabea Zimmermann and pianist Javier Perianes has focused on the question of transcribing vocal music for the viola (it works great!) and on the variety of sounds Zimmermann can produce with her instrument. These are certainly attractive points. Most of the music consists of song cycles that lie nicely in the viola's range, with a pair of instrumental tangos as bookends, with the old William Primrose transcription of the "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5" giving the album its title, but the genius of Cantilena lies more in programming than in instrumental virtuosity. The collection of Spanish and Latin American pieces heard here has some familiar items (Falla's "Siete canciones populares españolas") and some less familiar, like the "Cinco canciones negras" of Xavier Montsalvatge. The latter are wonderful pieces that draw on Cuban rhythms without being obvious about it. Another nice find is the set of limpid songs by Pablo Casals, who certainly wouldn't have objected to an instrumental transcription; these function as a little entr'acte and are light but not unsubtle. All of the music is concerned in one way or another with the great thread tying Hispanic music together as a tradition: its engagement with popular styles. This occurs in a slightly different way in each set of works, and the end result is not just an attractive vocal recital but one that invites deeper reflections. A fine outing from this duo, who have worked together enough to become satisfyingly established.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/17/2020
Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC: 3149020940778
catalogNumber: 902648
Rank: 16914


  1. España, album leaves (6) for piano, Op. 165, B. 37: Tango
  2. Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, songs (10) for voice & piano, H. 136: El Majo Discreto
  3. Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, songs (10) for voice & piano, H. 136: La Maja Dolorosa No. 3
  4. Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, songs (10) for voice & piano, H. 136: El Majo Olvidado
  5. Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, songs (10) for voice & piano, H. 136: El Mirar de la Maja
  6. Tres estrofas de amor, for voice & piano
  7. El ángel travieso, for voice & piano
  8. En lo mirall, for voice & piano
  9. En Sourdine, for voice & piano
  10. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, for voice & piano, A. 390: Aria (Cantilena)
  11. Siete canciones populares española (7 Popular Spanish Songs), for voice & piano, G. 40
  12. Canciones negras (5) for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  13. Le grand tango, for cello & piano

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