Rachmaninov: Songs

Rachmaninov: Songs

by Julia SitkovetskyJulia Sitkovetsky


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There aren't any breakthroughs in this album of Rachmaninov songs by young soprano Julia Sitkovetsky, but a variety of strong aspects add up to a satisfying performance. For starters, there's the pairing of Sitkovetsky, not quite a newcomer but still on a career upswing, with veteran accompanist Roger Vignoles, who has never sounded better. He has a particularly ingenious way with the instrumental beginnings of many of these songs, entering quietly with a slight rhythmic hesitation as if to sneak into the listener's consciousness (hear "Siren' (Lilacs), Op. 21, No. 5"). He's matched well by Sitkovetsky, who doesn't let the beauty of her voice, and her ability to handle Rachmaninov's treacherous high notes, get in the way of appreciating the various modes of expression in these pieces. Many of the songs are quite short, but she creates a little world in each one. Thanks to a few well-known numbers, Rachmaninov as a song composer is thought to incline toward gloom, but there is a wide variety of moods here, from flirtatious to passionately romantic to slightly mystical in the composer's last set of songs, the "Six Songs, Op. 38." These pieces, written under the influence of the recently deceased Scriabin, were as close as Rachmaninov would come to modernism, with texts by the Symbolist poets and an expanded tonal palette. Sitkovetsky and Vignoles put them boldly at the beginning, announcing that there is more to Rachmaninov's rather underrated songs than the listener may think, and they deliver on that promise.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/2020
Label: Hyperion Uk
UPC: 0034571283098
catalogNumber: 68309
Rank: 18372


  1. Vocalise, song for voice & piano, Op. 34/14
  2. What happiness, song for voice & piano, Op. 34/12
  3. The Muse, song for voice & piano, Op. 34/1
  4. Before my window, song for voice & piano, Op. 26/10
  5. How painful for me, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/12
  6. How fair this spot, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/7
  7. Lilacs, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/5
  8. Twilight, song for voice & piano, Op. 21/3
  9. Spring waters, song for voice & piano, Op. 14/11
  10. A Prayer, song for voice & piano, Op. 8/6
  11. The dream, song for voice & piano, Op. 8/5
  12. Brooding, song for voice & piano, Op. 8/3
  13. How long, my friend, song for voice & piano, Op. 4/6
  14. Oh thou, my field, song for voice & piano, Op. 4/5
  15. Georgian Song ("Do not Sing, My Beauty"), for voice & piano, Op. 4/4
  16. Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 38

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