Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Songs My Mother Taught Me
Genres: Folk, Pop, Classical
Magdalena Kozena, one of the most acclaimed recitalists of today, presents a personal collection of songs she has known since childhood and that form some of her earliest musical influences. A haunting collection of songs ... more »
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Magdalena Kozena, one of the most acclaimed recitalists of today, presents a personal collection of songs she has known since childhood and that form some of her earliest musical influences. A haunting collection of songs by Czech composers such as Dvorak, Janacek, Martinu, Schulhoff and Eben, all deeply rooted in the rich Czech folk song tradition. Like Magdalena explains about the songs on the album: They are just the sort a mother would sing to her baby. My mother is not a professional singer, but she loved to sing and knew a lot of songs! There is a particular tradition of singing to children in our country, much stronger, I would say, than one sees any more in the West. It was really important that in each family these songs would be handed down, taught to the children. Kozena s musical partners on the album include her long-standing recital partner Malcolm Martineau, and soprano Dorothea Roschmann, who joins her in Dvorak s Moravian duets. Magdalena Kozena s most personal album so far, exploring the richness of her cultural background and her own musical memories.
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Abel | Hong Kong | 10/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ms. Kozena has a distinctively `Central European' voice. The timbre is lyrical and full, without being dull. This album of Dvorak's vocal works undoubtedly suits her well.
Kozena is not only able to give an authentic account of these works, but also much emotional involvement. The 3 Gypsy Melodies are very sentimental and movingly done. The well-known title song "Songs My Mother Taught Me" is full of filial yearning and rightfully appeals to listeners of whatever race or nationality. I have for long been listening to a Chinese version with modern arrangement set to have moving text, and this original version is doubtlessly more than welcome.
In the 3 Moravian Duets, Ms. Kozena employs quite another method of interpretation, and draws on more pathos and broader resonances. The partnership of Dorothea Roeschmann is simply superb in these tracks. While Kozena and Roeschmann have not yet make a full recording of these songs as did Irmgard Seefried and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf before them, I really do look forward to hearing her full set of Moravian Songs.
Song lovers would surely enjoy such beautiful singing.
Can't Tell the Roots from the Branches
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 02/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not quite ready to believe that Magdalena Kozena's mommy really taught her songs by Janácek, Novák, Dvorák, Martinu, Schulhoff, and Petr Eben. Still, if Pani Kozena had anything to do with teaching her daughter to sing, for me that would be honorable enough. Magdalena Kozena has one of the richest voices of our times. Don't take my word for it! Consider that Reinhard Goebel, the supreme violinist of the century, has only ever made one 'showcase' recording for a soprano, a CD titled "Lamento" with Kozena.
[Inserted later: Wrong again, Bruno! To the stake with you! Goebel has also made a CD with Anne Sophie Mutter, titled "Lamenti." One might begin to suppose that Herr Goebel needs a serotonin uptake inhibitor. However, IMHO, just listening to the samples of the two laments should be enough to impress anyone with the superiority of Kozena's voice and tecjnique.]
This performance of Czech and Moravian "folk" songs includes several miniature masterpieces by the most sophisticated composers of the land. The Dvorak duets are possibly his best music ever, and if you've heard the common assertion that Leos Janacek uniquely captured the rhythms and syntax of the Czech language, you'll find confirmation here. Yes, the folk roots of Czech music are certainly exposed in these songs, but the songs themselves are the freshest blossoms on the highest branches.
A previous reviewer complained that all the songs sounded much alike. I suppose they do; there's no mistaking their origins. But all Bach chorales sound Lutheran, and all the great blues are based on the same four chords. One isn't required to listen to all the tracks on the CD in uninterrupted sequence merely as a consequence of purchase.
And Kozena sings these songs with such passionate affection for them that one might think her mother had taught them to her!"