Olga Romanko

Stravinsky: Songs

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AllMusic Review by

It's not often that singers produce albums of Igor Stravinsky's songs in their original languages, or render them in their intended instrumentation, so this CD by soprano Olga Romanko, pianist Victor Samoilenko, and the Bolshoi Theater Chamber Music Ensemble, directed by Alexander Golyshev, is an attractive item for collectors of hard-to-find Stravinskiana. In a sense, this presentation of his "songbook" is a fine introduction to his work as a whole, since virtually every style, concept, or technique found in his output is represented in these short pieces. Indeed, the collection proceeds chronologically, and Stravinsky's work from 1902 to 1966 is sampled, representing every creative phase. This program, however, is patched together from various ADD and DDD recordings, and since detailed production information is missing, one may guess that this compilation was drawn from two or more previous projects. Though her enunciation is not always clear -- it is almost incoherent in English -- Romanko's robust tone is enjoyable on all the tracks. But the sound quality varies somewhat between the recordings she made with Samoilenko -- perhaps in an overly resonant concert hall -- and the much crisper recordings with the chamber players, in what sounds like a more controlled studio environment.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:45
2
2:04
Mélodies of Gorodestsky (2), song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 6
3
5:49
4
4:51
Poems of Balmont (2), for voice & piano
5
1:44
6
2:10
Japanese Lyrics (3), song cycle for voice & piano (or chamber orchestra)
7
1:00
8
1:13
9
1:45
Petites Chansons (3), for voice & piano ("Souvenir de mon enfance")
10
0:54
11
1:09
12
1:04
Pribaoutki (4), song cycle for voice & 8 instruments or piano
13
1:09
14
0:25
15
1:05
16
2:40
Berceuses du Chat (4), song cycle for voice & 3 clarinets or piano
17
0:56
18
1:26
19
1:10
20
1:29
Histoires pour enfants (3), songs for voice & piano
21
1:36
22
0:42
23
2:27
24
2:18
Russian Songs (4), for voice & piano
25
1:28
26
0:57
27
1:15
28
2:41
29
2:23
Songs (3) from William Shakespeare, for voice, flute, clarinet & viola
30
2:56
31
2:16
32
2:38
33
8:12
34
3:09
blue highlight denotes track pick