Bridge Records Catalog

Visca L'Amor
BRIDGE 9548


$ 14.99

BBC Music Magazine (5 stars)

Fanfare (5 stars)

Visca L’Amor: Catalan Art Songs of the 20th and 21st Centuries, features tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz and pianist Oksana Glouchko. The album focuses on the fascinating music and poetry of Catalunya—an area of northeastern Spain and southeastern France, whose language was long censored by the Franco dictatorship. This new recording represents one of the few explorations of the rich Catalan tradition, including six song cycles by Frederic Mompou, Eduard Toldrá, Joan Comellas, Ricard LaMotte de Grignon, Narcís Bonet, and a world premiere of a new work by Elisenda Fábregas.   Tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz has collaborated with some of the world’s leading ensembles, including the Israel Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Verbier Festival (Switzerland), and the New York City Opera.

 

Reviews:

"Five Stars: This present disc certainly does Catalan music a great service and can be unhesitatingly recommended…Fine presentation and a perfect recording in which the voice and piano are placed in ideal relation to each other rounds off a most notable release…Muñoz knows exactly how much emotion to inject for maximal impact, never teetering over the edge into sentimentality; and it is in this that the strength of these readings lies. Muñoz's long melismas, too, reveal a seamless legato…the fragranced harmonies rising to palpable ecstasy from Muñoz’ strong lines… the luminous playing of Oksana Glouchko.” — Colin Clarke, Fanfare

“A lovely recital and a cultural milestone…Anyone already devoted to Spanish vocal music is bound to be intrigued by the cultural importance of this release, but on musical grounds it deserves a wider audience, since every song is appealing and beautifully performed…A thumbnail sketch hardly does justice to a thriving music scene, and I was happy, through this eye-opening song recital from tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz, to experience a wealth of composers unknown to me…I hasten to say that the singer on this new CD, Isaí Jess Muñoz, possesses a very attractive lyric tenor with a melting, romantic timbre. He displays admirable musicianship and a strong empathy for the texts, which are by prominent Catalan poets. The singer’s well-controlled legato suits the material perfectly, particularly when the subject is love. In the Russian-born Israeli pianist Oksana Glouchko, Muñoz has found a strong musical partner whose playing is confident and idiomatic.” — Huntley Dent, Fanfare  
“A cultural milestone…Anyone already devoted to Spanish vocal music is bound to be intrigued by the importance of this release, but on musical grounds it deserves a wider audience, since every song is appealing and beautifully performed. Isaí Jess Muñoz displays admirable musicianship and a strong empathy for the texts."
— Fanfare  

"Muñoz and Glouchko’s iridescent performances are a real gift to the listener. Five Stars.” - BBC Music Magazine

"This selection of Catalan art songs by tenor Isaí Jess Muñoz serves equally the
troubadour under the balcony and the lovers inside. Each song illustrates the performers’guidelines concerning ‘the sung application of Catalan’, exquisitely sensitive to the music in the poetry, suffused by passion and romance." - Gramophone

“...vibrant new recording distinguished by the quality of its unusual repertoire and the strength of its ardent musicianship… Muñoz is a joy to listen to. Not only is his expression as pure as it is sincere, but the manner in which he sounds open vowels in the midrange is a bit reminiscent of the voice of the young Jussi Björling… his voice and renditions deliver such unalloyed pleasure as to ensure that many of these songs will find a warm spot in your heart… As far as ardent tenors go, Muñoz is right up there with José Carreras, which is saying a lot… there’s so much beauty to be had on this recording, that I recommend it highly. I also expect that, upon hearing it, many vocal lovers will want to seek out more recordings by Isaí Jess Muñoz.” - Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

“A strikingly beautiful recording… Sung passionately by Muñoz and luminously played by Glouchko… a thrilling introduction to a little-known musical world… replete with exceptionally fine, appropriately emotional singing and beautiful pianism, the songs themselves are a continually expanding treasure-trove, one after another filled with musical riches…Muñoz has written detailed and very interesting liner notes about both the songs and the political climate that denigrated them...The communication between singer and pianist in this recording is transcendent, with equal artistry on both parts, and the beauty of the songs themselves makes it all the more jarring that this vocal canon has been so shockingly absent from the world stage.” - Gail Obenreder, Philadelphia’s Broad Street Review

We commend Jess Muñoz and Oksana Glouchko for their serene, balanced, sensual performance. Two artists who will delight listeners. - Sonograma


BRIDGE 9548