"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."
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.