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Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, November 2011

[Turina] strikes a perfect balance between the vocal part and the piano line…He excels in preludes and interludes that are real challenges for a great pianist. Listen to the colourful and expressive piano part in Dos canciones, Op. 38 (tr. 9-10). This is inspired and inspirational music and Débora Halász makes the most of it.

The singer, Carolina Ullrich, is also an inspired choice for this recital. She has a bright lyrical voice, slightly edgy at times but also with warm tone. She is a lively and expressive singer. I can imagine her being a superb Zerlina.

Looking more specifically at the songs themselves, the opening Homenaje a Lope de Vega were certainly inspired by the poems of one of the truly great Spanish literary figures. The little trilogy must be counted among his best works. The much earlier Poema en forma de canciones is just as satisfying and the last of the five songs, Las locas por amor, struck me as especially successful. That’s one of the songs I have marked with red in my notes as an aide-memoire for returning to it…

The Tres sonetos, Op. 54 are also inspired. Who can sit still while listening to the dancing ¡Vade retro!? Wow! But the whole group is really good. Vocalizaciones consists of some delicious miniatures…Those of you who are already under the Turina spell won’t need any further sales promotion tricks from me to invest in this super budget issue. Read complete review

John Boyer
American Record Guide, November 2011

Turina’s songs are not heard anywhere near as often as they ought to be, so that at least makes this a welcome release. Carolina Ullrich a stellar performer.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

James Manheim, July 2011

The Naxos label has done a superb job in reviving the largely moribund fortunes of the music of Spanish composer Joaquín Turina, one of the major Iberian figures of the period between the two world wars. Turina was a conservative who worked largely in traditional forms, but the Spanish feeling in his music ran deep, and the passionate mood of his music contrasts with the essentially neoclassic structures of Rodrigo. The songs here were all composed in the 1920s and 1930s. The young Chilean soprano Carolina Ullrich has both the grain of voice and the big top to handle them, and there are lots of attractive settings of high-quality poetry. The Dos Canciones, Op. 38 (1927) are highly recommended. Turina sets poetry by Cristina de Arteaga (1902–1984), who wrote one volume of poems before becoming a nun; in Lo mejor de amor (The Best of Love, track 9) he matches Arteaga’s passionate text with a nearly operatic melody. That work has a substantial piano introduction, and throughout the set the boundary between voice and instrument is effectively crossed; the seven Vocalizaciones, Op. 74, are short embodiments of a single musical idea, quite unlike more extensive wordless vocal pieces by other composers. There isn’t quite the variety to sustain a session of hearing 30 of these songs at a time, but the set is recommended to lovers of Spanish song and especially to singers; Ullrich is clearly an exciting talent to watch.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2011

Nowadays seldom performed on the international stage, this well-filled disc contains most of Joaquin Turina’s song output. Born into a financially comfortable family in Seville in 1882, it had been their intention for him to study medicine, but he eventually persuaded them to devote himself to music. Initially concentrating on a career as a pianist, he increasingly moved to life dominated by composition. He was much influenced by French music during some years spent in Paris, and though he was active in many genres, most of his published works involved the piano, his song output very modest. The disc covers around ten years, the earliest here coming in his forty-first year with the Poema en forma de canciones. While musically they have Spanish influences, particularly those from Manuel de Falla, they frequently have just as much to do with Ravel in Spanish mode. That Turina was a man of kindly persuasions, with a love of beauty shown in his songs, they often, as in the Tres sonetos, speak of ardent love. All are lyric, and, as they mostly date from the 1920’s and 30’s, were totally out of date and character with music that surrounded him. Though there are moments of wistfulness and a rather mournful piano introduction to the Homenaje a Lope de Vega where sadness and drama are avoided. The Chilean-born soprano, Carolina Ullrich has the tonal quality in keeping with the nature of the music. Turina’s piano role brings colour and vivacity to the scores, the Brazilian pianist, Debora Halász, shapes the scores with total understanding, and when required, as in the Dos canciones, shows an enviable keyboard skill. The disc comes from the admirable Bavarian Radio.

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