“One can be thankful when discographic labels put forth original projects in order to bring to light lesser known repertoire; this is what iTinerant Records accomplishes with a set of songs for voice and piano by the great Rossini, whose commonly known relationship and source of inspiration is music of Spanish roots; this brings into light the special relation this Italian musician had with our country, and how it is reflected in his music. Not only was Rossini married with the famous Madrilian soprano Isabel Colbrán, he also had numerous person and professional friendships with Spaniards of different stations of society.
The selection of songs from diverse compositional periods is interesting, and even though the majority of the texts are not in castilian, the Spanish influence in all of them is clear, including the characteristic rythms like the “seguidilla”, the “Jota” or the “tirana”. As to the performers, the North American mezzo soprano Anna Tonna posseses a beautiful voice with a stupendous timbre, with musicality and coloratura more than adequate for this rossinian repertoire of salon. Her special relationship to our country leaves an imprint of her capacity to give this music the necessary Spanish quality it needs. She is perhaps somewhat at her limits in the higher registers, but she is able to bring a great level to the pages of the score that are most genuinely “Rossinian”, as in the songs “Amori scendete” or “La passeggiatta”, as well as the more folkloric in character, such as the well known “canzonetta spagnuola” which has a crescendo that is executed with special inspiration.
Emilio González Sanz accompanies with a great sense of rhythm in a historic piano from the piano makers John Broadwood & Sons, an instrument very much appreciated by Rossini, and which brings us closer to the original sonority of this music. The interventions of the tenor Miguel Borrallo and the Cuarteto Vocal Cavatina are also correct and appropriate”.
David C. Porto