Soprano Fatma Said was all of 20 when, in 2011, she received the Grand Prix on the first Giulio Perotti Worldwide Opera Competitors in Germany. After 4 extra prizes, a yr as a BBC Radio 3 New Technology Artist (2016), and performances at La Scala, Royal Albert Corridor, Wigmore Corridor, and extra, the Egyptian-born, Berlin and Milan-trained artist has launched her first recital, El Nour, on Warner.
What an interesting, intriguing, and boundary-pushing recital it’s. As a substitute of performing with a conventional orchestra, Stated works with an uncommon assortment of artists starting from the marvelous piano accompanist Malcolm Martineau to attractive tattoo-sporting jazz pianist Tim Allhoff, guitarist Rafael Aguirre, ney (end-blown flute) artist Bureu Karadağ, and the vision string quartet (written in decrease case).
Nor would you encounter her repertoire in your typical recital. The recording begins with the three songs of Ravel’s colourful Shéhérazade. Though it’s arduous to not miss the colours of an orchestra, the cycle is superbly accompanied by Martineau with the addition of, in “La Flûte enchantée” (The magic flute), Karadağ on ney. It’s a particular contact, and indicative of a recital designed to underscore the musical intersections of French, Arab, and Spanish tradition.
Over an hour after it begins, the recital ends with 4 Arabic songs. In keeping with Stated, they’re all well-known in Egypt. The primary is very attention-grabbing, as a result of it units poetry by Khalil Gibran. Accompaniment is courtesy of Tamer Pınarbaşı on kanun, Karadağ, Itamar Doari on percussion (riq, darbuka, and so on.), Allhoff, and jazz bassist Henning Sieverts, and, on the ultimate tune, the visions. If that unique combine weren’t sufficient, the jazz artists throw in a little bit of improvisation, and compositions by everybody from Berlioz and Bizet to Manuel de Falla; poet Federico García Lorca, and Fernando Obradors make an look in between.
Stated’s’s effortlessly produced, youth-tinged lyric instrument is a pleasure. Characterization and languages come simply to her, and she or he appears unbound by the strictures of the metronome. Ravel’s “Asie” finds her using the occasional cutesy little accent as she mixes joyful innocence with fetching coyness. The tune’s ending is splendidly mysterious. “La Flûte enchantée” lives as much as its title, and “L’Indifférent” (The detached one) abounds in sensual ambiguity. Whereas her efficiency of the latter won’t erase recollections of these by Victoria de los Angeles and Maggie Teyte (at age 60!) — two inimitable and intensely refined artists who sang with unparalleled intimacy and, like Stated, weren’t French — it offers ample promise of what might quickly come.
In Stated’s’s rendition of Obradors’s “Del cabello más sutil” (From that most interesting hair) I hear sturdy echoes of considered one of my favourite tune recordings by Lengthy Seaside-born Arleen Auger. The singing is equally beautiful if only a bit much less transporting, and the guitar accompaniment distinctive and creative. Hector Berlioz’s “Zaïde” finds her sounding at occasions like an especially gutsy soubrette, slowing splendidly within the third verse and singing with compelling verve and nuance. You’ve acquired to listen to it. Typically inflections idiomatic in Egyptian singing floor in different repertoire: all the pieces comes collectively, the truth is, in Philippe Gaubert’s “Le Repos en Égypte” (The remainder in Egypt). The impact reminds at occasions of the little accents favored by Brazilian soprano Bidú Sayão, or the occasional swooping jazz inflections in classical repertoire that displays Renée Fleming’s jazz background.
All through the recital, magnificence and intelligence shine in equal proportion. For an echt Twenty first-century multilingual, multinational recital that reassures and refreshes, I joyfully suggest Fatma Stated’s El Nour.