“Canciones de Cuna”
Lullabies from around the world: Music and Lyrics by R. Schumann, F. Schubert. G. Fauré, M. de Falla, M. Llobet, F. Garcia Lorca, E. Pujol, M. Castelnuovo Tedesco, M. Hatjidakis, J. F. A. Fleischmann, F. Mendelsohn, A. Barrios, C. M. von Weber, C. Guastavino, A. Yupanqui, L. Brouwer, S. Piana, Anónimo, J. Brahms, S. Bodorova and S. Fontanelli
Maria Isabel Siewers (guitar), Christoph Röesl, Silvia Cambiasso (voice), Amiram Ganz (violin), Silvia, Nicolás Pazur (viola), Erica Pazur (narration)
Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2010) – 74’16
Acqua Records AQ322 – Liner notes in English
Want to escape the clamor, din and sound mayhem of contemporary life? One perfect way to do it is with “Canciones de Cuna” a collection of traditional and classical lullabies from around the world. This is a simply transcendently rich project by Argentinean Guitarist Maria Isabel Siewers. She dedicates the recording to her grandchildren and writes in the liner notes “The repertoire of cradle songs is vast. I have made a selection of pieces that covers the life of the classical guitar from the nineteenth century to the present day.”
Aside from the fact that this collection is a great way to be lulled into dreamland, it has so many musical riches that kept this possum awake. The serene lushness of Siewers’ solo guitar is right out of the gate with Schummann’s “Schlummerlied,” transcribed for guitar by Francisco Taregga, sets the tone for reflection, musical and otherwise. It is followed by Franz Schubert’s Wiegenlied with German vocalist Christoph Rosel’s warm tenor. Then the dreamy, haunted waltz “Berceuse” by Gabriel Fauré. And the moving haunted “Nana” by Manuel de Falla, with Siewers’ pizzicato guitar and the embracing steel and silk violin of Amiram Ganz
After the first selections this just entrances with German, French, Spanish, South American lullabies that Siewers feels “form an important part of our cultural identity.” Siewers and the silvery soprano of Silvia Cambiasso essay the four song cycle of Argentine composer Carlos Gaustavino (“Hallazgo,” “Apegado a mi,” “Corderito,” “Meciendo”) with lyrics by poet Gabriel Mistral. These songs have comforting, maternal atmospherics. Siewers and violist Nicolas Pazor are trade percussive string effects playing Sebastian Piano’s Calabu with an adagio tango tempo.
How could this collection not include Wiegenlied, op. 49 No 4, otherwise known world over as Brahms’ Lullaby, and here it is just in its original slumbering vocal sung in German by Rosel. Also by Brahms the Sandmannchen.
Siewers focuses on German and South American repertoire and you can only hope that she considers a volume two with selections from other regions. If we are lulled there is the end piece of Simone Fontanelli’s Berceuse, plays like an editorial selection, with its non melodic aura and somewhat disquieted playing by Siewers. Off to dreamland, but maybe a little more... just hit replay and say goodnight.