Joaquín Nin (1879-1949): “Minu Cantado”. Jules Massenet (1842-1912): “Obey when their voice calls” excerpt from Manon. André Messager (1853-1929) and Paul Lacôme d’Estalenx (1838-1920): “He is in the Spanish nights” extract from La Fiancée en Loterie. Oscar Strauss (1870-1954): “I love you anyway” from Three Waltzes. Johann Strauss II (1825-1899): “Ich spür es… das Wiener Blut” excerpt from Wiener Blut. Franz Lehár (1870-1948): “Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiß” excerpt from Giuditta. Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880): “Beautiful nights, oh nights of love” extract from the Tales of Hoffmann. Charles Gounod (1818-1893): “Ah! I want to live in the dream” excerpt from Romeo and Juliet. Gerónimo Giménez (1854-1923): “La tarantula é un bicho mú malo” from La Tempranica. Frederick Loewe (1901-1988): “I could have danced all night” from My Fair Lady. Friedrich Schröder (1910-1972): “Ich tanze mit dir in den Himmel hinein” excerpt from Sieben Ohrfeigen. Irving Berlin (1888-1989): “Cheek to cheek” from the film Top Hat. Kurt Weill (1900-1950): Youkali from the film Marie-Galante. Carlos Garde (1890-1935): “Por una cabeza” extract from the film Tango Bar. Angel Villoldo (1861-1919): “Ad Ay Sa’ab”. Astor Piazzola (1921-1992): “Yo soy María” from María de Buenos Aires; “I forget” (Oblivion). Serge Gainsbourg (1928-1991): The Javanese. Gino Paoli (born in 1934): “Senza Fine”. George Robert Merrill (b. 1956) and Shannon Rubicam (b. 1951): “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (Who Loves Me). Fatma Said, soprano; Marianne Crebassa, mezzo-soprano; David Bergmüller, lute; Lucienne Renaudin Vary, trumpet; Rageed William, nay; Tim Allhoff, piano; Henning Sieverts, double bass; Heinrich Köbberling, drums and percussion; Philip Krause, percussion; Christian Gerber, bandoneon; Quinteto Angel; Vision String Quartet; Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Sascha Goetzel. 1 CD Warner Classics. Recorded in June 2021 at the Rainier III Auditorium in Monaco. Instructions in English, French and German. Duration: 68:28
In an eminently eclectic program, Fatma Said once again demonstrates her vocal and musical qualities, and above all her versatility. An artist with a thousand possibilities.
His first recital frankly convinced us. As much for the intrinsic qualities of Fatma Said’s voice, as for the art with which she highlighted the different types of interaction between the French, Spanish and Arabic repertoires. In this program entitled “Kaleidoscope”, the young Egyptian singer goes even further in eclecticism and mixing genres. It is thus in no less than six languages that Fatma Said gives an overview of what constitutes almost all the vocal repertoires that can be approached: opera, operetta, zarzuela, musical comedy, chanson, tango, pop, jazz and swing. Perhaps at the risk of losing one’s identity?
Rest assured, Fatma Said emerges triumphant from these multiple challenges. The means are indeed those of an authentic coloratura lyric soprano, who makes short work of the vocalizations of Juliette de Gounod or the high notes of Manon de Massenet. The instrument is also endowed with voluptuous colors which makes it ideal for Offenbach’s Giulietta – very beautiful barcarolle in the company of Marianne Crebassa – or the Schmalz Viennese operetta: the legato of “Wiener Blut” has nothing to envy to that of Schwarzkopf. For the rest, we will answer that for once it is fair to say that “who can do more, can do less”. The more popular pages are never oversung, and each time the young soprano knows how to find the appropriate style and the right tone for the piece she is performing. To all those who could get lost in such a disjointed program, Fatma Said replies that the common thread is found in the references to the world of dance, which make waltzes, tangos, tarantellas and Javanese follow one another in the greatest coherence, and this for the happiness of all. We will also note the quality and sobriety of the accompaniments, each time adapted to the type of music represented on this original and endearing album.
In the end, we will not really know who Fatma Said is, let alone what paths her career will take. In any case, we will keep the impression of an artist with a thousand possibilities, for whom the cross-over seems to be second nature.
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