Chopin's well-known set of Polish Songs, Op 74, have been recorded a number of times in the past, though not always by Polish singers. Here mezzo soprano Urszula Kryger is singing in her own language. Also on the disc is a selection of songs from an unusual source: the famous 19th-century soprano Pauline Viardot -- friend of Chopin, Berlioz and others, and Turgenev's inamorata - arranged, with Chopin's permission, a number of his mazurkas for voice and piano, commissioning texts from a Parisian poet friend. She sang them all over Europe, including London. Here are four of them. The 17th October 1999 is the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death and this disc joins the many others of his music which are being issued to commemorate this event. Our singer, Urszula Kryger, has already enjoyed spectacular success in the short time since she stormed the juries of various international singing competitions in the early 90s.
'A rare opportunity to sample Chopin the song composer, here performed with real feeling by Polish mezzo Urszula Kryger. The dark core of melancholy in Kryger's voice is fine-tunes to the Slavic melodic contours of a song like The Sad Stream. And her instinctive grasp of both musical and verbal inflection makes for a beautifully understated performance of Melodya, Chopin's last, heartfelt song of exile' (Gramophone)
'There's no excuse not to encounter a master miniaturist painting on less familiar canvesses' (BBC Music Magazine)
dawniej CDA 67125 / Recording details: March 1999; Studio 3, Bayerische Rundfunk, Munich, Germany; Produced by Wolfram Graul & Andreas Fischer; Engineered by Günter Hess & Peter Urban; Release date: October 2006;