Anna Gorbachyova, Julian Gallant, Russian Song Series, Pushkin House 17 June


Pushkin House

Anna Gorbachyova soprano
Julian Gallant piano

1.  Poulenc Fiançailles pour rire
2.  Richard Strauss Drei Lieder der Ophelia  Op. 67


3.  Rachmaninov Six Romances  Op. 38
4.  Duparc L’invitation au voyage

Julian Gallant introduced this recital by putting it in its place in Pushkin House’s Russian Song Series and introducing the singer, Anna Gorbachyova.  In fact, the different pieces were all preceded by a general introduction from Juilan and a more specific one from Anna.

The Fiançailles pour rire were completely new to me, and I was most struck by how good the texts were (by Louise de Vilmorin, who I was aware of only peripherally).  I thought that Anna Gorbachyova here and indeed everywhere showed herself a true opera singer, determined to make her point with all the vocal and dramatic ,means at her disposal.  But in this particular section of a programme, a less declamatory style might have been more suitable.  Then the Three Ophelia Songs showed just how gratefully Strauss wrote for the soprano voice (yes we know that already, but whatever).

After the mini-interval, the Six Romances Op. 38 showed Rachmaninov in quite a progressive mood–as Julian Gallant pointed out–and the texts proved to be a great deal less slushy than in the vast majority of Russian romances.  I also enjoyed Julian’s very fine accompaniment here.  And then L’invitation au voyage–about the only one of these pieces I did know–was jolly good, and not at all declamatory…

Well done Julian, well done Anna!


The author is a Friend of Pushkin House and attended this concert for free.

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