We’re excited to introduce our new recording project on Kickstarter: a debut album from soprano Danielle Talamantes – a rising star in the international opera scene - and pianist Henry Dehlinger. Entitled Canciones españolas, the album will feature 18 Spanish art songs and arias by Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla and Joaquín Turina.
Bringing an Ambitious New Classical Album to Life
It started as evening entertainment for our friends and metamorphosed into an ambitious recording project for soprano and piano. Our new full-length classical release will include three cycles of Spanish art songs - Granados' Canciones amatorias (Love Songs), Falla's Siete canciones populares españolas (Seven Spanish Folksongs), and Turina's Tres Arias (Three Arias). It will also spotlight the gorgeous soprano aria, La maja y el ruiseñor (The Maid and the Nightingale), from Granados' opera, Goyescas, which will be programmed as the album’s opening track.
We especially love this project because these pieces are as much duets for voice and piano as they are vocal solos with piano accompaniment. Take Track 1, La maja y el ruiseñor. Henry recorded the original piano solo version for his 2011 classical release, Evocations of Spain. It’s based on a haunting folksong Granados heard sung by a girl in the Valencia countryside. It was written in an improvisational manner, yet its complex passagework and rich texture will give you, as one reviewer said, “the voluptuous sense of passing the fingers through masses of richly-colored jewels.”
For Tracks 2 to 8, we’re programming Granados’ Canciones amatorias cycle. It demands a singer with Danielle’s operatic range, especially as the vocal line ascends to great lyrical heights. Meanwhile, the piano provides artful counterpoint and subtle embellishment. The fourth piece of the cycle, Gracia Mia, is part of Danielle’s live audition repertoire and always a big hit with judges and audiences alike. Henry has been her collaborative pianist on this impressive piece at several of her auditions in New York.
For Tracks 9 to 15, we’re programming Falla’s popular arrangement of seven Spanish folksongs, Siete canciones populares españolas. These pieces are the product of Falla’s fervent and full-blooded treatment of Andalusian folk themes. Siete canciones is one of the most recorded cycles of Spanish art songs, so we had to differentiate our performance from the many recordings out there. Working through each phrase, each measure and each note, we created what we believe is a fresh and more impassioned rendition in which you’ll feel each song’s intensely national color. We think Falla would approve.
For Tracks 16 to 18, we’re programming Tres Arias by Turina, whose music always seems to convey a feeling of rapture or exaltation. We’re particularly excited about recording this cycle because, inexplicably, it is so little-known today. (We’ve found only one recording.) Turina sets to music texts by three different Spanish poets: Ángel de Saavedra, José de Espronceda and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. He is keenly responsive to each aria's story as it unfolds and weaves an ethereal vocal line that transcends even the virtuosic elements in the piano accompaniment. It’s hard to believe it isn’t recorded more.
We’re packing a huge punch in the album’s concluding track, Rima from Tres Arias. Danielle's vocal line is mesmerizing, and we were bowled over by the glowing chords in the piano accompaniment. Nonetheless, during one of our musical soirees, we were so carried away by Rima’s passionate intensity that Danielle added a High C - that’s two octaves above Middle C - starting in the second to last measure, and sustained it all the way to the end. We decided to keep it. It’s a thrilling conclusion to the album, which you won’t want to miss!
We think Canciones españolas is a seminal album in the making, and we love that the project grew organically out of our shared passion for the Spanish repertoire. We hope you’ll join us in backing this great new classical music album.
Enrique Granados (1867 – 1916)
- Goyescas (Opera): La maja y el ruiseñor
- Canciones amatorias: Mira que soy niña
- Canciones amatorias: Mañanica era
- Canciones amatorias: Serranas de Cuenca
- Canciones amatorias: Gracia mía
- Canciones amatorias: Descúbrase el pensamiento
- Canciones amatorias: Lloraba la niña
- Canciones amatorias: No lloréis, ojuelos
Manuel de Falla (1876 – 1946)
- Canciones populares españolas: El paño moruno
- Canciones populares españolas: Seguidilla marciana
- Canciones populares españolas: Asturiana
- Canciones populares españolas: Jota
- Canciones populares españolas: Nana
- Canciones populares españolas: Canción
- Canciones populares españolas: Polo
Joaquín Turina (1882 – 1949)
- Tres Arias: Romance
- Tres Arias: El Pescador
- Tres Arias: Rima
Meet Danielle Talamantes
If you’re not acquainted with Danielle’s brilliant voice and expressive phrasing, which are perfect for Spanish music, you will quickly become a fan. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007. After debuting as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata in 2010, a San Francisco Bay Area reviewer said, “It’s not often that a fortunate operagoer witnesses the birth of a star.”
She went on to earn a spot on the Met’s roster in spring 2011, covering the role of Najade in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and was Soprano in Residence for the Summer 2012 Marlboro Music Festival in Marlboro, Vermont. Her latest triumph was debuting as Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème in Washington, DC earlier this year. She returns to New York in the fall to sing in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2013 production of Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, after wrapping up production of Canciones españolas.
Danielle has placed first in several prestigious opera competitions and was a finalist in the Seoul International Opera Competition and Plácido Domingo's Paris Operalia. She has also sung as a soprano soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oratorio Society of Virginia, the Nashville Symphony, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Seoul Philharmonic, and many more.
Danielle earned her BA from Virginia Tech and MM from Westminster Choir College. For more about Danielle, please visit her website at www.DanielleTalamantes.com.
Meet Henry Dehlinger
Henry is Danielle’s collaborative pianist on this project. Henry has distinguished himself on many celebrated stages, from the White House in Washington, DC to the War Memorial Performing Arts Center in San Francisco.
Born in San Francisco, he began his formal piano studies when he was six years old and voice when he was seven. By the age of ten, he was part of the Bay Area music scene, performing with stars like Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballé and entertaining VIPs from the President of the United States to the Prince of Wales.
Henry is a celebrated interpreter of Spanish piano. His latest album, Evocations of Spain, features classical piano masterpieces by Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados and is available on Amazon, ArkivMusic, Barnes & Noble, CD Baby, CD Universe, iTunes, and other music retailers around the world.
For more about Henry, please visit his website at www.HenryDehlinger.com.
What the Critics Say
“Soprano Danielle Talamantes sang exquisitely, savoring the elegant curve of Mendelssohn's melodic lines.”
- Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, May 1, 2012
“Danielle Talamantes [is one] whose name one hopes to see in lights at the Metropolitan Opera in the near future on a regular basis.”
- Sue Freeman Culverhouse, Clarksville Community Concert Assoc., October 25, 2010
“It’s not often that a fortunate operagoer witnesses the birth of a star…This lovely, lithe soprano gave perhaps the most moving portrayal of Verdi’s doomed heroine in my 50+ year memory of famous Violettas.”
- Susan Steinberg, Livermore Independent, September 2010
"Danielle Talamantes has the pipes, the looks and the smarts for a very promising future in opera...It comes as no surprise that Talamantes will join the nation’s largest opera company, Metropolitan Opera.”
- Eman Isadiar, San Francisco Symphony Examiner, August 30, 2010
“Amazingly, we had just one soprano among the finalists [in the Irene Dalis Opera San Jose Competition] - but she was, indeed, amazing. Danielle Talamantes demonstrated such magnificent vocal agility and mastery that she simply took everyone’s breath away!”
- Irene Dalis, Opera San Jose, May 22, 2010
Risks and challenges
We're raising $8,800 through Kickstarter. Once we meet our funding goal, we’ll begin production in September 2013. All 18 tracks will be recorded, edited and mastered by producer and sound engineer Richard Price from Candlewood Digital. Richard has over 900 commercial music CDs to his credit, and his work has earned a Grammy award plus two Grammy nominations. This is a huge investment for us, but we felt we needed this level of sound engineering to ensure the finished CD is comparable to major label productions like Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Naxos or Sony Classical Records.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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