Font Size
   

Random Thoughts of a Musical Ignoramus, Today Minus the Poison

Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc, April 2015

iDnes, 18.4.2015, Antonín Robin

The Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc, and Barbora Polášková. I made sure to take a good look at the orchestra members. No bruises or blue eyes there, to be sure; apparently there was no one present with whom to fight over her.

Now this might come as a bit of a surprise, as Barbora Polášková happens to be arguably the finest Czech mezzo of our time, one for whom it may actually prove hard to find a peer elsewhere on the world scene. Why, it´s enough to leaf through the reviews where she is cited alternatively as soprano, mezzo, or contralto, knowing that she is in full command of all these voice-range nuances. One shouldn´t forget to add that all across this scale of registers, her voice is equally full-bodied and sparkling. At this point, expert anatomists will probably start to shake their heads, and yet only now will we proceed to name the prime asset of her singing: namely, the fact that Barbora Polášková sings with her heart.

With the Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc, she offered an account of Mahler´s Kindertotenlieder. It may sound unusual, but evidently when Mahler wrote these songs, he must somehow have anticipated that more than a century later it would be none other than Barbora Polášková who would sing them. Gustav Mahler may have been haunted by an underlying streak of hypochondria, as he believed his Songs on the Death of Children to be a composition dictated by fate, and that it caused the death of his four-year-old daughter. Here, the singer carried this message across in crystal-clear manner. The composer´s profound grief at the loss of his child, the pangs of remorse, the feeling that the piece should never have been written – it´s all there, and the fact that this is a masterpiece makes no difference.

 

 

Jan Vičar´s Magic Žítkov Goddess

Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc - December 10, 2015

Harmonie online, 15.12.2015, Tomáš Koutný

Jan Vičar´s Magic Žítkov Goddess in First-Night Triumph

Cast in the stylized role of the title´s goddess (a village oracle) was Barbora Polášková, a leading Czech mezzo-soprano, soloist of the opera and operetta of the Moravian Theatre Olomouc, and Vičar´s long-time collaborator. The dark, velvety, ear-pleasing hues of her voice, coupled with formidably suggestive rendition and commanding concert-platform presence, evidently impressed an audience including prominently the composer himself.

 

Czech and Spanish Ballads

Novofest 2015 - Concert Review

Harmonie online, 17.8.2015, Markéta Vejvodová

To begin with, the choice of artists proved most auspicious. They included a brilliant mezzo, Barbora Polášková, appearing alongside the Duo Siempre Nuevo of guitarists Matěj Freml and Patrick Vacík. Her exceptional vocal range enables Barbora Polášková to interpret an impressively wide repertoire, from music of the high Renaissance to contemporary works. Not only is Barbora Polášková endowed with a captivating, opulently coloured voice controlled by flawless technique; she is also naturally predisposed for music whose fiery temperament is proper to the southern latitudes... Clad in a red dress, she struck a platform presence that amounted to a literal embodiment of a stunning Carmen. No wonder then that the best-loved aria from the opera Carmen came as her first encore.

...It was also during the performance of the Dvořák songs that I fully realized how immaculately the two guitars matched Barbora Polášková´s alluring voice. Thanks to the delicacy of the guitars´ sound, the voice was allowed a much wider margin of contrast in terms of intensity, letting certain phrases and passages stand out with much greater aplomb than would have been the case with the original piano accompaniment.

 

...the programme´s variety was further enhanced by the ensuing rendition of Rodrigo´s song Aranjuez, ma pensée, again featuring the voice of Barbora Polášková... whose dark timbre added to the song an immensely electrifying charge. What a contrast it was between the well-known melody´s rendition here by the lively brilliant mezzo, and its standard solo guitar versions known from performances of the complete concerto...

 

Spain with its dance rhythms was given free rein in the concert´s final series of Manuel de Falla´s songs... Their clear, sensitive and disciplined accompaniment once again allowed Barbora Polášková´s voice to display the full range of its beauty. And this time out, the audience were particularly grateful. Their pick of five songs was focused on dance rhythms and quintessential Iberian melodies, as well as, naturally, their amenability to accompaniment by two guitars. The final effect was awesome! Notwithstanding the current heat wave which brought the temperature in the hall on a par with the southernmost parts of Spain at sharp noon, the artists, seemingly unaware of the heat, gave a stunning performance...       

 

Moravian Philharmonic said goodbye to the season with Mahler

Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc - April 16, 2015

Harmonieonline, 11. 5. 2015, Marta Kerlinová

The evening began Mahler's song cycle Kindertotenlieder , therefore  songs about dead children . Music to songs full of deep pain and anguish on texts by the German poet Friedrich Rückert Mahler wrote in the years 1901-1904, paradoxically in their happiest time of life. As if this were some kind of ominous harbinger of later death of Mahler's four daughters. Interpretation for this evening took the soloist of the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc, Barbora Polášková . Its distinctive deep velvety voice timbre perfectly corresponded with the character of the music and lyrics supported also by an exceptional flair for capturing the mood and emotional state of mind of the individual songs. Thanks to these undeniable interpretive abilities and the power of his personality and the skill to draw the audience into applause uninterrupted stream of music with the singer in the end got a deserved thunderous applause.

 

Harmonie online, December 2014

Jan Vičar Hands Out Musical Presents

Harmonie online, 2.12.2014, Tomáš Koutný

A cross-section of Vičar´s compositional output was ushered in by the first of the evening´s two anticipated premieres, the cycle of Six Capricious Songs, performed by Barbora Polášková, soloist of the Olomouc opera house, with Markéta Janáčková at the piano. Polášková is endowed with a truly remarkable vocal range, her mezzo deserving equal praise for its dark timbre pleasing to the ear.... In the subsequent programme, Barbora Polášková was joined by the complete Janáček Trio under the direction of Markéta Janáčková, in an account of Four Songs to the Words of Jiří Žáček, which captivated the audience most notably by the utterly flawless harmony of ensemble and soloist... A much similar mood then prevailed in the following rendition of The Instructions of Shuruppak for mezzo-soprano and harp. There, Barbora Polášková, again brilliant, was seconded by a top-class harpist, Ivana Dohnalová.

 

Page 2 of 6