Zanne Stapelberg will mesmerise you, entice you, cajole you and ensnare you in her captivating recital of Spanish songs.
Admirably supported by guitarist James Grace, the complete Latin experience unfolds in a spectacle of fire, passion, pathos and beguiling sensitivity.
In a magnificently executed opening, Grace’s truly evocative guitar playing conjures up images, sounds and smells of the Latin Spanish world.
This is musicianship of another order, where the listener is transported to a fantasy world of wonderment and beauty.
Stapelberg uses every possible vocal inflection and fibre in her being to interpret a range of Spanish songs with fervour and alluring theatricality.
Passion through and through
This is not mere singing; it is drama emanating right from the core of her sensibilities.
From the fragility of Tonadillas to the passionately inspired Milonga from Maria de Buenos Aires, Stapelberg takes the audience on an emotional journey which is invigorating and awe inspiring.
Mas alla del Arco iris , arranged by Swellendam composer Braam du Toit, sees Stapelberg traversing intricately shaped melodic lines with a bewildering ease of accomplishment.
Pablo Neruda, specially commissioned by Stapelberg from South African composer Matthjis van Dijk, displays her prowess as a saxophonist, soprano and percussionist.
This remarkable work, which skilfully captures the essence of the text and Spanish flavour, is as much a part of the programme as those works composed by Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos and de Falla.
Stapelberg and Grace’s ensemble is the creative pivot around which this recital revolves; their subtle communication, artistic awareness and perfect sense of dramatic timing allow song after song to become a living entity.
This is especially apparent in the tenderly evocative duet Quando la ames.
The zeal with which Stapelberg approaches this recital proves that she does not see her craft as a job or a calling – it is far more than that – her passion for performance is the essential ingredient in her life.
She remains one of South Africa’s most prolifically talented and engaging artists.
Canciones en Española has been without a shadow of a doubt the highlight of my Festival 2009. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
Canciones en Espanola is at Rhodes Chapel on Friday at 9pm
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