Com­ing up in Philly Music: PCMS hosts inter­na­tion­al star Ana María Martínez

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Soprano Ana María Martínez brings her talents to Philly. (Photo by Svetlana Pasedko)
Soprano Ana María Martínez brings her talents to Philly. (Photo by Svetlana Pasedko)

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has been enhancing its schedule with programs that venture outside the standard chamber music repertoire. Many of these programs include elements that could interest BSR readers who don’t normally attend chamber music events. Their song concert this Friday is a good example, even though it may look like a standard art song program, with a famous soprano singing with a piano accompaniment.

Speaking my language

The Western art song tradition is dominated by German and French composers. Friday’s concert will present fifteen songs from an area that tends to be overlooked: Spain and the countries that speak its language.

The soloist will be a young international star, Ana María Martínez, who has been praised for her “warmth” and “simplicity.” She has assembled a highly varied program, with a first-half devoted to songs from Spain and a second-half that tours the rest of the Spanish speaking world. Her choices include love songs like the sweetly appealing Estrellita by Mexican composer Rafael Hernández Marín but she’s also included pieces that cover larger issues. How many Americans have heard Lamento Borincano, the lament for his native island composed by the Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández Marín? Martínez’s rendition of the lament will be followed by Preciosa, Marin’s other contribution to Puerto Rican patriotism.

Jascha Heifetz liked Estrellita so much he arranged it for solo violin and it became an international favorite in that form. Here’s a charming illustrated version played by Joshua Bell.

What, When, Where:

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will present “Ana María Martínez, soprano, Craig Terry, piano” on Friday, March 13 at 7:30pm at the Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 South Broad Street. Tickets are $30 and they’re available online and at the door.

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