If the Owl Calls Again by Christianne Stotijn
Christianne Stotijn’s voice is hauntingly beautiful. Her intimate singing may not immediately capture your attention, but if you stop to listen – really listen – you’ll surely be struck by her warm tone and nuanced delivery of poetry. The Dutch mezzo-soprano, whose profile is relatively low in Australia, has released numerous recital, opera, and concert recordings, and her most recent, If the Owl Calls Again, is a meditation on the wisdom of the owl. ‘The call of the owl is like a cry of pain, of life and of death. It’s a call for humanity to return to its mission, to the reason we exist,’ Stotjin explains.
Accordingly, the CD features interesting, diverse, and often little-known art-song repertoire. A personal favourite is the ‘Kaddish’ from Ravel’s Deux Mélodies Hébraïques. Here, Stotijn’s singing is truly magnificent and moving, and her delivery of the Hebrew is both grief-stricken and otherworldly. It’s a treat to hear Stotijn sing in her native Dutch in the three Fant de Kanter songs, particularly the unaccompanied ‘Abboen’. Various instruments perform throughout, including flute, double bass, viola, and duduk, working to evoke the image of the splendid owl, as Stotijn set out to achieve. A superb album.
Alexandra Mathew is from Readings Carlton.