WOSU Radio: Guitarist Sharon Isbin, Soprano Isabel Leonard Give Voice to Spanish Soul in ‘Alma Española’
That old guitar that you strum from time to time — did you know it has a soul?
If musical instruments are said to have souls, then there is no instrument with a soul more Spanish than the guitar. And now, there is arguably no recording with a more Spanish soul than Alma Española, a new recording of Spanish music performed by two of classical music’s most celebrated artists: guitarist Sharon Isbin and soprano Isabel Leonard.
The first of its kind in decades, Alma Española has the potential to become a landmark.
“It’s actually the first time in 40 years that this type of art song from Spain — with guitar and a well-known, major, Spanish-speaking singer — have been brought together,” Isbin said in a recent phone interview.
For more than 30 years, Isbin’s career has taken her to concert halls and recording studios around the globe and, on many occasions, on long sojourns in Spain, her instrument’s ancestral home.
Leonard, a native speaker of Spanish and English, brings top-drawer singing chops and an awareness of Spanish-speaking culture that might elude even other world-class singers.
“When you hear [Leonard] read the poetry in one of the songs and her pronunciation and her sense of spirit about the music — it’s got to be in the blood of the singer,” Isbin said. “I can’t imagine a more perfect partner with whom to have done this album.”
Listen to the interview and read the rest of the article on WOSU Radio.