“Phenomenon is a word that was invented for people like Polish contralto Ewa Podles. But even that doesn’t begin to describe seeing her perform live.
If you could drink her huge, succulent voice, it would be a dark, peaty single-malt Scotch. Her technique is flawless, and her personality magnetic.
The experience left me weak, depleted, exalted and moved. It is rare to feel this way in an age mediated by electronic media and thick layers of irony and emotional detachment.
Podles took every piece, locked in to its emotional core and then blasted, caressed, sighed, cajoled and entreated the composer’s notes and poet’s words to that destination. Every fibre of Podles’ being was harnessed to achieve a dramatic statement. ”

March 19, 2007

by John Terauds