La Zingarella: Through Romany Songland

La Zingarella: Through Romany Songland

Release Date:

20th May 2022

Cat No:







“[a] thrilling music journey … this is a hearty (and fiery) selection” ★★★★★ – BBC Music Magazine

A delightful journey through Romany Songland … [an] utterly attractive programme … I am unreservedly enamoured by Isabel Bayrakdarian’s singing” – MusicWeb International

“Her musicality shines through all the material, and her voice has retained the silvery tone and flexibility that were hallmarks at the outset of her career” – Opera Canada


Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian has travelled far and wide, as an international opera star and an Armenian who was born in Lebanon, immigrated to Canada, and is now settled in southern California. Her life is a journey that informs her new recording, La Zingarella: Through Romany Songland. “The music transcends geography,” she says. “It taps into human nature and unites us all. It’s about freedom of the spirit, about living life without knowing what tomorrow holds. It’s about enjoying every single minute.”

Isabel embarked on an album of art songs that draw on gypsy melodies – Brahms’ Zigeunerlieder, Dvořák’s Cigánské Melodie, Bizet’s Habanera – but her journey led to a wealth of recherché gems. The title track by French composer Maurice Yvain commingles with fellow-operetta composers Franz Lehár (‘Lied und Csárdás’ from Zigeunerliebe), Emmerich Kálmán (‘Heia, heia, in den Bergen’ from The Csárdás Princess) and Victor Herbert (Gypsy Love Song from The Fortune Teller). 2 South American Gypsy Songs by American folk song collector Henry F.B. Gilbert set words by ethnomusicologist Laura Alexandrine Smith, whose authoritative book lends the album its subtitle.

The ever-adventurous Isabel commissioned new arrangements for the songs on this album, with violin, viola, cello and piano lending a laser beam lucidity to the music that “has a lot of fire in it,” she says with a glint in her eye.


FRANZ LISZT (1811–1886)
1. Die drei Zigeuner S. 320 [Nikolaus Lenau] 5.52

Zigeunerlieder Op. 103 [Hugo Conrat, after traditional Hungarian songs]
2. No. 1. He, Zigeuner, greife in die Saiten ein! 1.04
3. No. 2. Hochgetürmte Rimaflut 1.23
4. No. 3. Wisst ihr, wann mein Kindchen 1.33
5. No. 4. Lieber Gott, du weißt 1.29
6. No. 5. Brauner Bursche führt zum Tanze 1.33
7. No. 6. Röslein dreie in der Reihe 1.19
8. No. 7. Kommt dir manchmal in den Sinn 2.23
9. No. 8. Rote Abendwolken 1.20

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841–1904)
Cigánské melodie Op. 55 [Adolf Heyduk]
10. No. 1. Má píseň zas mi láskou zní 2.26
11. No. 2. Aj! Kterak trojhranec můj 1.07
12. No. 3. A les je tichý kolem kol 2.39
13. No. 4. Když mne stará matka 2.00
14. No. 5. Struna naladěna 0.56
15. No. 6. Široké rukávy a široké gate 1.23
16. No.7. Dejte klec jestřábu 1.46

17. Juanita ó la perla de Aragon 3.15
18. La Perla de Triana (Serenata andaluza) 3.27
19. El arreglito (Canción habanera) 4.04

GEORGES BIZET (1838–1875)
from the opera Carmen (Act I, Scene 4)
[Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy, after Prosper Mérimée]
20. No. 5 Habanera: ‘L’amour est un oiseau rebelle’ (Carmen) 3.16

21. Clavelitos (Zambra gitana) 1.36

HENRY F.B. GILBERT (1868–1928)
[Songs of the Chinganeros, South American Creole Minstrels from
the 1889 book Through Romany Songland by Laura Alexandrine Smith]
Two South American Gypsy Songs
La Montonera 2.07
La Zambullidora 2.21
with violin obbligato

MAURICE YVAIN (1891–1965)
from the operetta Chanson gitane (Act I)
[Louis Poterat]
24. Air d’entrée: ‘La Zingarella’ (Mitidika) 3.57

FRANZ LEHÁR (1870–1948)
from the operetta Zigeunerliebe (Act III)
[Alfred Maria Willner and Robert Bodanzky]
25. Lied und Csárdás: ‘Hör’ ich Cymbalklänge’ (Zorika) 4.09    SINGLE #1 | AV2533 | 8 April

from the operetta Die Csárdásfürstin (Act I)
[Leo Stein and Bela Jenbach]
26. Arie: ‘Heia, heia, in den Bergen’ (Sylva) 2.54    FOCUS TRACK | 6 May

VICTOR HERBERT (1859–1924)
from the operetta The Fortune Teller (Act II)
[Harry B. Smith]
27. Song: Gypsy Love Song (Sandor) 4.31    SINGLE #2 | AV2534 | 22 April

Isabel Bayrakdarian, soprano
Mark Fewer, violin
Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola (2–9, 18, 21, 24–27)
Gryphon Trio:
Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin (2–9, 18, 21, 24–27)
Roman Borys, cello (2–9, 18, 21, 24–27)
Jamie Parker, piano (1–17, 19–27)

World-premiere arrangements by Peter Tiefenbach (1–9, 17–21, 24–27); John Greer (10–16)

Recording: Humbercrest United Church, Toronto, Canada, 15, 16, 18 & 19 August 2021
Producers: Peter Tiefenbach and Isabel Bayrakdarian
Engineer: Pouya Hamidi
Publishers: Editions Choudens (24); Josef Weinberger Ltd (26)

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