At the age of thirty-one, contralto Bella Adamova, a native of Chechnya, is a rising star that attracts attention due to her exceptional feeling for the song repertoire. She has a beautifully coloured, deep voice and her approach to songs, which she chooses herself, is purely artistic. The colours that her music world abounds in are shown on her new album, aptly titled There Is Home, which she recorded in rare communion with pianist Michael Gees. It will be released on CD and in digital formats by Supraphon on Friday, 25 August 2023. Adamova and Gees will be giving a CD release concert at the Music is festival at the Divadlo X10 (X10 Theatre) in Prague on Thursday, 5 October 2023.
Looking for the real home and the awareness of a place in the world where one belongs are the principal themes of There Is Home. Bella Adamova narrates the songs as her own story, unwittingly accentuating the life stories of the composers as well as their relationship to home or their feeling of being uprooted. Rather than a traditional recital, the album is an invitation to the singer’s world, where every word, no matter what language it is sung in, has its own deep meaning. There Is Home, recorded by Bella Adamova with pianist Michael Gees, includes songs by Haas, Mussorgsky, Britten and Mahler. The singer comments on it: “This album is truly a passion project of mine. I’ve had the programme in mind since 2017 when I sang it as my Master’s recital in Cologne, and apart from adding a few pieces we haven’t changed anything. Back then it took me a whole year to get my idea into the form with which I was finally happy.”
The talented contralto has collaborated with the German pianist, improviser and composer, Michael Gees, since 2015 and they have become a perfectly coordinated duo, speaking an identical musical language. “I don’t know anyone who thinks about music and plays the way that he does. Experiencing his playing live is a profound experience. It is also a great relief to have someone as experienced by my side. I felt a certain amount of pressure during the preparation of this album – probably, mostly from my own self. I’ve dreamed about recording this exact repertoire for many years and so I had very high demands from myself, sometimes even impossible expectations. Michael reminded me what making music is truly about – exploration and expression,“ says Bella Adamova.
Making this album, the singer and her creative team passionately cared about every detail, such as choosing the sound engineer, Martin Stupka, who recorded the music at the Martinů Hall at the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), paying attention to every single world in the booklet and working with photographer Michaela Karásek Čejková, who took their portraits for special collages making up the image part of the album, which will be released by Supraphon on 25 August.
THE ALBUM INCLUDES: Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839–1881) – The Nursery (selection), Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) – Rückert-Lieder, Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) – Folksong Arrangements (selection), Pavel Haas (1899–1944) – Four Songs on Chinese Poetry. Improvisation on Poetry (Anna Akhmatova, Pablo Neruda, Heinz-Albert Heindrichs, Marie Howe, Klára Goldstein, Bella Adamova)