Sumi Jo – Missing You
Love Songs from around the World
with Alessandro Safina, tenor
Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester Köln
David Firman, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon, 2008
As for Sumi Jo and Tomomi Nishimoto’s concert album, this recording too is a little difficult to find, because it was probably destined to audiences in the far East (it was produced in Korea), but, as that one, Missing You is something so peculiar and beautiful and is an introduction to unusual music and I decided to wrote something about it too.
Missing You is a tribute to Jo’s international career and is an original collection because it is devoted to folk music from all over the world. It collects songs in many languages: Italian, French, Spanish, English, but there is also the chance to listen to a Swedish religious hymn (Bred dina vida vingar) and a Yiddish song (Dona Dona).
What is really astonishing is that the songs blend so well together and some little differences in style and genre do not affect the general harmony. Jo’s voice and the Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester Köln, directed by David Firman, make Missing You an uninterrupted dream or a fairy tale for its peculiar, crystalline sounds. Jo is simply divine. Her pure, graceful and rich voice creates melodies of great intensity and emotion and without the slightest effort she conveys the sweetness of the Cossack Lullaby, the passion of Besame mucho, the lightness and “joyous melancholy” of Non ti scordar di me and the Parisian atmosphere of Sous le ciel de Paris. Tenor Alessandro Safina is an ideal partner for Jo and their duets are magical moments.
It is really a journey around the world that we do in Jo’s company, exactly as the cover album suggests.