Clara Mouriz - mezzo soprano

Reviews

Bath MozartFest with Myrthen Ensemble, November 2014

Even more special was a diverse programme of war-themed songs and quartets performed by the young Myrthen Ensemble, a group of leading early-thirties-ish British-based singers — the soprano Katherine Broderick, the mezzo Clara Mouriz, the tenor Benjamin Hulett and the baritone Marcus Farnsworth, with the pianist Joseph Middleton — under the rubric Anthems for a Doomed Youth. Two Schubert partsongs, Grab und Mond (Grave and Moon) and Begräbnislied (Burial Song) set a sombre tone, but Wolf’s The Drummer Boy, wryly sung by Farnsworth, offered a moment of light relief in an otherwise intense and moving programme.

It might seem invidious to single out individual performances in such a collaborative venture, but Hulett and Broderick brought the dialogue of a young soldier and his beloved at home vividly to life in Mahler’s Wo die schonen Trompeten blasen (Where the beautiful trumpets blow), while Mouriz was simply devastating in Granados’s harrowing song of loss, La maja dolorosa (The woman in mourning) — her tone sumptuous, her chest notes piercing like daggers, her pain palpable. A wonderful young artist, superbly partnered by Middleton, who earned his solo spot: a John Ireland rarity, Spring will not wait, an elegy for boyhood friends killed in the war.

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

Wimbledon International Music Festival with Myrthen Ensemble, November 2014
Faure's Les berceaux sung by Clara Mouriz opened the second group. A rather melancholy berceuse about the ships leaving the quay. A long sinuous vocal line made intensely expressive by Mouriz's fabulous smoky and dark mezzo-soprano voice. Mouriz also sang Duparc's Au pays ou se fait la guerre, giving the lovely, haunting song a very intent and characterful performance, very dramatic at times but very moving... Mouriz returned, thrillingly intense and vividly passionate in Granados's La maja dolorosa. 
 Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
Cheltenham Music Festival recital with Joseph Middleton, July 2013

At this Cheltenham Festival lunchtime concert we are treated to Duparc and Mompou songs followed by Ravel’s Sheherazade from Spanish mezzo Clara Mouriz and pianist Joseph Middleton, who hails from just down the road in Cirencester. The two have played regularly together, clearly get on well, and beam broadly as they take the stage – today’s sunny good mood has got to everybody. Smiles, too, at the end of their deftly delivered first half. I am surprised that Clara Mouriz, a Radio 3 New Generation Artist, has remained relatively below the radar until now. As a singer she has the lot: a richly expressive mezzo voice, power when needed – kept largely under wraps here, but unleashed briefly in the Ravel – and oodles of stage presence. Expect to hear a lot more from her – and, for that matter, from the effortlessly graceful Middleton too.

Jeremy Pound, BBC Music Magazine

BBC Proms no. 17, July 2013

After the interval, Mena’s Manchurian forces sounded thoroughly at home with Falla’s witty and colourful inflections, which serve to give much in the way of interest to his sadly under-performed score for The Three-Corner Hat. Clara Mouriz proved peerless as a mezzo soloist in this repertoire, the only regret being that her contributions were all too brief. Hopefully in a future season she will be given the opportunity to showcase a more extensive selection of her native repertoire alongside Mena 

Evan Dickerson, MusicOMH

 

Turina disc with BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena, Chandos, February 2013

This is one of the most sheerly beautiful Chandos recordings that I have heard in a long time. For the collector concerned that too much duplication might not be an option the inclusion of the vocal works including the delightful cycle Poema en forma de canciones Op.19 is a major inducement. The young Spanish mezzo Clara Mouriz is the highly impressive singer. She does not have the earthy guttural quality that one associates with some Spanish singers but instead she brings a wonderfully wide-ranging voice fully able to convey the passion that burns in these songs.

An early contender for one of my discs of the year and if this does not feature in other similar lists and awards I will be surprised. Simply magnificent and a must-hear for all those with a penchant for all things Spanish and ripely orchestrated.

Nick Barnard, MusicWeb International, Recording of the Month, March 2013

The three vocal items here are novelties ... They are sung with ravishing sweetness of tone by Clara Mouriz, who sounds born to sing them 

Guy Rickards, Gramophone Magazine, April 2013

Although I can imagine more uninhibited playing in the first and last of the Danzas, this reservation fades from the memory with the arrival of excellent mezzo Clara Mouriz to sing her numbers with taste and lovely voice. As for the Sinfonia performance it is one of the best around. 

The Poema for mezzo has been more popular, especially in a piano version - which Joyce DiDonato and Teresa Berganza recorded - but if you want the orchestra, Clara Mouriz is a big part of the reason why this CD’s so appealing. If you and your stereo need a Turina highlight reel, this is it. 

Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International, September 2013

Concert with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Juanjo Mena at Bridgewater Hall, January 2013

The impressive young Spanish mezzo Clara Mouriz sang Falla's plaintive insertions of cante jondo, the ancient Andalusian folk song that Federico García Lorca described as "like the trilling of birds, the cry of the cockerel, the natural music of woods and steams". She brought the same dark intensity to Turina's melancholic song cycle, Poema en forma de canciones; in which the flamenco impulse seemed to be filtered through the impressionistic frame of Debussy.

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

Both Turina’s brief score for voice and orchestra Poema en forma de canciones and the complete ballet score to Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat have been recently recorded by the Manchester based orchestra and their mastery of the music showed. In both scores Spanish born mezzo-soprano Clara Mouriz was an ideal choice as soloist; vibrant, committed and displaying fine diction with significant amplitude.

Michael Cookson, Seen & Heard International

Wigmore Hall recital with Julius Drake, November 2012

Three Bizet songs in Iberian mode formed the centrepiece of the Spanish-born mezzo Clara Mouriz’s spellbinding Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert on Monday. One of the BBC’s New Generation Artists, Mouriz sings with the liquid amber of a smoothly agile voice, bringing something special even to such a well-known song as Ouvre ton Coeur. Bizet’s Adieux de l’hotesse arabe was sung with rare inwardness and longing, its final sighs carrying on a thread of tone.

Spanning eight different composers, Mouriz’s recital opened in the Baroque with Antonio Literes, already showing her impressive dynamic control, and ended with Turina’s Poema en forma de canciones, where the pianist Julius Drake evoked the fiery sevillanismo. But the grief and longing of four songs by Granados provided the programme’s emotional heart, and sensuously caressed lines suggested a Carmen in the making.

 
John Allison, Sunday Telegraph
5 out of 5 stars
 
 
Montsalvatge disc with BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena, Chandos, September 2012

Cinco Canciones Negras, from 1948, includes the famous Lullaby for a Little Black Boy, though the cycle as a whole glances edgily at American intervention in Cuba in the early 20th century. The performances are immensely persuasive, but the vocal honours go to Clara Mouriz, tremendous in Cinco Canciones.

Tim Ashly, The Guardian, 4 out of 5 stars

The music is tuneful and seductive, and mezzo soprano Clara Mouriz’s new account appealingly captures the songs’ shifts from sultriness to tenderness to animation.

Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

Cinco Canciones Negras (Five Negro Songs) were originally written in 1946 for voice and piano but the composer orchestrated the songs in 1949, and this was the work that gained him his first widespread recognition. Nostalgia, richly evocative swaying rhythms and vitality mark out this Caribbean set. Their essence is splendidly conveyed by mezzo Clara Mouriz, who is quite as attuned to the resigned, withdrawn lullaby as she is to the extrovert, cocky The Dandy.

Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International

The Cinco Canciones Negras are the most immediately appealing pieces on this Chandos disc. Each song is a sun-drenched gem, sung with gorgeous aplomb by Spanish mezzo Clara Mouriz, capable of reduing her voice to an imperceptable whisper when needed... All performed with panache. More please.

Graham Rickson, TheArtsdesk

 

Ivy House recital with Julius Drake, November 2010

A lustrous beauty of tone and an engaging stage presence make Mouriz a magnetic performer, especially in an intimate venue such as this. Her charmingly delivered programme of folk-inspired song was received with enthusiasm…

Manuel de Falla’s Seven Popular Spanish Songs run the gamut of love, sorrow, lullaby and village gossip; a range reflected in Mouriz’s idiomatic accounts. In Ravel’s Cinq Mélodies Populaires Grecques she likewise caught the note of rustic simplicity.

Returning to her native tongue, Mouriz presented Xavier Montsalvatge’s Cinco Canciones Negras, a group of songs evincing a non-politically correct nostalgia for the lost days of the Spanish colonies, in particular those of the Caribbean. The gentle tug of Cuban rhythms was nicely captured by the performers.

Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos… was done with passion and a sense of drama.

Barry Millington, London Evening Standard, 15 November 2010

Solo Recital disc with Joseph Middleton (Sonimage)

This young, prize-winning singer is an imaginative artist with an attractive, bright, high mezzo. She's chosen the best-known- although hardly common - art-songs from her native Spain plus Portuguese repertoire and a couple of enchanting rarities…she brings plenty of authentic, restrained fire to the Granados and Turina sets.

Classic FM Magazine, October 2010

Wigmore Hall Recital with Joseph Middleton, September 2010

Spanish-born, resident in GB (ex-RAM), Clara Mouriz's first group of miscellaneous Spanish rarities established her authority and way of communicating and drawing in an audience, which she captured immediately and held throughout the evening, most notably when floating soft tones with total technical security.

...The Italianate second half had Schubert as the abandoned Dido in a Metastasio scena (1816)… It was nicely mirrored by Mouriz's final choice, an operatic gran scena, a dramatic Joan of Arc cantata …Ample tone for the climaxes, well controlled coloratura, and all perfectly scaled for the intimacy of Wigmore Hall.

A small, tender Hallfter encore brought to its end a satisfying programme; just the right length for a CD?

Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers, 23 September 2010

‘Cenerentola’, Malmo Opera (Translated by Reynaldo Ricart)

Clara Mouriz seduces the audience with her clear pure voice, confident tone and flawless coloratura...

Johan Malmberg /Torgny Nilsson, H.D, 26 September 2009

Her voice is round and gentle and modulates vividly the character she displays. In her voice one can read unmistakably all the signs of humility and uncertainty of a browbeaten human being.

Matti Edén, Expressens nätupplaga, 13 September 2009

The role is sung by Clara Mouriz in a flowing mezzo, appealing and poignant, without equilibristic mannerisms.

Gunilla Brodrej, Expressen, 13 September 2009

In the title role, the captivating Spaniard Clara Mouriz responds very well to the challenges required by Rossini’s virtuoso mezzo-coloratura with its flowing, colourful and richly varied vocal ornamentation.

Jan Håkansson, Hallandsposten.se, 12 September 2009

Clara Mouriz has a lovely mezzo-soprano voice and she is perfect in her role as the shy and forlorn Cinderella who turns into the evening’s princess.

Johnny Mansson, MMMm, 12 September 2009

Mezzo Clara Mouriz makes a good-hearted Cinderella with warmth, intense love and soft coloratura brilliance.

Karin Helander, SvD, 13 September 2009

Clara Mouriz in the title role stands out in particular with a wide emotional timbre from desperate complaints and resignations in the lower register to the outbreaks of ecstatic joy.

Fredrik Fischer, Ystads Allehanda, 14 September 2009

Handel Singing Competition 2008

...this year's Audience Prize went to the Spanish mezzo-soprano Clara Mouriz. Hers is a classy act: a light, agile mezzo of great charm and elegant intelligence...

Hilary Finch, The Times, 7 April 2008

Wigmore Hall Recital

This gifted singer excelled. Moving and musically propping performance...Clara Mouriz's account of 'The Nightingale' was particularly beautiful and made a deep impression.

Musical Opinion, September-October 2007

Wigmore Hall Recital for Kirckman Concert Society

Her ability to float lines with ease at the top of the vocal range, and treat them not merely as showy extensions, but as fully integrated with the rest of her robust and characterful voice...

Mouriz's German diction is clear and adds to the enjoyment of her art…subtlety of reliance upon her voice to express the inner nuances of the words themselves. Exciting times are ahead for this talented musical partnership.

Musical Pointers, July 2007

Richard Lewis Prizewinner Recital, Royal Academy of Music

...her talent is beyond the ordinary......her luxuriantly bronzed vocal timbre...'her sense of involvement and generous personality...makes her as exciting a performer to watch as to hear. That she showed respect to tradition and individuality enough to make the music her own is all that needs be said for her intelligence. I did not hear 'the next Berganza, Horne or Baltsa', but Clara Mouriz – and her artistic ascent is only just beginning.

Evan Dickerson, Seen and Heard, Selected for the "Concerts of the Year, 2006"