Bella Adamova and Michael Gees have a very rare talent: they are both exceptionally gifted improvisers. This is the basis from which the current CD with collaborative improvisations arose.

Ten poems from Marie Howe, Marina Tsvetaeva, Alexander Blok, Bella Adamova, Joseph von Eichendorff, Paul Verlaine, Yakov Polonsky as well as a Moravian and a Spanish folk song form the starting point for their musical expedition…

The texts on the album were selected by Bella Adamova, who chose poetry that was dear to her and with which she is very familiar. Amongst the authors we see names such as Joseph von Eichendorff, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Alexander Blok. We can also find Bella Adamova’s own poems on the recording, whose imagination is remarkable. The recording is, in fact, her solo singing debut and, it must be said that, the singer chose a rather original path, one which may not be comprehensible to everyone. This could be explained better through the knowledge of her life history. Bella Adamova was born in Chechnya before the start of the civil war, she lived for a few years in Moscow, and in 1995 her family moved to the Czech Republic. Perhaps out of these circumstances stems her sense of rootlessness, which projects into a search for the purpose of existence. (…)

Adamova’s mezzo-soprano possesses a reliable bel canto technique. However, one can hear more than classical opera singing on the album — the soft wordplay is supported by multifaceted declamation, melismatic ornamentation of certain vowels, or simply half-whispered words, and bending of intonation with small intervalic deviations. These are things which do come into play in classical music but, in a way, also transcend it. Bella Adamova possesses too the gift of dramatic delivery — she can develop a text to its climax and give it a certain theatrical expressivity, when it’s appropriate. The lion’s share of the overall sound is taken care of by the mysterious and introspective piano of Michael Gees, who managed to react with sensibility to the delicate nuances of the voice with a gossamer dynamic and extraordinary colourfulness across the registers.

Milan Bátor, ČRo Vltava