- Audio CD (30 Oct. 2006)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Deutsche Grammophon
- ASIN: B000IZK4YE
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,129 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Russian Album CD
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NETREBKO ANNA / GERGIEV / O. M
Top Customer Reviews
But here, the engagement with the words, and the slavic richness suits these roles to perfection. How thrilling to hear these quite rare Rimsky-Korsakov arias sung so gloriously, shaded so touchingly. The mad scene from The Tsar's Bride is magnificent. True, Tchaikovsky's Tatyana suits her less well at her young age. I think she'll grow into it. she's already growing out of the snowmaiden - she's no glittering lightweight, but a full-bodies warm lyric soprano now. I hope she returns to some of her native repertoire one day, because she serves it so well. I think this is one of the finest recital discs I've heard for a long while.
Russian composers of opera have not enjoyed such popularity, in recent years at least, as those by the great Italians such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti and Rossini. Russian opera emerged during the early 1800's, at a time when the European composers completely dominated the field, and used elements of Russian folklore, traditions and native melodies to produce a distinctive sound.
So it's only natural that a Russian opera singer should feel compelled to celebrate and show off some of those lesser heard arias from her homeland, and Anna Netrebko should feel justifiably pleased with the results. She states (from the sleeve notes):
"Ten years ago  Russian opera was much less known outside Russia, but that is changed now - and it's because Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky are working very hard and doing many wonderful new productions". I believe she should also attribute herself as a reason for that change.
Naturally, this album will not have the familiarity of Italian and German opera arias, but for me that adds interest. The contributions are by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka and Prokofiev, and Anna Netrebko has adapted her style for the Russian theme with a deeper mezzo soprano sound for many of the songs. I like that change for I think it suits much of this music.
This is a good album of Russian opera which should please those looking for some less mainstream opera. If not, there's always Anna Netrebko's 'Opera' album of familiar favourites to enjoy.
I have heard Anna on previous Russian repertoire with Gergiev. She actually sounded better then than with this DG recording.
Reasons? Not difficult to figure out.
The soprano's timbre has grown darker than before, but that is not the main problem. The truth is that there are around other recordings by top sopranos of some of these lyrical songs that are far more affecting than Ms Netrebko's reading, and Ms Netrebko's suffer by comparison for the reason stated below.
The 'Song of Georgia' for example, was sung to much greater pathos and passion by Galina Vishnevskaya (accompanied by Rostropovitch on the piano, of course). While Ms Netrebko has a beautiful rendition with a darkened lyrical timbre, she hesitates to dwell into deeper feelings, and apparently for fear of sounding harsh or unlyrical.
This inhibition prevails over the entire album.
The famous Letter Scene for Eugene Onegin, if only one hears this year's moving account by Renee Fleming in the MET production as recorded, and earlier on the same piece by the late Lucia Popp, you will definitely recognise the inhibition.
A great shame, since Anna Netrebko in her earlier years had been a most dashingly charming singer both visually and vocally, and one who is capable of singing with great abandonment in her performances. No reason why she should sound so inhibited to the point of being monochromatic in her own home repertoire!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Russian opera has a rich tradition. The melodies are beautifully rendered by the orchestra of
the Mariinsky theatre conducted by Valery Gergiev. Read more
I am an opera fan and I love Anna Netrebco's voice. This album is an absolute treat. I play it often.Published on 8 Jun. 2013 by A B .