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on 21 December 2007
I have to agree with those who love this album. I've not always enjoyed this singer in the Italian and French repertoire, and her bel canto is not always "bel".

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.
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on 19 February 2007
I can only echo what other reviewers on the US website have said about this CD. Netrebko has scored a great success and the repertoire suits her to a T. This disc is a sure winner for many an award and Netrebko will earn more loyal fans indeed!
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The `Russian Album', released in 2006, is Anna Netrebko's debut solo recording with long friend, teacher and conductor of the Orchestra of the Mariinsky theatre, Valery Gergiev. It's also her solo debut album with the Deutsche Grammophon label.

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 [1996] 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.
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on 7 June 2014
A long term fan of Anna (I know, I know) I bought this on spec without checking the contents. I haven't particularly enjoyed these renderings (3 Tchaikovsky; a couple of Rachmaninov; 4 Rimsky; 1 Glinka 1 Prokoviev). I heard Joan Rodgers recently live singing Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov and got rather more out of that.
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on 19 November 2007
I would hesitate to say that this album suits Anna Netrebko to a T.
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!
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on 24 November 2013
Russian opera has a rich tradition. The melodies are beautifully rendered by the orchestra of
the Mariinsky theatre conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The Russian lyrics are immortalized by Anna Netrebko and Chorus of some extrorse Russian Composers.
"Hear" the vocal lines follow the pitch and rhythm of Russian.

Me oh my. thank you Deutsche Grammophon!

Dag Stomberg
St Andrews Scotland
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on 5 January 2015
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on 8 June 2013
I am an opera fan and I love Anna Netrebco's voice. This album is an absolute treat. I play it often.
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on 3 December 2007
I remember when I young teenage and the USSR was communists and the Eastern europe was communists and I use to see the Olympic Games and I remember I see the Russian womans and the Eastern europe womans. They do the Discus throwing and the javelin throwing and the 1500 metres and the shotputting and they all most incredible ugly. They got the hair arm pits and the moustache and ugly faces and I use to say, Is woman or man? I cannot for sure say if they woman and so incredible ugly and poor. I say to my frends, I so sorry for Russian mans when they got womans that look like man. Then in 1989 Berlin Wall fall over and a most amazing happens.There many hot womans from Russia and Eastern europe and they been hide there hot womans from Western world. I so happy that Berlin Wall fall over and Anna Netrebko is most amazing beautiful and super sexy hot woman and I see her many times on TV programs and I much enjoyment her music videos and Anna is so super. She got the most beautiful eyes and the lovely soft black hair and the most incredible smile and she is so lovely. She is so super hot and lovely. I got question, why do classical music got all the hot womans? I like to look at CD cover and look at the beautiful eyes and beautiful mouth that Anna got and is one of my favourite CD covers. I give 5 stars for beautiful Anna and I look towards many top DVDs and CDs which she make in future from now.
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