Artist: Anna Netrebko Title Of Album: Sempre Libera Year Of Release: 2013 Label: Universal Music / Deutsche Grammophon Genre: Classical, Opera Arias Quality: Blu-ray Audio Time: 01:08:58 Full Size: 12.94 GB
Coloratura sopranos who can sing Italian bel canto opera with good technique and style are very rare. Attractive and slender prima donnas have always been at a premium. But coloratura sopranos who have genuine musical talent and who are world-class beauties are virtually unique. Unless one would put Anna Moffo during her late 1950s prime and the Lily Pons of the 1930s in this class, it is quite possible that there hasn’t been such a spectacular combination to rival Anna Netrebko since Giulia Grisi, Maria Malibran, and Henrietta Sontag trod the stage almost 200 years ago! In those days, delirious opera fans would unhitch horses and carry these divas in triumph through the streets or giddily imbibe champagne from their divas’ slippers! Young sparks would fight duels to the death in support of their favorites. Opera-goers nowadays are less demonstrative; but that Anna Netrebko is destined for opera superstardom cannot be doubted.
Anna Netrebko’s second album for DG is even better than her first. Consummately conducted by no less than the leading Italian maestro in the world, Claudio Abbado, it is a fine achievement. A bel canto highlight of the album is surely the Lucia Mad Scene, glistening with perfectly nailed E?s and hauntingly accompanied by the eerie sound of a glass harmonica. The notes of the album emphasize how hard she has worked, and her progress in the Donizetti since I reviewed her first album is marked. Perhaps too, she has benefited from the superior accompaniment of Maestro Abbado. Particularly noteworthy is her limpid singing of the Sonnambula aria, capped by fiery bravura. Anna Netrebko sings bel canto music with unusual spirit and temperament, and her singing of the Sonnambula scena is much more animated than that of her senior colleague, Renee Fleming. Though La Fleming currently occupies the throne, it would not be surprising if she, and in fact all other prima donnas, are nervously looking over their shoulders at Miss Netrebko’s juggernaut.
Anna Netrebko is not a one-dimensional singer. That she is a wonderful Verdi soprano is demonstrated by her singing of two Traviata arias and most especially a flawlessly sung “Ave Maria.” “O mio babbino caro” finds her comfortably at home in verismo. What an ideal Lauretta she would make on stage! Natural sounding recording from DG; the booklet is full of lovely photographs.
Tracklist: 1 Verdi: La traviata / Act 1: "E strano!" - "Ah, fors'e lui" (4:55) 2 Verdi: La traviata / Act 1: Sempre libera (3:39) 3 Bellini: La Sonnambula / Act 2: Ah! Se una volta sola (5:38) 4 Bellini: La Sonnambula / Act 2: Ah, non credea mirarti (4:47) 5 Bellini: La Sonnambula / Act 2: Ah! non giunge uman pensiero (2:41) 6 Bellini: I Puritani / Act 2: O rendetemi le speme...Qui la voce (4:36) 7 Bellini: I Puritani / Act 2: Ah! tu sorridi (4:02) 8 Bellini: I Puritani / Act 2: Vien, diletto, e in ciel la luna (2:57) 9 Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: "O giusto cielo!" (Act 2) (3:18) 10 Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: Oihme! Sorge il tremendo (3:15) 11 Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: "Ardon gli incensi..." (Act 2) (5:01) 12 Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: "Spargi d'amaro pianto" (Act 2) (3:37) 13 Verdi: Otello / Act 4: Era piu calmo? (4:59) 14 Verdi: Otello / Act 4: "Piangea cantando nell'erma landa..." (7:04) 15 Verdi: Otello / Act 4: Ave Maria, piena di grazia (5:16) 16 Puccini: Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro (2:51)
Anna Netrebko, soprano Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi Mahler Chamber Orchestra Claudio Abbado, conductor Saimir Pirgu, tenor Nicola Ulivieri, bass baritone Andrea Concetti, bass Sara Mingardo, mezzo soprano