WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Verdi: Arias / Sondra Radvanovsky


Release Date: 04/27/2010 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3404   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Words fail me in reviewing this disc. My critical brain is helpless before this voice, which sweeps all before it and leaves nothing to nitpick. And yes, her performances of “Ecco l’orrido campo” from Un ballo in maschera and “Pace, pace mio Dio” from La forza del destino have fire in them. You simply will not believe the largesse of her high range until you’ve heard it. Steber? Crespin? Leontyne Price in her youthful prime? Yes, she reminds you of all of these.

3413590.az_VERDI_Il_Tacea_D.html

VERDI Il trovatore: Tacea la notte; Read more D’amor sull’ali rosée. Un ballo in maschera: Ecco l’orrido campo … Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa. Il corsaro: Non so le tetre immagini. La forza del destino: Pace, pace mio Dio; La vergine degl’Angeli 1. Ernani: Ernani, involami 1. Aida: O patria mia. I vespri siciliani: Arrigo! Ah, parli a un cor; Mercé, diletti amici (Bolero) Sondra Radvanovsky (sop); Constantin Orbelian, cond; Philharmonia of Russia; 1 Moscow Academy of Vocal Arts DELOS 3404 (61:46 Text and Translation)


There are two things that will immediately strike the listener to this, the first solo recital by American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. The first, and more unfortunate, will be, “Oh cripes, here we go again … another one of those albums recorded in goopy echo.” But the second will be, “OH MY GOD! WHAT A VOICE!!!!!!”


I’ve been listening to Radvanovsky on Met broadcasts for the past several seasons, and my lone caveat has always been that she only gives generalized interpretations. But I need to also say this: The Met microphones do not do justice to her voice. Over the air, it sounds bright, well focused, yet somehow two-dimensional. On this recording, she sounds like a combination of Eleanor Steber and Régine Crespin, which knowledgeable friends have told me is how she sounds in person. This may just possibly be the greatest American Verdi soprano since Rosa Ponselle.


Words fail me in reviewing this disc. My critical brain is helpless before this voice, which sweeps all before it and leaves nothing to nitpick. And yes, her performances of “Ecco l’orrido campo” from Un ballo in maschera and “Pace, pace mio Dio” from La forza del destino have fire in them. You simply will not believe the largesse of her high range until you’ve heard it. Steber? Crespin? Leontyne Price in her youthful prime? Yes, she reminds you of all of these. Her interpretation of the little-known aria from Il Corsaro is entirely different from that of Montserrat Caballé on the complete recording of the opera: big in voice, emotion, and scope of phrasing. She makes a truly tragic piece of it and not just a vocal exercise.


An extra star or two must also go to Constantine Orbelian, who brings this recital to life as assuredly as Paul Daniel did on the recent Bryn Terfel recital reviewed elsewhere in this issue. This guy can conduct, folks, make no mistake about that. His highlight on this disc is the Ballo scene, but all of it is on a very high order. And wonder of wonders … we get the complete original version of “Ernani, involami,” choral section and all!


One final, humorous note. On the front cover we see Radvanovsky dolled up and giving the ubiquitous Sexy Pose. On the back cover, she’s got a big, goofy, wide-mouthed grin and giving two thumbs up. I’m not sure if this is because (a) she got to ditch the strapless gown and put her jeans back on, (b) she finally wrapped up the album, or (c) this was taken right after she kneed her would-be mugger last year in his naughty bits. Either way, it’s funny and it shows the real Radvanovsky.


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Il trovatore: Tacea la notte placida...Di tale amor by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
2.
Un ballo in maschera: Ecco l'orrido campo...Ma dall' arido stelo divulsa by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
3.
Il corsaro: Non so le tetre immagini by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Italy 
4.
La forza del destino: Pace, pace, mio Dio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862/1869; Italy 
5.
Ernani: Ernani, involami by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Italy 
6.
Aida: O patria mia by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
7.
I vespri siciliani: Arrigo! ah, parli a un core by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 

Sound Samples

Il trovatore: Act I: Tace la notte!
Il trovatore: Act IV: D'amor sull'ali rosee vanne
Un ballo in maschera: Act II: Ecco l'orrido campo - Ma dall'arido stelo
Il corsaro: Act I: Non so le tetre immagini
La forza del destino: Act IV: Pace, pace mio Dio!
La forza del destino: Act II: La Vergine degli Angeli
Ernani: Act I: , involami
Aida: Act III: O patria mia
I vespri siciliani: Act IV: Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core
I vespri siciliani: Act V: Bolero

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN - TRY IT FREE!
Listen to all your favorite classical music for only $20/month.
Sign up for your monthly subscription service and get unlimited access to the most comprehensive digital catalog of classical music in the world - new releases. bestsellers, advanced releases and more.
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In