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Sempre Libera - Anna Netrebko, Et Al


Release Date: 08/10/2004 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000299902   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe VerdiVincenzo BelliniGaetano DonizettiGiacomo Puccini
Performer:  Saimir PirguAnna NetrebkoNicola UlivieriAndrea Concetti,   ... 
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber OrchestraVerdi Chorus Milan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

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 Read more 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, Renée 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.

James Camner, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1. La traviata: Ah, fors' è lui...Sempre libera by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Saimir Pirgu (Tenor), Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "E strano!" 
2. La sonnambula: Ah, non credea mirarti by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano), Saimir Pirgu (Tenor)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ah! Se una volta..." 
3. I puritani: Qui la voce sua soave by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Nicola Ulivieri (Bass Baritone), Andrea Concetti (Bass), Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "O giusto cielo!" 
4. Lucia di Lammermoor: Spargi d'amaro pianto "Mad Scene" by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano), Nicola Ulivieri (Bass Baritone), Andrea Concetti (Bass)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna...Oihmè! Sorge il tremendo...Ardon gli incensi..." 
5. Otello: Piangea cantando...Ave Maria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano), Sara Mingardo (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Era più calmo?..." 
6. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
7. La sonnambula: Ah, se una volta sola by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano), Saimir Pirgu (Tenor)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ah! Se una volta..." 
8. La sonnambula: Ah, non giunge uman pensiero by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano), Saimir Pirgu (Tenor)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Ah! Se una volta..." 
9. Lucia di Lammermoor: Il dolce suono "Mad Scene" by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna...Oihmè! Sorge il tremendo...Ardon gli incensi..." 
10. Lucia di Lammermoor: Ohimè!... sorge il tremendo "Mad Scene" by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna...Oihmè! Sorge il tremendo...Ardon gli incensi..." 
11. Lucia di Lammermoor: Ardon gl'incensi "Mad Scene" by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Andrea Concetti (Bass), Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Verdi Chorus Milan
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Valli Theater, Reggio Emilia, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection begins with "Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna...Oihmè! Sorge il tremendo...Ardon gli incensi..." 

Sound Samples

La traviata / Act 1: "E strano!" - "Ah, fors'è lui"
La traviata / Act 1: Sempre libera
La Sonnambula / Act 2: Ah! Se una volta sola
La Sonnambula / Act 2: Ah, non credea mirarti
La Sonnambula / Act 2: Ah! non giunge uman pensiero
I Puritani / Act 2: O rendetemi le speme...Qui la voce
I Puritani / Act 2: Ah! tu sorridi
I Puritani / Act 2: Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna
Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: "O giusto cielo!"
Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: Oihmè! Sorge il tremendo
Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: "Ardon gli incensi..."
Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 2: "Spargi d'amaro pianto"
Otello / Act 4: Era più calmo?
Otello / Act 4: "Piangea cantando nell'erma landa..."
Otello / Act 4: Ave Maria, piena di grazia
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro

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