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Verdi / Anna Netrebko


Release Date: 08/20/2013 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001873502   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna NetrebkoRolando Villazón
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio OrchestraTurin Teatro Regio Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also Available: Deluxe CD + DVD Edition

VERDI Macbeth: Nel dì della vittoria…; Vieni! T’affretta!...; Or tutti sorgete; La luce langue; Una macchia è qui tuttora. Giovanna d’Arco: Qui! Qui, dove più s’apre; O fatidica foresta. I Vespri Siciliani: Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core; Siciliana. Don Carlo: Tu che le vanità. Il trovatore:
Read more Vanne, lasciami…; d’amor sull’ali rosee; Miserere 1; Tu vedrai che amore in terra Anna Netrebko (sop); 1 Rolando Villazón (ten); Gianandrea Noseda, cond; Teatro Regio Torino O & Ch DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0018735-02 (57:15 Text and Translation)

Any soprano who chooses to begin a Verdi recital disc with the three big scenes for Lady Macbeth is begging to be compared to Maria Callas. Such a comparison is not unfair; Callas more than anyone else defined the dramatic and coloristic possibilities in that music, while singing it (in her prime years) magnificently. Having thrown down the gauntlet, Netrebko meets the challenge remarkably well. She is not a Callas clone (and there have been sopranos who have tried that approach, from Elena Suliotis to Lucia Aliberti, the latter carrying imitation to absurd extremes). Netrebko is her own artist here, not copying Callas in matters of phrasing or vocal coloration, but applying her own considerable imagination to the music.


From a purely vocal viewpoint, one would have to consider Netrebko’s actual singing preferable to that of Callas, who, even in her peak, could struggle with top notes, and whose voice was for some an acquired taste. Netrebko’s voice is even across the spectrum, and produced with purity and tonal glow, touched with a hint of acid in the Macbeth scenes, which is just as you’d like it. It is in that hard-to-define area that we call interpretive imagination that Callas is unequalled, here or anywhere else. Callas had the ability to shift the color of her voice from one phrase to the next, conveying every emotion contained in the music, and conveying the complexity of emotions that a character might be feeling at any moment. That is what makes her Sleepwalking Scene (particularly in the live performance from La Scala) a one-of-a-kind experience. But there are many ways to find pleasure in performances, and it is hard to imagine anyone, even a Callas nut (which I consider myself to be) to wish to listen to only her sing this music. The variety in performance approaches is one of the things that makes music treasurable and keeps it fresh.


With that in mind, this recital is highly recommendable. We might all have our long-time favorites in each of these roles (Caballé in Giovanna d’Arco , Milanov in Il trovatore , Callas and Caballé in I Vespri Siciliani ) and it would be unrealistic to expect Netrebko to erase our memories of those great artists. The good news, however, is that she turns in performances worthy of mention in that league. Her top notes are certainly freer and easier than Callas (or even Milanov), and she brings a rhythmic tautness and energy to the music that sometimes was lacking in Caballé. In Il trovatore she sings the cabaletta often cut in the last act, and sings it wonderfully (an added bonus is the star turn by Rolando Villazón in the Miserere ). She lacks the wonderful weight of sound and grandeur of phrase found in the singing of Milanov, but she is more accurate in matters of pitch.


The bottom line is that this is a Verdi recital worthy of standing with the finest such recital discs over the past half century Some of us grew up at a time when there were Tebaldi, Callas, Milanov, Cerquetti, Gencer, Tucci, and a bit later Price and Caballé, and we have felt bereft of great Verdi singing in the past 20 years or so. It is gratifying to find at least one soprano attacking this repertoire worthy of mention with those other names.


One disappointment here is the conducting of Gianandrea Noseda. Throughout, though particularly in the Macbeth , there is something lightweight and glib about his conducting, and the result is that the music loses a sense of weight and gravitas. One almost feels that he has decided that the “old tradition” of Serafin, Gavazzeni, and so many other Italian conductors is something that he must somehow fight against. If he thinks this is a H.I.P. approach, he should listen to recordings made by singers who actually overlapped with Verdi, or who were one generation later and still had a link. When you make the music of Lady Macbeth sound as if it were written by Dittersdorf, you have accomplished something not worth accomplishing. Natural sound, excellent notes by Roger Pines, and full texts and translations round out the disc. Despite my reservations about the conducting, this is highly recommended to all Verdi lovers.

FANFARE: Henry Fogel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Macbeth: Vieni, t'affretta! by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
2.
Macbeth: Una macchia è qui tuttora "Sleepwalking Scene" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
3.
Macbeth: Or tutti sorgete by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
4.
Macbeth: Nel dì della vittoria by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Written: 1847 
5.
Macbeth: La luce langue by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
6.
Il trovatore: Tu vedrai che amor by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
7.
Il trovatore: D'amor sull' ali rosee by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano), Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
8.
I vespri siciliani: Arrigo! ah, parli a un core by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
9.
Giovanna d'Arco: Qui! Qui! Dove più...O fatidica foresta by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Italy 
10.
Don Carlos: Tu, che la vanitá conoscesti del mondo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1884; Italy 
11.
I vespri siciliani: Mercè, dilette amiche "Bolero" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Chorus,  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1855; Italy 
12.
Il trovatore: Vanne...lasciami by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
13.
Il trovatore: Quel suon...Ah! che la morte "Miserere" by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Anna Netrebko (Soprano)
Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 

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