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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Dvorak's opera Rusalka reaches extraordinary heights of melodic eloquence. Rusalka is also the most consciously 'through-composed' of Dvorak's operas but this does not prevent Czech opera's most famous aria the ineffably beautiful 'Song to the Moon', being frequently extracted from the score and sung as a standalone aria. Sometimes thought of as a 'one aria opera', this is just one of many glorious arias for Rusalka, among them the moving firstact plea, 'Your ancient wisdom everyone knows' ('Staleta moudrost tva vsechno vi'), made to the witch Jezibaba asking her to make her human, and her desolate lament 'Robbed of my youth' ('Mladosti sve pozbavena') at the start of Act 3. Rusalka is by no means a mainstay in the operatic oeuvre but this
new 2009 production and recording from Glyndebourne is destined to put this much overlooked masterpiece to the forefront of romantic repertory. The recording is aided by a stellar cast. Ana Maria Martinez's astonishing humanity shines through in her heart rending portrayal of Rusalka, burly tenor Brandon Jovanovich is a handsome Prince, with real Slavic flavour added with Mischa Schelomianski as Rusalka's wise old father Vodnik, and Larissa Diadkova as the evil witch Jezíbaba, both giving exemplary performances, with Czech conductor Jiri Bìlohlavek and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, giving the music a wonderful emotional intensity at all the right moments.
‘What a special performance this is…Martínez sings from such a deep core of longing…that you totally buy into the belief that she can sing just about anything.’ The Independent, July 2009
‘With a cast who sing with unbridled passion, the tragic depth of Dvorák’s music is fully plumbed.’ The Times, July 2009
‘Rusalka was conducted delicately yet decisively, with power and with poetry, by Jirí Belohlávek.’ Times Literary Supplement, July 2009
Works on This Recording
Rusalka, Op. 114/B 203 by Antonín Dvorák
Larissa Diadkova (Mezzo Soprano),
Tatiana Pavlovskaya (Soprano),
Brandon Jovanovich (Tenor),
Ana Maria Martinez (Soprano),
Mischa Schelomianski (Bass)
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
Written: 1900; Bohemia
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Highlight of my CD Collection March 29, 2014
By Ellie B. (Riverside, IL) See All My Reviews
"Having recently seen the opera in Chicago, I was disappointed that the CD was temporarily out of stock. I now know why. It is performed by the same leads that we had just seen AND comes with a full libretto, which I had difficulty in tracking down. I speak Czech and have to say that Ana Martinez's diction is very nearly perfect besides the fact that her voice is magnificent and her acting heart-wrenching on stage. Dvorak's music is so lyrical and varies between full drama, emotion and light peasant folk songs, this 3-CD find is priceless, in my mind. Far surpasses a couple of Rusalka DVDs that have disappointed some friends."