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Dinara Alieva (soprano) &
Aleksandrs Antonenko (tenor) Arias
Track listing below review
Kaunas State Choir
Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian
rec. 2014, Kaunas Philharmonic Hall
Full texts and English translations DELOS DE3477 [74:41]
This typically high quality Delos disc is handsomely produced,
provides extended excerpts from four great operas, features two of the
most sought-after young singers on the circuit today and is in excellent
sound. It will attract opera buffs and novices alike.
Dinara Alieva is the best new Verdi singer since Sondra Radvanovsky
and here confirms what we have already heard in her solo album of Russian
songs and arias for Naxos
and her previous recital of operatic plums on Delos.
She has a big, pure, vibrant sound with a touch of the smokiness which
often enhances great voices. If her trill in the “Il trovatore”
aria is sometimes a touch sketchy and occasionally one could wish for
a more distinct variation in the characterisation of her chosen heroines,
these are minor cavils in comparison with the gleam and thrill of her
lustrous soprano. To compensate, has any recent soprano sung “gli
areca I miei sospiri “ with its concluding B flat with such gorgeous,
floating intensity and security?
About Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko I am marginally less enthusiastic,
if only because I detect an element of forcing in his tonal production.
I very much hope that this does not constitute the onset of consistent
over-singing which can so easily curtail a tenor’s career. Loud
top notes tend to spread a little and there is nothing especially distinctive
about his sound, which is apparently sizeable – I have not heard
him live. However, to some degree his timbre reminds me of some excellent
British tenors of yesteryear who were best suited to Mozart, Handel
and Elgar rather than the Otello he has been singing. His voice is devoid
of that Italianate quality that one might characterise as “full
of the warm south”. “Celeste Aida” is very competently
sung; he does not attempt the diminuendo on the concluding B flat that
Verdi writes but few tenors do. He is unfortunately recorded far too
close for the proper dramatic effect in the “Miserere” duet
but the concluding duet from “Aida” is impressive. It is
odd, however, that the mezzo-soprano who sings Amneris – presumably
drawn from the Kaunas Choir – goes uncredited when the documentation
here is otherwise so thorough.
Both artists are unsurprisingly at their best in terms of both vocalisation
and drama in Tchaikovsky’s opera, where they sound most at ease
with both the language and the musical line.
This a generous and gripping recital, most valuable for Alieva’s
contribution and certainly of interest to anyone who wants to hear two
rising operatic stars. Ralph Moore
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida (1871)
1. Celeste Aida
2. Ritorna vincitor!
3. In questa tomba Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Tosca (1900)
4. Recondita armonia
5. Vissi d'arte
6. E lucevan le stelle
7. Mario! Mario! Mario! ...Son qui! ... Mia gelosa! Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) TheQueen of Spades
8. Krasavitsa! Boginya! Angel!
9. Uzh polnoch blizitsya
10. A yesli mne v otvet chasy probyut Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Iltrovatore (1853)
11. Miserere d'un' alma giÓ vicina