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Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Yusif Eyvazov (tenor) (10, 12-14, 16)
Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (10)
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano
rec. Auditorium Parco della Musica, Santa Cecilia Hall, Rome, July/October 2015, June 2016
Sung texts and German and English translations enclosed
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 5015 [71:40]

Having made her operatic stage debut at age 22 at the Mariinsky as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and having long been associated with lyric parts, Anna Netrebko has developed towards more dramatic roles during the last few years. Now in her mid-forties she has retained her creamy tone and her exquisite pianissimo but gained in volume and added a little more vibrancy to her armoury – not unbecoming when she enters the verismo repertoire.

The Adriana Lecouvreur aria is as good as any as a test-piece and she comes through with flying colours. If I say that her sound has a distant similarity to Renata Tebaldi it is meant as praise indeed. This is confirmed in La mamma morta, sung with dramatic intensity and a full lower register, pinpoint intonation and no sliding up to top notes. She is magnificent in the Butterfly aria as well and she is more youthful than the matron-like Tebaldi. In Liù’s touching Signore, ascolta she shows strong pathos and is a very convincing Nedda in Stridono lassù where she also sports a secure trill.

A certain shrillness on the top notes creeps in when she sings the aria from La Wally, compared to some years ago, but it is a controlled sound and no exaggerated wobble. The Boito aria – with a long orchestral introduction – is fine, Suicidio from La Gioconda has all the requested intensity, Vissi d’arte is marvellously sung but the real surprise is Turandot’s In questa reggia. I couldn’t have dreamt ten years ago that her slender Susanna could develop into a voluminous icy princess. Impressive indeed, but she shouldn’t sing this role too often, and I believe she won’t do the role complete in the theatre. There is also a glimpse of her then husband-to-be, Yusif Eyvazov, who is very acceptable and is heard to even greater effect in the complete act IV from Manon Lescaut, which concludes the disc. This is the role that she actually has sung on stage and in the act II aria In quelle trine morbide it is possible to discern a deeper identification with the role. Both singers are excellent in the final act, where they are in the desert, doomed to be killed. There is glowing singing from both and a worthy end to this extremely successful disc. Antonio Pappano and the forces from Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia contribute strongly to the result and the recording is in the demonstration class.

Göran Forsling

Track listing
Francesco CILEA (1866 – 1950)
Adriana Lecouvreur:
1. Act I: Ecco: respiro appena … Io son l’umile ancella [3:42]
Umberto GIORDANO (1867 – 1948)
Andrea Chenier:
2. Act III: La mamma morta [4:59]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924)
Madama Butterfly:
3. Act II: Un bel di vedremo [4:35]
4. Act I: Signore, ascolta [2:41]
Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857 – 1919)
5. Act I: Qual fiamma avea nel guardo! ... Stridono lassù [4:32]
Alfredo CATALANI (1854 – 1893)
La Wally:
6. Act I: Ebben? Ne andrò lontana [3:55]
Arrigo BOITO (1842 – 1918)
7. Act III: L’altra notte in fondo [6:53]
Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834 – 1886)
La Gioconda:
8. Act IV: Suicidio! In questi fieri [4:35]
9. Act II: Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore [3:27]
10. In questa reggia [6:12]
Manon Lescaut:
11. Act II: In quelle trine morbide [2:48]
Act IV (Complete):
12. Tutta su me ti posa [2:56]
13. Manon, senti, amor mio [1:59]
14. Sei tu che piangi? [4:38]
15. Sola, perduta, abbandonata [4:25]
16. Fra le tue braccia, amore [6:42]



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