Anna Netrebko: Verdi

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 00:00


Anna Netrebko: Verdi

Anna Netrebko

Deutsche Grammophon


This year was the bicentenary of the birth of two of the 19th century’s most important opera composers – Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. It’s a real sign of the difficult times for the record industry that there were so few new releases to commemorate these milestone anniversaries. Wagner records have been reasonably frequent, but there’s been a real dearth of significant new discs of Verdi’s music.

Finally, as the year ends, some important discs have been issued, and none are more exciting and stimulating than this one from Anna Netrebko, who is probably the most charismatic soprano before the public today.

The Russian-born Netrebko has a glorious voice, backed up by a riveting stage presence and wonderful acting ability. Live, she’s a delight to watch, and her range is wide, with a unique ability to perform in both comic and tragic roles with full-on intensity and conviction.

Netrebko’s repertoire has ranged from the tragic heroine Violetta in La Traviata to the minx Norina in Donizetti’s great comic opera Don Pasquale. In recent years her voice has deepened and matured, which mean that she has been able to take on the heavier Verdi roles such as Lady Macbeth and Leonora in Il Trovatore.

This disc is Netrebko’s first release in these heavier Verdi roles, and the result is a triumph. Her scrupulous interpretation of text – always a mark of her singing – makes for a memorable recital. In the Miserere she is partnered by Rolando Villazon, who shows no sign of his recent vocal difficulties.

There have not been many memorable releases of Verdi arias in this, his bicentenary year, but Netrebko’s latest is surely one of them. Download: La Luce Langue, Tu che le vanita . . . Francia, nobile suo!, Miserere