ANNA NETREBKO Russian Album 4776384

. . . soprano Anna Netrebko here sings a glorious selection of her native Russian music . . . Looking like a believable romantic beauty doesn't hurt; nor does having the voice of a dirty angel. How a slip of a girl produces such a rich sound is a mystery, but the mix of sensuality and purity is delicious.

Her repertoire brings every part of her creative personality alive and the results blaze with intensity. The voice is as lustrous, full-bodied and dark-hued as ever but with extra flashes of steel and silver -- perfect for cutting through the colourful orchestrations of Rimsky-Korsakov in arias from The Tsar's Bride and The Snow Maiden. She brings ecstatic pathos to an aria from Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, and is dazzling in Tatyana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin. With perfect idiomatic support from Gergiev, it shows Netrebko at the height of her powers.

Her soft singing is exquisite . . . Netrebko sings them all with ravishing tone. The Mariinsky Orchestra and Gergiev are, of course, in their element, and the recording, especially the balance between voice and orchestra, is fine throughout. This is the best disc Netrebko has made so far and should make many new friends for Russian opera.

. . . her latest record confirms her stature as a genuine and serious artist . . . [the arias & songs] suit Netrebko¿s bright-edged Slavonic soprano to perfection. The radiant top register is the glory of this voice, compensating for a lack of colour in the lower notes that robs her singing of variety, and she is an idiomatic interpreter . . . Her timbre combines girlishness and dramatic power, whetting the appetite for her Tatyana. Gergiev¿s accompaniments are first-rate.

. . . Anna Netrebko is on incandescent form in this disc of relatively unfamiliar Russian arias. Interestingly, it also shows her in a new light. While previous discs have highlighted her range, her technique and, of course, her rich and glorious voice, this collection of songs and operatic arias demonstrates a quite different level of identification with her material, and the results have a core of inevitability and intensity about them that I haven't heard from her before. Here is scalp tingling beauty, a striking ease and naturalness of vocal production, and a sheer moment -to-moment excitement that it would be hard to imagine a non-native soprano producing. She brings everything to life . . . Valery Gergiev's conducting of his Mariinsky Orchestra wraps around her sound like a cashmere shawl . . . This is, undoubtedly, my disc of the year.

She is young, with real presence in the theatre, and with a voice that seems to know no fear . . . Francesca's aria "O weep not, my Paolo" from Rachmaninov's "Francesca da Rimini" is opulent and beautifully sung by Netrebko. As Antonida in her Act 1 Cavatina and Rondo from Glinka's "A Life for the Tsar" she lightens the voice to considerable effect. This is indeed a young woman waiting by the river for her man to return . . . that makes Netrebko such an exciting singer in the theatre. Too often she slips into dreamy reveries. There's fine soft singing in Rachmaninov's song "Sing not to me, beautiful maiden" and a melting tone in Marfa's Act 4 scene and aria from Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Tsar's Bride" . . . [Gergiev] is a generous collaborator. The perky little waltz that dances its way through Natasha's visit encounter with Anatol in "War and Peace" is as sweetly ironic as Prokofiev would have wanted.

. . . she is still possessed of a distinctively dusky voice that comes with a Slavonic glint but not the hard edge sometimes associated with such instruments, and she's a nicer, much lower-maintenance diva who gives the impression of actually lover her art. Her first all-Russian album is thus very welcome . . . Netrebko finds all the pathos . . . Gergiev and his orchestra are superb . . .

HEAR: "The Russian Album" by sexy soprano Anna Netrebko . . . Think of her as the Anna Kournikova of classical music ¿ only with talent.

Netrebko may be a gorgeous media star, but the 35-year-old Russian soprano is also an inspired, immediately captivating vocal artist . . . This album, by far her best yet, showcases Netrebko in her native repertoire, and the Russian material boasts melodies to rival any Italian collection . . . Netrebko benefits from ideal partners . . . It's only January, but this disc will end up one of the year's best.

Netrebko reveals the beauty of Russian opera . . . deeply personal . . . Her "Russian Album" is a collection of some of the most beautiful songs and arias from the Russian repertoire. In addition to the wonderful melodies, the orchestrations are incredibly rich and well suited to the virtuoso forces of the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Gotta Love it! . . . Her new CD from Deutsche Grammophon, ¿Russian Album,¿ finds her lush, lyric voice in top form.

. . . it's musically the most interesting . . . she sings with luscious tone . . .

While this is arguably soprano Anna Netrebko's least "commercial" recital to date ¿ although it's already reached the top 10 on Germany's pop chart ¿ it's musically the most interesting.

Soprano Anna Netrebko gleams in this anthology of Russian music. Beautifully supported by conductor Valery Gergiev and his Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Netrebko deploys her formidable technique across a spectrum of tender musical emotions. The CD opens with a murmurous song by Tchaikovsky and two gems by Rachmaninoff. The Rimsky-Korsakov section finds Netrebko balancing playfulness and poignancy in "The Snow Maiden" and spinning out a long, verdant line in "The Czar's Bride." She builds a sweet sense of anticipation as a bride-to-be in Glinka's "A Life for the Czar" and joins tenor Dmitry Voropaev, mezzo Zlata Bulycheva and bass Alexandr Morozov in an extract from Prokofiev's "War and Peace." With the Letter Scene from Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," Netrebko crafts an eloquent exposition of introspection and passion.

Soprano Anna Netrebko gleams in this anthology of Russian music. Beautifully supported by conductor Valery Gergiev and his Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Netrebko deploys her formidable technique across a spectrum of tender musical emotions.

During the past couple of years, Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has become opera's "it girl", drawing in besotted fans the world over . . .

. . . lovely to look at and just as lovely to hear on this new recording of songs from her homeland. . . . Netrebko's beautiful, rich voice soars in music she was born to sing

. . . a scorching hot star . . . What she has, in abundance, is charisma, or magnetism. She is . . . a real singing actress . . . ravishing and magnificent . . .

Anna¿s voice is now ideally suited to the songs and soprano arias of her homeland . . . My favourite track at the moment . . . is an arrangement by Michael Rot of Rachmaninov¿s Song Op. 21, No. 7 . . . I¿m in spine-chilling heaven throughout the two-and-a-half minutes of this ecstatically beautiful piece.

The lovely Anna Netrebko remains a glamorous singer, pure of voice, with always-musical phrasing and some exquisitely high soft singing. Particularly fine are a little-known Tchaikovsky Romance with castanets, bassoon, and piccolo adding color; the vivid, Italianate selection from Glinka's "A Life for the Tsar"; two lyrical Rachmaninov songs (here scored for orchestra); and the Letter Scene from "Eugene Onegin", which is delivered with the drama of a true singing actress . . . it's great to have this Russian repertoire sung so beautifully on CD.

. . . I for one was captivated by her lovely portrayal of Elvira and if one needed any further proof that Anna Netrebko is a sensationally talented vocalist, I would offer her "Russian Album" as Exhibit A . . . This is haunting vocalism -- perfectly so in her "War and Peace" aria. Natasha is a role she has made her own: a star-making portrayal she has performed around the world and which served for her official Metropolitan Opera debut . . . Netrebko is delightful in Glinka's intricate and lively Cavatina and Rondo, with sparkling coloratura. Glinka's music is unaccountably neglected, and what a case Netrebko makes for him! The Rachmaninoff songs are lovely, and the "Snow Maiden" aria makes one long for the performance and complete recording promised in the accompanying literature. The Letter Scene is brilliant, among the finest on records . . . Gergiev proves equal to Stokowski in that repertoire, and his conducting on the entire album goes beyond idiomatic to exciting, vital, and flawless -- Netrebko's artistic collaborator in every sense of the word. This is beautiful, largely unfamiliar repertoire sung to perfection. DG's engineers have ideally conveyed her not-easily-captured, rich, full-bodied spinto soprano. Truly one of the top vocal releases of recent times, this is a must.

. . . Anna Netrebko is a sensationally talented vocalist, I would offer her ¿Russian Album¿ as Exhibit A. (I can only imagine if these were scratchy shellac records -- if they bore the name, say Medea Mei-Figner or Antonia Neshdanova -- how record collectors would go wild for them.) This is haunting vocalism -- perfectly so in her ¿War and Peace¿ aria. Natasha is a role she has made her own . . . Netrebko is delightful in Glinka¿s intricate and lively Cavatina and Rondo, with sparkling coloratura. Glinka¿s music is unaccountably neglected, and what a case Netrebko makes for him! The Rachmaninoff songs are lovely, and the ¿Snow Maiden¿ aria makes one long for the performance and complete recording promised in the accompanying literature. The Letter Scene is brilliant, among the finest on the records . . . Gergiev proves equal to Stokowski in that repertoire, and his conducting on the entire Album goes beyond idiomatic to exiciting, vital and flawless -- Netrebko¿s artistic collaborator in every sense of the word. This is beautiful, largely unfamiliar repertoire sung to perfection. DG¿s engineers have ideally conveyed her not-easily-captured, rich, full-bodied spinto soprano. Truly one of the top vocal releases of recent times, this is a must.

. . . threadiness of timbre is normal for young coloratura sopranos, and falls off on its own in time. It has. What has emerged from that vocal cocoon is a voice of firm, radiant tone, laser-like focus and considerable expressive range . . . In her Russian Album, with Gergiev leading the Orchestra of the Mariinski Theatre, ideal musical partners in this repertoire, she engages. There isn't a slack moment. This music is mother's milk for Netrebko, and her investment in every note of it is unstinting. The frame is Tchaikovsky, whose music begins and ends the CD and breaks for his exquisite "Romance" (Op. 38, No. 6) midway. The opening Arioso from Iolanta, the story of a young woman awakened from blindness by love, is heart-wrenching in its limpid beauty. The finale, Tatyana's Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin, emerges a probing exploration of the young heroine's disillusion and heartbreak. I've heard only great Tatyanas live, but Netrebko, who has yet to sing the part onstage, erases memories of all of them. Her word-centered delivery of the scene is complemented by the rhythmic freedom and perfectly gauged sense of coloration and weighting of the text throughout the CD. It steers clear of sensationalism going to the searing heart of Tatyana's drama. Similarly, in the rapturous, doomed sensuality of the excerpt from Rachmaninov's Francesca da Rimini, she unleashes soaring passions without a hint of oversinging. The second of the composer's two orchestrated songs, Op. 4, No. 4, my single favorite track, is rendered with almost unbearable tenderness. Four selections from operas by Rimsky-Korsakov, which Gergiev has worked tirelessly to restore to the respect they deserve, find her creating complete characterizations in the span of five minutes or less.

The best of them? Easy: Anna Netrebko's enchanting, masterful "Russian Album" . . .

. . . many of the tracks here have a cool, matter-of-fact quality mixed with an ache of sadness. So when the music calls for an emotional outburst, as in Rachmaninoff's "Ne poy, krasavitsa, prim ne" or "Onegin's" letter scene, Netrebko's emotion seems even greater, more thrilling. Thrilling, too, is Valery Gergiev's command of the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater.

Anna Netrebko und Rolando Villazón - die Chemie zwischen den beiden Stars harmoniert perfekt. Mit unbändiger Energie feuern sie sich gegenseitig zu immer neuen Höhenflügen an. Man hört und sieht ihnen staunend an, wie viel Spaß sie beim gemeinsamen Funkenschlag haben. Als sie im Januar 2005 "Roméo und Juliette" zum ersten Mal gemeinsam sangen, stellten sie das Opernhaus von Los Angeles auf den Kopf. Legendär wurde ihr "La Traviata"-Erfolg im vorletzten Salzburger Festspielsommer . . . Anna Netrebko hat den Sexappeal auf die Opernbühnen gebracht - mit dem betörenden, leicht verschatteten Timbre ihrer lyrischen Stimme, vor allem aber mit ihrer blendenden Erscheinung. Der schwarzgelockte Villazón ist dazu der feurige Latin Lover mit einem beweglichen Tenor, der die sinnlichsten Farben und Nuancen bereithält. Sie gibt zu, von ihm erst gelernt zu haben, auf der Bühne ganz und gar aus sich herauszugehen . . . Ihre Stimme fühlt sich in der italienischen Oper wohl, aber auch im heimischen Repertoire, wie ihr neues "Russian Album" eindrucksvoll beweist . . . wenn sie die Bühnenbretter besteigen, werden sie zum einmaligen, unzertrennlichen Traumpaar der Oper.

Und wieder staunt man beim Hören über die ungeheure Leuchtkraft von Netrebkos so schönem Sopran. Oder darüber wie sie die Seelenregungen ihrer Heldinnen herausarbeitete (Russian Album).

Auf den Händen getragen von Valery Gergiev und seinem Mariinski-Orchester, findet Anna Netrebko bei Liedern und Arien aus russischen Opern zur Bestform.

. . . schlank und geradezu edel im Ton . . . (Russian Album)

Ganz oben nichts Neues: Mit russischen Gefühlstönen bleibt die Goldkehle aus St. Petersburg unerreicht.

. . . wer immer noch behauptet, ihr Gesang sei nur hübsch, wird hier Ohren machen. Die Dunkelheit, die Geschmeidigkeit und der immer wieder aufblitzende dramatische Furor sind hinreissend. Die Höhe ein grosser Diven-Seufzer, die Mittellage lebendige Gestaltungsebene . . . zu finale erzählt sie die Briefszene aus "Eugen Onegin" so lebendig, als stände sie auf der Bühne. Das dritte und beste Netrebko-Rezital zeigt, dass diese Sängerin . . . mit ihrer Stimme . . . viele Grossartigkeiten zu bieten hat.

Es dauert nur wenige Töne, dann hat sie einen . . . Hier klingt zusammen, was zusammengehört . . . Und dann singt diese Frau ein kleines Arioso aus der Tschaikowsky-Oper "Jolanta", und man ist entzückt. Wegen dieser leuchtenden Sopranstimme, die später die Klangwogen des Orchesters überstrahlt, mehr aber noch wegen eines Gesangs mit so geheimnisvoll verschatteten Vokalen, dass man sofort den Eindruck hat: Hier geht jemand sehr genau und deutlich mit einer ihm vertrauten Sprache um. Der Normalhörer versteht kein Wort, weiß nicht einmal worum es geht, wird aber durch den Klang der Sprache in die Musik hineingezogen . . . das klingt gut.

Am 30.11. erhält Star-Sopranistin Anna Netrebko in Stuttgart "für ihre märchenhafte Karriere" den Bambi-Medienpreis für Klassik . . . Wer also immer noch glaubt, die Netrebko sei bloß eine bildhübsche Medien-Kreatur, der höre sich ihre neue Platte, das Russische Album, an. Da hört man, ohne sie zu sehen, wie einzigartig sie heute singt . . . November ist Netrebko-Monat . . . Es ist die bisher schönste Solo-CD der Netrebko und so etwas wie eine Heimkehr . . .

So luxuriös wie sich Anna Netrebko auf den Plakaten zur CD und dem Cover im weißen Pelz präsentiert, so luxuriös klingt die Stimme der Wahlösterreicherin in den russischen Arien und Liedern ¿ zum Dahinschmelzen schön. Warm, weich, frei und ausdrucksvoll. Russisches Sentimento setzt Anna Netrebko sparsam ein, stattdessen überträgt sie italienisches Belcanto auf die russische Arien wie der aus Glinkas »Leben für den Zaren« und die elegantissimo gesungene Walzer-Romanze von Tschaikowsky. Viele Farben hat die Stimme, die in den Liedern von Rachmaninow noch silbrig leicht wie eine Feder schwebt, in den großen Arien von Rimsky-Korsakov . . . Dass Melancholie, große Gefühle und die russische Oper Anna Netrebko am Herzen liegen, hört man in der Briefszene aus Tschaikowskys »Eugen Onegin«, in der die Stimme aufblüht und mit einer Ausdruckstiefe ins dramatische Fach spaziert . . . Purer Luxus für Ohren und Seele.

Anna Netrebko stellt nun zum ersten Mal ihre reine, kraftvolle Stimme in den Dienst russischer Komponisten und singt ein Programm mit einigen der schönsten Lieder und Arien aus deren Opern. Es ist eine äußerst persönliche Aufnahme . . . Welch ein fantastisches Team, um der Welt die Kostbarkeiten der russischen Oper nahe zu bringen!

Das russische Album von Anna Netrebko . . . ist bereits nach der Veröffentlichung auf dem achten Platz der Popcharts gelandet.

Die Netrebko führt durch eine wundersame, vielfältige Opernwelt, die ¿ mit Ausnahmen ¿ im Westen recht unbekannt ist . . . Die Netrebko singt mit leuchtendem, perfekt geführten Ton, dramatischen Aplomb und kluger Phrasierung. Selbst dem Sprachunkundigen fällt die unangestrengte Diktion auf, was die Eignung des Russischen zur Singsprache bestätigt.

Une merveille, que ce disque . . . Sous la direction, aussi vigoureuse qu'inspirée, de Valery Gergiev, la voilà au meilleur d'elle-même. Et d'abord, quel programme! . . . on est plongé dans ce monde de la mélodie russe, si différent du lied allemand . . . tous les airs reflètent ce mélange de mélancolie et d'exaltation qui est le propre des Russes. Anna Netrebko est exquisément lyrique . . . qui est sûr, c'est qu'elle incarne à merveille la russitude, cette sentimentalité diffuse où s'abandonne les yeux fermés, avec l'impression que rien n'existe au-delà de cette palpitation chatoyante. Eh oui! "L'âme russe" est là, divinement présente. Dans la réussite de ce disque, impossible de ne pas souligner le rôle de Valery Gergiev et la beauté de couleurs sombres de son orchestre. L'ensemble ne forme pas une compilation d'airs connus, mais une plongée magique dans le pays de l'immense et de l'infini, qui ne confine, comme disait Reiner Maria Rilke, qu'avec Dieu.

. . . en el presente CD, tan astuta como afortunada, vuelve a sus raíces con un exquisito recital ruso desplegando su innegable talento. . . . Podría aventurarse que por su genuina intensidad y lirismo, Netrebko en "The Russian Album" es "The real thing".