Anna Netrebko, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
Total Playing Time 1:08:38
Mehr als ein Jahr lang mussten die Fans der hübschen Sopran-Senkrechtstarterin warten. Es hat sich gelohnt: der zweite Sampler mit Arien aus »La Traviata«, »Lucia di Lammermoor«, »I Puritani«, »La Sonnambula« und »Otello« zeigt klarer die Stimmkontur einer lyrischen Tragödin mit viel Belcanto-Schmelz, die klug ihre Mittel wählt und platte Sensationen verschmäht. Auch Claudio Abbado begleitet subtil.
Record Review /
KulturSpiegel (Hamburg) / 26. July 2004
“Sempre libera" - Ever free, free for new adventures . . .
The story of her success requires no further recounting here: beginning with a sensational Salzburg début in 2002 as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, she's become an almost unrivalled presence among classical artists. Her first aria recital entered the German pop charts, and with the video clips for this album she stands to become the first opera diva for the MTV generation. The clips have already provided her with a key to the gates of Hollywood. It is in the scene from the Traviata that Anna Netrebko will be making her feature film début in Garry Marshall's Princess Diaries II with Julie Andrews.
Anna Netrebko knows what she can do and where (at least for now) her limits lie. Most of all, she knows what the others can, or could, do. With the greatest respect she speaks of Callas (“She is and will remain unique, there's no one else like her"), of Mirella Freni (“After I've listened to her, I sing better"), and of Renata Scotto, from whom she has learned the essentials for interpreting bel canto roles.
The young Russian soprano's new album seems to invoke comparisons with those legendary singers: anyone who takes on roles like Violetta in La traviata, Amina in La sonnambula, Lucia or Desdemona in Otello has to reckon with being measured against Callas, Scotto, and Freni. Initially Anna Netrebko's new recording was to be a pure bel canto recital, but then Claudio Abbado suggested adding Desdemona's great scena. At first she was sceptical: she had never sung the part before, and, moreover, it lies considerably lower than her bravura bel canto roles. On the other hand, she felt so secure with Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra that she decided to take the plunge. In the recording, it sounds as though Desdemona has been a fixture of her repertoire for years.
Branching out from lyrical parts (like Susanna in Mozart's Figaro), Anna Netrebko has gradually taken on some heavier, prima donna roles. She made headlines in Los Angeles as Lucia (in a new production by Marthe Keller) and in Vienna and Munich as Violetta, which she has called her most demanding part to date: “First of all, in terms of vocal technique it's incredibly demanding, because you basically need four voices - a different one for each act and scene. And dramatically you need to give everything you've got. You have to love with her, suffer with her, and die with her. Whoever does that, however, will always have to pay a price with the voice - just ask anyone who's surrendered her heart and soul to this role."
Every interpreter of the Traviata must also completely surrender heart and soul to the audi-ence - especially in the crucial scene of Act I, the heroine's internal monologue. Violetta is confused. Is it really love that she feels for Alfredo? She yields to the emotion for a moment, but then pulls back. No, it's all an illusion! What's left of her life she will devote exclusively to the pursuit of pleasure. “Sempre libera!" - Ever free, ever free for new adventures.
“Sempre libera", this desperate hymn to sexual freedom, requires much more than a convincing actress: it demands a vocal virtuoso who has mastered all the fine points of classical bel canto. Verdi decorated the whirl of desire that Violetta evokes here with lots of little notes, and many a world-class diva has stumbled over them. Something else that makes this scene such a bugbear for every singer: at the end it goes up to top E flat. Although Verdi didn't actually notate the part with that extreme high note, it quickly became part of the performing tradition and still remains, despite all arguments against it, a “matter of honour".
Anna Netrebko has taken on this challenge as well. “I don't think I've sung as many high Eflats in my whole life as I did in these recording sessions. But Maestro Abbado and the wonderful orchestra helped me to sing better than ever before."
Anna Netrebko and ESCADA - Classic Meets Couture
Top event of the year for society: the Vienna Opera Ball. Debutantes, international stars and - of course - waltzes. The guest star at this year's gala evening was Anna Netrebko, with her magnificent voice, in a gown made exclusively for her by ESCADA. A vision in red. The finest silk embroidered with thousands of sequins - and a breathtaking decollete.
The Munich-based international fashion house of ESCADA has found a new fan in the musical world and is very pleased about its collaboration with Anna Netrebko. As described by the firm's founder Wolfgang Ley: “With her voice this woman evokes inward values like passion, happiness and desire - with my ESCADA creations I'll aim to provide this beautiful woman with a comparable outward form."
Anna Netrebko now joins the company of such celebrities as Andie MacDowell and Kim Basinger, who have chosen ESCADA for major events like the Oscar ceremony and Cannes Film Festival, as well as Jennifer Lopez, who selected it for her wedding. ESCADA offers not only a wide range of the most varied designs, from discreet chic to spectacular gowns for the glamorous occasion; it also individually produces even the most elaborate articles in the shortest time on-site. Every year ESCADA is represented at over 100 events worldwide.
ESCADA, an international luxury goods group in the field of prêt-à-porter and couture, is synonymous with colour, elegance and femininity, with self-confidence and joie de vivre, with highest quality and individuality. The enterprise originated in 1976 when Margaretha, the beautiful top model from Sweden, blessed with a distinctive flair for style and quality, encountered the young, dynamic enterpreneur Wolfgang Ley. The ESCADA brand was born in 1979. With 4950 employees worldwide, a turnover of € 773 million in the fiscal year 2001-02 and more than 440 ESCADA shops and corners, the group ranks among the world's leading houses of fashion. New shop openings in 2003 included Tokyo, Paris, Glasgow, Beirut, Dubai and Kuwait.
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