TCHAIKOVSKY Iolanta / Netrebko

PETER TCHAIKOVSKY

Iolanta
Anna Netrebko
Sergey Skorokhodov · Alexey Markov
Vitalij Kowaljow
Slovenian Chamber Choir
Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra
Emmanuel Villaume
Int. Release 05 Jan. 2015
2 CDs / Download
0289 479 3969 6 2 CDs DDD GH2
Live Recording


Track List

CD 1: Tchaikovsky: Iolanta

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Iolanta Op.69, TH 11

Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

1. Scene And Arioso Of Iolanta

Anna Netrebko, Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, Slovenian Chamber Choir

Anna Netrebko, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

2. Scene And Chorus

Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, Slovenian Chamber Choir

3. Scene And Chorus

Anna Netrebko, Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, Slovenian Chamber Choir

4. Scene And Arioso Of The King

Monika Bohinec, Jun Ho You, Lucas Meachem, Vitalij Kowaljow, Luka Debevec Mayer, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

Vitalij Kowaljow, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

5. Scene And Monologue Of Ibn-Hakia

Lucas Meachem, Vitalij Kowaljow, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

6. Scene And Aria Of Robert

Sergey Skorokhodov, Alexey Markov, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

6a. Romance Of Vaudémont

Sergey Skorokhodov, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

7. Scene And Duet Of Iolanta And Vaudémont

Anna Netrebko, Sergey Skorokhodov, Alexey Markov, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

Anna Netrebko, Sergey Skorokhodov, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

Total Playing Time 1:08:23

CD 2: Tchaikovsky: Iolanta

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Iolanta Op.69, TH 11

8. Scene

Anna Netrebko, Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Sergey Skorokhodov, Jun Ho You, Lucas Meachem, Vitalij Kowaljow, Luka Debevec Mayer, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, Slovenian Chamber Choir

9. Finale

Sergey Skorokhodov, Jun Ho You, Vitalij Kowaljow, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Sergey Skorokhodov, Jun Ho You, Alexey Markov, Lucas Meachem, Vitalij Kowaljow, Luka Debevec Mayer, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, Slovenian Chamber Choir

Anna Netrebko, Lucas Meachem, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume

Anna Netrebko, Theresa Plut, Nuška Rojko, Monika Bohinec, Sergey Skorokhodov, Jun Ho You, Alexey Markov, Lucas Meachem, Vitalij Kowaljow, Luka Debevec Mayer, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, Slovenian Chamber Choir

Total Playing Time 24:39

An opera that can be most moving -- not least when, as here, it is given such wonderful advocacy . . . Netrebko has never been better than here, where her head and heart are so self-evidently engaged. Her opening ariosa establishes the glorious complexion of her voice -- a creamy, dark coloration extending unblemished throughout the range. It is her inwardness, of shared confidences, that are as affecting as the eventual full-throated rapture of the piece. She clearly adores it and feels deep communion with it -- the sound, the poetry, of her native language, the ache of Tchaikovsky's music. Emmanuel Villaume and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra both embrace and illuminate it with distinction . . . The refinement of Villaume's conducting is a constant source of delight: it nuances and tempers even the most wholehearted flights of fancy . . . Vaudemont is sung with lusty relish by Sergey Skorokhodov, one of those fabulous heroic Russian tenors with a sensationally full-flooded top which you just know is what Tchaikovsky had in his mind's ear when he wrote roles like this . . [Netrebko & Skorokhodov]: these two voices locked in their musical embrace is quite something -- as is the over-spilling orchestral release in their wake. We are truly in this moment in the presence of Tchaikovsky's greatness.

. . . ["Iolanta"] has an atmosphere all its own, and though not a great deal happens the heroine is treasurable and there is much gorgeous writing . . . [this recording] starts well, the rather constipated wind intro melting into Schubertian strings that fix the score's sweet yearning. Netrebko starts beautifully too, low down with the softest grain to the voice, and this intimate mode works well . . . The other singers are pretty good . . . Sergey Skorokhodov's beautifully smooth, masculine tenor Vaudémont full of romantic ardour . . .

. . . [Netrebko] has never been better than here, where her head and heart are so self-evidently engaged. Her opening ariosa establishes the glorious complexion of her voice -- a creamy, dark coloration extending unblemished throughout the range. It is her inwardness, of shared confidences, that are as affecting as the eventual full-throated rapture of the piece. She clearly adores it and feels deep communion with it -- the sound, the poetry, of her native language, the ache of Tchaikovsky's music. Emmanuel Villaume and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra both embrace and illuminate it with distinction . . . The refinement of Villaume's conducting is a constant source of delight: it nuances and tempers even the most wholehearted flights of fancy. The scene in which Iolanta and the Burgundian knight Count Vaudémont fall in love and most especially the moment Vaudémont at last realises that Iolanta is blind is marked by a penetrating passage for strings invoking his shock and silence. Netrebko's response to this is extraordinarily touching . . . Vaudémont is sung with lusty relish by Sergey Skorokhodov, one of those fabulous heroic Russian tenors with a sensationally full-flooded top which you just know is what Tchaikovsky had in his mind's ear when he wrote roles like this . . . "What is light?" asks Iolanta. "Creation's first-born" replies Vaudémont. The thrill of these two voices locked in their musical embrace is quite something -- as is the overspilling orchestral release in their wake. We are truly in this moment in the presence of Tchaikovsky's greatness. Every voice has been carefully selected to ensure that there are no weak links here. Vitalij Kowaljow as King René has his moment in a thematically significant ariosa while the preening and rather shallow Robert . . . is sung with selfish ardour by Alexey Markov. There's also a splendid contribution from Lucas Meachem as the Moorish physician Ibn-Hakia . . . as ever with Tchaikovsky the surface uplift betokens a deeper eloquence which all but the totally jaded will embrace.

. . . there are moments of great loveliness . . . Anna Netrebko is ravishing in the title role.

. . . [Netrebko] is unsurpassable in this music. Her lyric soprano voice is at its peachiest, opening out thrillingly for ecstatic climatic high notes. Her Vaudemon(t) is Sergei Skorokhodov, the finest new Russian tenor since Galuzin. I'll be surprised if any opera recording surpasses this in 2015.

. . . Netrebko sounds radiant . . . Villaume conducts a very decent supporting cast . . .

. . . the evenness and purity of her tone are never found wanting . . . The whole cast is strong, but the other two singers who really stand out are Sergey Skorokhodov as the tenor love interest, Vaudémort, and bass Vitalij Kowaljow as King René. Both are ideally Russian, but not to the point of stereotype. Skorokhodov brings an Italianate lyricism to the part, though his singing is still coloured and firmly articulated by all those voiced Russian consonants. Kowaljow is powerful and authoritative, but without the thundering "profundo" we might expect from a Russian in the role. No weak links in the supporting cast, and impressive performances from choir and orchestra too . . . Audio standards are spectacular . . . [this] release is doubly attractive: Not only does it present Netrebko herself at the height of her powers, but it also introduces a scandalously neglected work, presented here in a compelling and convincing interpretation.

. . . [Netrebko's] commitment is never in doubt, nor her artistry. Her deployment of unearthly, veiled tones in the opening scenes suggest a waif-like figure troubled by emotions she can barely comprehend. Later, as light enters Iolanta's life for the first time, her terror and rapture are quite shockingly vivid . . . There are strong performances from Sergei Skorokhodov as Iolanta's lover, Vaudémont, Alexey Markov as his macho chum Robert, and Lucas Meachem as Ibn-Hakia, the Muslim doctor who effects the final cure.

. . . a delightful diva . . . Anna Netrebko only has to sing the word "lyubimuyu" to thrill . . . [right from the start, the Slovenian Philharmonic] delivers impressive wind sonorities in a score packed with striking instrumental details . . . [Netrebko] never once dissappoints . . . Sergey Skorokhodov's Vaudémont is the ardent lover personified, never better than when entwined in his great duet with Iolanta when he introduces her to the meaning of "light" . . . Then there's the orchestra's rich tapestry: pleading cello solo here, cascading harp there, adding extra lustre to music that in stretches appears almost heaven-sent.

Anna Netrebko has rarely sounded as comfortable . . . heartwarming . . . hugely enjoyable . . .

Tchaikovsky might have written the role of Iolanta, the princess miraculously cured of her blindness, with Anna Netrebko in mind, so perfectly does it suit her impulsive musical style and heart-on-sleeve warmth of personality -- and in this wonderfully vivid live recording . . . she sings with such total commitment and thrilling intensity that the rough edges and erratic pitching seem merely an integral aspect of the character's nervous temperament . . . in this repertoire she has the gift of hitting straight at the emotional heart of the musical matter. The remainder of a largely Russian cast, strongly led by Sergey Skorokhodov as Iolanta's lover and Vitalij Kowaljow as her father, attack this magnificent score . . . with equal passion, as Emmanuel Villaume's forthright conducting and the ardent Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra bring things to boiling point.

. . . Netrebko is in very fine form . . . Netrebko gives a committed, dramatic reading and is extremely affecting at the point where she is exposed to light and colour for the first time. A largely Russian cast does a largely fine job . . . Sergey Skorokhodov makes an ardent Vaudémont and Alexey Markov . . . is a strong Robert. Among the non-Russians in the cast, Lucas Meachem is the standout as Ibn-Hakia, with a warm lyrical baritone . . . [Emmanuel Villaume] revels in Tchaikovsky's lush scoring . . .

This recording is a festival of light. The Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra under Emmanuel Villaume plays with luminous transparency. The singers wrap their voices lovingly around the Russian libretto . . . and the production places them in the foreground, so every word is clear . . . Netrebko makes for a mature Iolanta, but she's as passionate as you'd expect, and her supporting cast, with Sergey Skorokhodov as Vaudémont and Vitalij Kowaljow as René, follows suit. Netrebko has said she has no idea why "Iolanta" isn't more popular. After listening to this recording, you won't either.

. . . this lush and sinuous new recording provides all the musical riches anyone could require. Anna Netrebko's distinctively dark-hued and impassioned vocal palette enlivens the title role, from the throaty, meditative strains of her opening scene to the exultant power of the climactic love duet and the overstuffed finale. And she's well supported by a strong cast that includes Sergey Skorokhodov as her beloved, Vitalij Kowaljow as her well-meaning but shortsighted father, and Lucas Meacham as the silky and effete Moorish physician who effects the miracle cure. Conductor Emmanuel Villaume leads a colorful performance.

Anna Netrebko has taken up the title role of "Iolanta", Tchaikovsky's lovely last opera, and it suits her splendidly . . . Netrebko's shining, committed account of the blind princess who attains sight through love anchors a very strong team of singers in the six leading roles . . . Sergei Skorokhodov's light tremolo and honey-lemon sound are well within the Russian tenor tradition and certainly work convincingly for Vaudémont, Iolanta's suitor and eventual liberator from darkness. Baritone Alexey Markov . . . sounds just marvelous here as Duke Robert, absolutely secure and ringing. Vitalij Kowaljow . . . offers a marble-voiced, subtly phrased King René; his restraint is as welcome as his basic sound . . . [Lucas Meachem's] Russian is competent, and it's nice to hear this intriguing part sung with such attractive tone. Monika Bohinec's Marfa is splendid and clear . . . Fans of Netrebko may well opt for DG's new offering.

. . . [Netrebko] does not disappoint. The creamy, beautiful sound is intact . . . her thoroughly devoted performance, the "face" she gives every phrase, the melancholy at the start, puzzlement in middle, and joy at the opera's end, make for a vivid, riveting portrayal. The rest of the cast is very impressive. Vitalij Kowaljow as her father, King René, sings sincerely in his prayer for guidance; Alexey Markov, as her betrothed, Robert, has a warm, rich baritone and is, well, rapturous in his rapturous love song and rock solid elsewhere. Lucas Meacham, as the magician/doctor Ibn Hakia, who has perhaps the most lovely melody in the opera, is both elegant and authoritative. And most important among the men is tenor Sergey Skorokhodov as Iolanta's eventual lover and liberator, Vaudémont, who sings with Italianate phrasing and morbidezza . . . he's stylish and delivers acres of handsome tone . . . The Slovenian choir and orchestra are excellent under Emmanuel Villaume's leadership.

. . . another perfect opera recording . . . [Netrebko] is a fine vocal actress, realizing the innocence and anxieties of the pampered, sequestered young princess on this recording . . . The quality of Netrebko's voice and artistry was to be expected, but she is at least matched by tenor Sergey Skorokhodov . . . I was unprepared for the color and character shown here. His voice and his singing blend the wild passion of Gegam Grigorian with the smooth artistry of Fritz Wunderlich. I cannot remember any performance by a Russian tenor that bowled me over as this one does . . . Netrebko and Skorokbodov strike sparks (as they say in the movies); their love duet is glorious . . . the quality remains high through the subordinate roles. Alexey Markov has made Robert a signature role . . . He nails the great baritone aria "Who can compare with my darling Mathilde" . . . [Vitalij Kowaljow] has exceptionally accurate and clean delivery, with none of the spread pitch so common at the low end of the vocal range. His diction is pristine, making his Russian easy to follow . . . Kowaljow's "Lord, if I am the one that's sinned" is the first high point of this opera in which every character has a magnificent aria. The same vocal qualities are shared by bass-baritone Lucas Meachem . . . Every one of the five principals is the finest I have heard or seen in his or her role, Netrebko and Skorokhodov surpassing their other appearances . . . when a recording propels a supposedly minor work to masterpiece status, it's impossible to resist.

This new recording sets a high standard. Anna Netrebko obviously loves the opera. The music fits her voice perfectly; her dark soprano with its brilliant top must have been the voice Tchaikovsky imagined. As the knight, tenor Sergei Shorolchodov sings beautifully, and Alexei Markov makes a wonderful Robert . . . The bass Vitaly Kowaljow has the requisite Russian bass sound for the father, but he also lets us feel the father's anguish and love . . . the fine American baritone Lucas Meachem makes an effective doctor. All the lesser roles are well taken, and Emmanuel Villaume leads a very exciting performance. This recording comes as close to definitive as one can get. It even contains a complete libretto in four languages. This is a must for lovers of Tchaikovsky and the legions of Anna Netrebko's fans.

. . . Netrebko's good qualities -- her gloriously dark, creamy tone -- are heard here . . . she clearly believes in her character's growing rapture and is vivid as light enters Iolanta life, singing the final scenes with a sense of wonderment . . . [the best of the cast are] the tenor Sergey Skorokhodov, ardent as Iolanta's lover Vaudémont and beefy in tone right up to his top notes, and the baritone Alexey Markov is a good match as his friend Robert . . . The trio of smaller female characters registers positively. Monika Bohinec gives a warm-hearted performance as the nurse Martha, her voice blending smoothly with Theresa Plut's and Nuska Rojko's [in the haunting lullaby of the first scene] . . .

. . . excellent in every way, leaving almost no room for criticism. All the singers in the cast of 10 sing beautifully, with orchestra, chorus, and conducting (the latter by the experienced Emmanuel Villaume) rising to a high level . . . [Netrebko glows] with the same religious emotion that Tebaldi brought to Suor Angelica. There's no hint of I'm-the-glamorous-star attitude . . . [tenor Sergey Skorokhodov] displays a gorgeous, rounded tone perfectly matched to hers.

. . . [Anna Netrebko's singing] dazzles here, shining and seductive for much of the score. This is one of the most glamorous voices of our day, and Netrebko is especially affecting singing in her own language and in a role she clearly inhabits completely . . . Sergey Skorokhodov is consistently fine, a superb voice sensitively deployed, his singing replete with Slavonic ardour but free from any extreme Slavonic vibrato . . . I will certainly want to hear this version on occasion, not least for the quality of the soprano and tenor leads. It has excellent sound and full text and translation . . .

. . . [die Diva führt] ständig die Schönheit der russischen Musik . . . exemplarisch vor.


Die strahlend schöne und unverkennbar atemberaubende Stimme der Netrebko passt perfekt zu dieser Partie, und auch die übrigen Solisten (wie Sergey Skorochodov als Vaudémont überwiegend slawischer Herkunft) glänzen mit vokaler Stilsicherheit und perfekter Aussprache. Quasi eine Idealbesetzung unter Leitung des französischen Dirigenten Emmanuel Villaume, und eine perfekte Gelegenheit, um neben "Eugen Onegin" und "Pique Dame" auch Peter Tschaikowskys "Iolanta" lieben zu lernen.

Manchmal genügt ein einziger Star, um ein Stück (wieder) ins Bewusstsein zu holen. So geschah es mit Maria Callas und den Opern Bellinis und Donizettis und so könnte es nun mit Anna Netrebko und Peter Tschaikowskys "Iolanta" gehen . . . [ein] Juwel, das die ungehemmte Frische der Inspiration mit der metaphysischen Dimension des Spätwerks verbindet . . . Netrebko zeichnet auf dem Höhepunkt ihrer vokalen Mittel ein anrührendes Porträt der Iolanthe, mit Sergey Skorokhodov, Alexey Markov und Vitalij Kowaljow steht ihr eine glänzende Riege russischer Sängerkollegen zur Seite. Wie bedacht Tschaikowsky instrumentiert, hört man im durchsichtigen, oft fast intimen Spiel der Slowakischen Philharmonie unter Emmanuel Villaume.

Netrebko gestaltet die blinde Königstochter mit dem ihr eigenen vollen und warmen Ton, ohne je ins Heroinenhafte zu verfallen. Mit sicherem Instinkt zeichnet sie nach, wie Iolanta in ihrem abgeschiedenen Garten zur Liebe erweckt wird und schliesslich um der Liebe willen das Augenlicht gewinnt. Sergey Skorokhodov (Vaudémont) ist ein sehr temperamentvoller Tenorpartner . . . Alexey Markov als Graf Robert bietet einen sonoren Bariton mit durchschlagskräftigen Spitzentönen -- ein Sänger, der Kultiviertheit mit packendem Effekt zu verbinden weiss.

Anna Netrebko ist die ideale Sängerin, um die dankbare Rolle der Iolanta zu gestalten und zugleich für Tschaikowskys Oper zu werben . . . Sie singt mit dem unverwechselbaren, goldenen Klang ihres Soprans unforciert, textdeutlich sowie präsent und sie setzt die heftigen Gefühle, die Iolanta im Duett mit dem sie liebenden Vaudemont entwickelt, ausdrucksstark um. Nicht zu vergessen das Finale, in dem sie sich abermals steigert . . . Dass der Mitschnitt trotzdem keine One-Woman-Show ist, liegt an einigen starken Stimmen, die durchaus auf Augenhöhe mit ihr agieren . . . [Ausdruck und Stimme von Sergey Skorokhodov] können überzeugen. Ebenso charismatisch ist der typisch "russische Heldenbariton" von Alexey Markov, der als Robert (nicht nur) seine ungemein wirkungsvolle Arie meistert . . . Emmanuel Villaume führt die Sänger und das Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra mit Gespür für Emotionen und Stimmungen durch die heterogene Partitur . . .

Intimiste, aux résonances psychanalytiques, l'ouvrage est d'une beauté austère . . . Deutsche Grammophon publie l'opéra où rayonne le timbre embrasé, charnel et angélique d'Anna Netrebko, assurément avantagée par une langue qu'elle parle depuis l'enfance. Nuances, richesse dynamique, finesse de l'articulation, intonation juste et intérieure, celle d'une jeune âme ardente et implorante, pourtant pleine de détermination et passionnée, la diva austro-russe marque évidement l'interprétation du rôle. De quoi favoriser la nouvelle estimation d'un opéra, le dernier de Tchaïkovski, trop rarement joué. En jouant sur l'imbrication très raffinée de la voix de la soliste et des instruments surtout bois et vents (clarinette, hautbois, basson) et vents (cors), Tchaikovski s'entend à merveille à exprimer les aspirations profondes d'une âme sensible, fragile, déterminée: un profil d'héroine idéal, qui répond totalement au caractère radical du compositeur . . . La voix corsé, intensément colorée de la soprano, la richesse de ses harmoniques offrent l'épaisseur au rôle-titre, ses aspirations désirantes: un personnage concu pour elle.

[Netrebko]: Avec l'éveil de l'amour et la naissance de la passion, suite à la rencontre de l'héroine avec Vaudémont, la voix prend davantage de corps et de brillant pour finalement s'enflammer dans des élans triomphants. Une grande incarnation . . . [Villaume]: Sous sa baguette, le Choeur de Chambre et l'Orchestre Philharmonique Slovènes rendent toutes ses couleurs à une partition dont on croyait connaître toutes les beautés.

. . . Deutsche Grammophon publie l'opéra où rayonne le timbre embrasé, charnel et angélique d'Anna Netrebko, assurément avantagée par une langue qu'elle parle depuis l'enfance. Nuances, richesse dynamique, finesse de l'articulation, intonation juste et intérieure, celle d'une jeune âme ardente et implorante, pourtant pleine de détermination et passionnée, la diva austro-russe marque évidement l'interprétation du rôle de Iolanta: elle exprime chaque facette psychologique d'un personnage d'une constante sensibilité. De quoi favoriser la nouvelle estimation d'un opéra, le dernier de Tchaikovski, trop rarement joué . . . Le velours du timbre d'Anna Netrebko éblouit dès le début: ce rôle lui va comme un gant . . . Netrebko incarne chaque facette de la personnalité de Iolanta avec une sensibilité irrésistible. L'interprétation de la diva convainc de bout en bout . . . D'abord dans le tableau féminin, d'ouverture, celui de Iolanta et de sa suite: la langueur démunie, rêveuse mais insatisfaite d'âmes cloîtrées se précise. Puis, introduit par une fanfare de cor noble vagement cynégétique, paraissent les hommes; ainsi s'accomplit la rencontre de Iolanta avec celui qui va la sauver Vaudémont (Sergey Skorokhodov), grâce auquel la princesse aveugle osant affronter le risque et l'inconnu, se défait seule de l'aveuglement qui la contraint depuis sa naissance . . . Le rôle du médecin est lui aussi parfaitement tenu . . . Le nerf de l'orchestre, une Netrebko plus ardente et féminine que jamais font la réussite de cette superbe lecture du dernier opus lyrique de Tchaikovsky.

. . . on ne résiste pas aux charmes de cette voix somptueuse, à ces phrasés triple crème, à cette sensibilité à fleur de peau qui rendent idéale l'incarnation de la princesse aveugle . . . Alexey Markov jouant de toutes les séductions d'un baryton sain et percutant. Lucas Meachem s'empare quant à lui du role d'Ibn-Hakia, le médecin maure qui guérira le protagoniste, avec de superbes intuitions musicales et un sens du récit qui fait merveille dans son délicat monologue.

. . . one cannot resist the charms of her sumptuous voice, her triply-creamy phrasings, and the edgy sensibility that makes her the ideal incarnation of the blind princess . . . Alexey Markov plays seductively with his powerful and energetic baritone. Lucas Meachem conquers his role of Ibn-Hakia, the Moorish physician who heals the protagonist, with superb musical intuition and a sense of narrative that works wonders in his delicate monologue.