Sempre Libera

Works by / Werke von
Bellini · Donizetti · Verdi · Puccini
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Claudio Abbado
Int. Release 09 Aug. 2004
1 CD / Download
0289 474 8002 0

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Track List

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901)
La traviata

Act 1

Anna Netrebko, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado


Anna Netrebko, Saimir Pirgu, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Vincenzo Bellini (1801 - 1835)
La Sonnambula

Act 2

La Sonnambula

Act 2

La Sonnambula

Act 2

Anna Netrebko, Saimir Pirgu, Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

I Puritani

Act 2


Anna Netrebko, Andrea Concetti, Nicola Ulivieri, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Gaetano Donizetti (1797 - 1848)
Lucia di Lammermoor

Act 2

Anna Netrebko, Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Anna Netrebko, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Anna Netrebko, Nicola Ulivieri, Andrea Concetti, Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Anna Netrebko, Andrea Concetti, Nicola Ulivieri, Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901)

Act 4


Anna Netrebko, Sara Mingardo, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924)
Gianni Schicchi

Anna Netrebko, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Total Playing Time 1:08:38

. . . under the watchful ear of Claudio Abbado, Netrebko shows that she needs no promotional makeover to hypnotise listeners with the remarkable power and purity of her heavenly voice.

Anna Netrebko's second CD is even more impressive than her first . . . a very satisfying -- even thrilling--program . . . Growing artistry and everything else aside, Netrebko's voice is just beautiful. Much of the fine effect of this recital is due to Claudio
Abbado's leadership -- he's infinitely sensitive not only to the music but also to his soprano's strengths. And the Mahler Chamber Orchestra is a fine group, its wind
players mellow and plangent, its strings sweetly ideal for bel canto.

. . . these arias showcase her talents, which include a lot of lovely tonal color, sweet lyricism, thoughtful character portrayal and confident attack of notes . . . it's exciting to watch a gifted singer mature and develop, and this album offers a chance to see Netrebko's artistry evolve.

To my ears, Netrebko has lost none of the radiance that she displayed in her first appearances. If anything, her voice is more lustrous and more substantial than before -- the lower range darker and richer, the high notes brilliant . . . the legato phrases luxuriously long . . . she sails through the music without apparent effort, navigating these arias as if they were a calm Aegean bay. What depths there are come from Claudio Abbado, conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; few recitals have an accompaniment so voluptuously nuanced. Until Netrebko becomes a recurring character on CSI: Salzburg," I'd say that she deserves the hype she has received.

. . . this CD is strong, cohesive and thoughtfully sung. Netrebko has a dynamic, immensely powerful old-fashioned voice that is perfect for this repertoire of Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti.

Endowed with film-star looks as well as an extraordinarily beautiful voice, Russia's Anna Netrebko seems to have everything. Her second disc, of Italian arias (Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi), accompanied by Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, certainly showcases her even tone throughout the compass, and her superb technical control, with a legato line that many a singer would envy.

Her voice is meltingly beautiful, with its creamy legato and luminous sound . . . Her performance is disarming. A hint of things to come?

Particularly affecting and fitting here is her movement from note to note and her subtle use of vibrato, and the inward feeling she brings in . . . In any case, all but the most fastidious will find the interpretations of this ever-improving voice and talent hard to resist and . . . the beauty, and often the pathos in the singing is its own advocate . . . she is greatly helped by Abbado's experience and understanding, and the sympathetic playing of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

This is a beautiful voice, no question . . . Luxury accompaniments from Abbado and Co, and top-flight comprimarios . . .

Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has great stage presence and a voice blessed with a high top that puts belcanto as well as dramatic roles in her repertoire.

Coloratura sopranos who can sing Italian bel canto opera with good technique and style are very rare. Attractive and slender prima donnas have always been at a premium. But coloratura sopranos who have genuine musical talent and who are world-class beauties are virtually unique. Unless one would put Anna Moffo during her late 1950s prime and the Lily Pons of the 1930s in this class, it is quite possible that there hasn't been such a spectacular combination to rival Anna Netrebko since Giulia Grisi, Maria Malibran, and Henrietta Sontag trod the stage almost 200 years ago . . . that Anna Netrebko is destined for opera superstardom cannot be doubted. Anna Netrebko's second album for DG is even better than her first. Consummately conducted by no less than the leading Italian maestro in the world, Claudio Abbado, it is a fine achievement . . . Particularly noteworthy is her limpid singing of the "Sonnambula" aria, capped by fiery bravura. Anna Netrebko sings bel canto music with unusual spirit and temperament, and her singing of the "Sonnambula" scena is much more animated than that of her senior colleague, Renée Fleming . . . Anna Netrebko is not a one-dimensional singer. That she is a wonderful Verdi soprano is demonstrated by her singing of two "Traviata" arias and most especially a flawlessly sung "Ave Maria". "O mio babbino caro" finds her comfortably at home in verismo . . . Natural sounding recording from DG; the booklet is full of lovely photographs.

Anna Netrebko gets back on form with this stunning collection of arias. Here is insightful, intelligent singing, beautifully phrased and impressively controlled -- and what a voice! Clear as a mountain stream, and evenly weighted from top to bottom. But perhaps her greatest talent is to communicate passion and emotion with restraint and delicacy: there's nothing histrionic here, but you can really hear the blood pounding under everything she does . . . Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra provide a wonderfully sympathetic accompaniment . . .

The "Sempre Libera" music . . . features Anna Netrebko's elegant and captivating soprano, which is sure to gain as much popular and critical acclaim as her first album.

A great meal is an inspiration. And so is this Russian opera singer's sublime voice.

[Netrebko] arbeitet mit einer wunderfeinen Farbenpalette, spielt mit Nuancen. Vokalporträts nehmen klanglich einprägsam Gestalt an. An deren Prägnanz Claudio Abbado und das Mahler Chamber Orchestra maßgeblichen Anteil haben.

[Netrebko] works with a wonderfully refined palette of colours, plays with nuances. Her vocal portraits assume memorable forms, whose potency also owes much to Claudio Abbado and his Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

. . . kein Wunder, dass die russische Sopranistin seit mehr als einem Jahr nicht nur die deutsche Klassikbranche aufrollt, sondern live auch Maßstäbe setzt.

Goldene Schallplatte

"Ein Höhepunkt der Aufnahme ist ohne Zweifel die Wahnsinnsszene aus Donizettis "Lucia di Lammermoor", dies allerdings nicht nur wegen Netrebkos souveräner Lucia, sondern der selten zu hörenden Glasharmonika . . ., die hier zum Einsatz kommt und durch ihr ganz eigenes Klangbild der Szene eine wirklich gespenstische Aura verleiht. Allein wegen dieses Klangerlebnisses würde sich die Anschaffung lohnen. Doch auch der letzte große Teil der CD gibt ein Versprechen für die Zukunft, . . . frappierend."

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.

Die Netrebko singt mit vorzüglicher Phrasierung, schwebend 'sul fiato', ohne falsche Sentimentalität. Im Zentrum die Wahnsinnsszene der Lucia von Lammermoor, wobei die (von Donizetti ursprünglich geplante) Glasharmonika eine irrwitzig schöne Klangatmosphäre schafft. Mag die Sopranistin, wie sie in einem Interview erklärte, auch durchaus bereit sein . . ., ihre körperlichen Vorzüge unverhüllt einzubringen, so beweist diese CD, dass der Einsatz der Stimme durchaus genügen würde.

Netrebko sings with superb phrasing, a floating 'sul fiato' [with the voice sitting 'on the breath' as though on a cushion of air], without any false sentimentality. At the heart of the recital is the Mad Scene from "Lucia di Lammermoor", in which the glass harmonica (as originally conceived by Donizetti) creates an atmosphere of unearthly beauty. If the soprano, as she declared in a interview, is absolutely prepared to bring all her physical assets to bear in her singing, this CD proves that her vocal assets are fully up to the task.

Die Tonspur der Platte lässt mit kraftvoll-lyrischem Belcanto samt der noblen Begleitung durch Claudio Abbado und sein Mahler Chamber Orchestra allen Designerkitsch schnell vergessen.

The music on this disc, with its powerful and lyrical bel canto singing and the aristocratic accompaniment of Claudio Abbado and his Mahler Chamber Orchestra, quickly dispels any possible thoughts about designer kitsch.

Sie ist die vielleicht heißeste Versuchung, seit es Oper gibt: Wenn Anna Netrebko singt, liegt ihr die halbe Welt zu Füßen. Weil ihr Soprano so glockenhell und funkelnd ist und die junge Russin so anmutig und sexy . . . Auf ihrer zweiten CD ""Sempre libera" singt sie italienische Arien . . . Hinreißend!

She may be the hottest temptation since opera was invented: when Anna Netrebko sings, half the world lies at her feet. Because her gleaming soprano is as pure as a bell and the young Russian herself is so attractive and sexy . . . On her second CD, "Sempre libera" she sings Italian arias. . . Riveting!

Bei Violetta, Sonnambula, Lucia di Lammermoor, Desdemona, Elvira (Puritani), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) kommt sie indes mit ihrer makellos warmen Stimme so weit wie schon lange keine Kollegin mehr. Gleichzeitig zeigen die Partien, die auf dieser CD versammelt sind, ihre bemerkenswerte Bandbreite . . . Was uneingeschränkt auch für die Begleitung des Mahler Chamber Orchestra unter Abbado gilt. Bis in feinste Verästelungen folgt er der Solistin, trägt sie auf Händen, spielt ihr Impulse zu. Ein Kaiser als Diener.

Whether singing Violetta, Sonnambula, Lucia di Lammermoor, Desdemona, Elvira (Puritani) or Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), with her flawless, warm voice she already surpasses her fellow sopranos of the day. At the same time, the roles represented on this CD demonstrate her remarkable versatility... Unreserved praise, too, for the accompaniment of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Abbado. He follows the soloist into every nook and cranny, savours her gestures, takes up her impulses. An emperor as servant.

München hat ihr zu Füßen gelegen, weil sie nicht nur einen wunderbaren Sopran hat -- sondern auch eine natürliche, unverwechselbare Schönheit und einen jugendlich-lebendigen Charme . . . Edelhure, Schlafwandlerin, Verrückte, Todgeweihte, Flehende: Netrebko zeigt ihre italienische Seite. Von Anfang an spürt man: Hier ist keine kühle Koloraturenschleuder am Werk, sondern ein hoch konzentrierter Mensch, der mit einer begnadeten Stimme gesegnet ist und sie stets in den Dienst der Sache stellt. Ihr betörender Sopran verströmt wunderbaren, kraftvollen Wohlklang . . . Von Anna Netrebkos glasklaren Spitzentönen bis zum f''', von den makellos ausgesungenen Belcanto-Koloraturen, von dem genauen Wissen um das, was sie singt . . . könnte man lange schwärmen -- aber ebenso wichtig für diese höchst gelungene Einspielung ist die hörbare Harmonie zwischen der Sängerin, dem Dirigenten Claudio Abbado und seinem Mahler Chamber Orchestra . . . Die Desdemona aus Verdis "Otello" hatte Netrebko zuvor noch nie gesungen; hier gibt's den großen Abschiedsgesang -- und danach ist man sich ganz sicher, dass es keine Figur der Oper gibt, mit der man mehr Mitleid hat.

She's had Munich at her feet not only because of her wonderful soprano voice but also because of her natural, distinctive beauty and lively, youthful charm . . . Courtesan or sleepwalker, mad, death-obsessed or pleading: Netrebko constantly demonstrates her Italian flair. You hear it from the very start: this is not a coloratura machine at work, but a highly concentrated artist who is blessed with an exceptional instrument and always puts it in the service of the matter at hand. Her bewitching soprano exudes a marvellous, powerful stream of melody.

Für jede Heldin hat sie andere Stimmnuancen. Ihr gefühlvoll-verletzlicher Gesang ist hinreißend. Punktgenau triff sie jeden Ton.

. . . ein mit aller Besonnenheit und Sorgfalt produziertes Konzeptalbum. Netrebko spielt die weiße Frau: Sie singt Arien von den Rändern des Abgrunds -- von Wahnsinnigen, Ausgegrenzten, Opfern. Sie tut dies mit der ganzen kerngesunden Beweglichkeit und Fülle ihres Organs und jenem leicht gutturalen Glanz, der diese Stimme bereits unverwechselbar gemacht hat . . .

Wieder hat die bildhübsche Sopranistin aus St. Petersburg die Nase vorn: Mit klassischen Belcanto-Arien überzeugt sie auch auf ihrer zweiten Solo-CD; Maestro Abbado hilft durch schmalzfreien Klang.

. . . eine gesangliche Offenbarung . . . Abbado sorgt am Pult des Mahler Chamber Orchestra für einen Luxus, den man nicht auf jeder Arienplatte genießen kann. Ein Luxus, der in sensibler Genauigkeit und wunderbarer Nuanciertheit besteht, die dafür sorgen, dass jeder Opernausschnitt deutlich macht, dass er aus einem anderen musikalischen Kosmos kommt . . . So wandelbar wie das Orchester tritt auch Anna Netrebko in Erscheinung, kein Zoll eine Diva.

Spätestens mit 'O mio babbino caro' aus Puccinis "Gianni Schicchi" und dem Walzer der Musetta ("La Bohème"), mit dem sie bereits die Gäste des Wiener Opernballs begeistert hatte, zog Anna Netrebko das Publikum der Waldbühne vollends in ihren Bann . . . Das neue Arienalbum der Sängerin, "Sempre libera", war gleich in der ersten Woche nach Veröffentlichung auf Platz 10 der MM-Pop-Charts (!) eingestiegen. In den Klassik-Charts erreichte es auf Anhieb Position eins.

. . . ihre Stimme ist ein Ereignis. Starke Tiefen, geradezu opulente Höhen: Die Arien von Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi und Puccini bieten Belcanto-Hörgenuss der Superlative, in perfekt durchsichtigem, dennoch fülligem Klangbild . . . So leidenschaftlich und packend . . . so grandios . . . Hier glänzt die Netrebko mit ansatzlos treffsicheren Höhen und zauberhaftem Pianissimo-Schmelz. Makellos!

Sie überzeugt auch hier vom ersten Ton an, so wie 2002 als Donna Anna in Salzburg, als sie wie ein Blitz ins Rampenlicht der großen Opern-Öffentlichkeit fuhr und seither eine Spur der Begeisterung durch die Musikwelt zog, wo auch immer sie hinkam. "Sempre libera" . . . könnte die Russin auch für ihr eigenes Singen in Anspruch nehmen: sempre libera, frei von allen Niederungen technischer oder stimmlicher Beschränktheiten. Und noch mehr: viele Farben und vor allem ein erstaunlicher Reichtum an dynamischen Nuancen, die jede Linie zu einem kleinen Kunstwerk zu formen wissen. Und wer solche Koloraturen mit Ausdruckskraft und farbigen Schattierungen verbindet und auch in der Höhe so sanft und leicht ein bruchloses Crescendo wachsen lässt, braucht sich vor gar keiner Belcanto-Herausforderung zu fürchten.

Bald muss hier das Guinness-Buch der Rekorde übernehmen, so lang steht die sexy Sopranistin aus Russland schon an der Spitze -- der Auftritt in Salzburg hat den Absatz sicher auch noch gefördert.

Anna Netrebko, no sólo sabe manejarla con gran elegancia, sino que además posee un atractivo físico enorme, por lo que no deberíamos sorprendernos si se convierte en poco tiempo en una de las grandes divas del siglo XXI . . . Su atrevimiento llega al límite de cantarnos toda la escena final de Otello con Emilia para, con lágrimas en los ojos, despedirse con un sereno "O mio babbino caro" . . .

La soprano posee una voz de lírica muy adecuada para estas obras, que utiliza con mucha inteligencia . . .
“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.

For further Information please contact:

Isabel MayAmira Saleh
Head of Public Relations and EventsCelebrity Dressing Manager
Ph.: ++49-(0)89-9944-1121Ph.: ++49-(0)89-9944-1101
Fax: ++49-(0)89-9944-1553Fax: ++49-(0)89-9944-1553
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