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WGUC Reviews

Russian Album

Russian Album
Anna Netrebko
Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater
Valery Gergiev, conducting

Review by: Robert Zierolf

Netrebko and Gergiev are an ideal musical pair, especially for Russian music. Recorded in their "home" theater and assisted by Russian solo and choral vocalists, these mostly dark, contemplative Russian texts are sung magnificently.

Netrebko has always had a captivating voice. Russian yet international, she previously took chances that others wouldn't and didn't always quite measure up vocally to what she wanted to do. She still takes those chances, but now she measures up. Glinka's Italianate Cavatina is stunning in contrast and control; in the Letter Scene from Onegin one can easily visualize the torment and passion; the gentle loveliness of Rachmaninov's songs - all simply splendid. Some of these works are familiar, others less so outside Russia. Fortunately, we will surely hear much more of Netrebko and just as surely will not be disappointed.


Sound Quality:

Robert Zierolf is Professor of Music Theory and History and Division head of Composition, Musicology, and Theory at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He is also a freelance writer on classical music.


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