KALMAN: Heia, in den Bergen from Die Czárdásfürstin.
HEUBERGER: Im Chambre Séparée from Der Opernball (with
tenor Piotr Beczala).LEHÁR: Mein Lippen,m
sie Küssen so heiss from Giuditta. CHARPENTIER: Depuis
le jour from Louise.
o nuit d'amour from The Tales of Hoffmann (with mezzo-soprano
Elina Garanca). STRAUSS: Cäcilie, Op. 27 No. 2. Wiegenlied,
Op. 41 No. 1. GRIEG: Solveigs Sang from
MESSAGER: Lorsque je n'étaiss qu'une enfant from Fortunio.
mne stara matka, Op. 55 No. 4 from Gypsy Melodies. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV:
Ne veter, veya s vïsotï, Op. 43 No. 2. Plenivsis rozoy, solovey,
Op. 2 No. 2. Trad. Jewish: Schlof sche, mein Vögele. WEBBER: Pie
Jesu from Requiem (with boy soprano Andrew Swait). HAHN:
L'Énamourée. GUASTAVINO: La rosa
y el sauce. GIMÉNEZ: La Tarántula é un bicho mú malo.
ARDITI: Il Bacio.
GOUNOD: Le veau d'or, Serenade from Faust BOITO: Ecco il mondo
from Mefistofele. BERLIOZ: Voici des roses from The Damnation
Ella giammai d'amo! from Don Carlo. OFFENBACH: Scintille, diament from
The Tales of Hoffmann. WAGNER: Abendlich strahit der Sonne Auga from
Das Rheingold. Tatest du's wirklich? Wähnst du das? from Tristan
and Isolde. RUBINSTEIN: Na vozdesnom okeane and Ne plac, ditya from The
DVORÁK: Beda! Beda! - Cely svet neda ti from Rusalka. MUSSORGSKY:
Death of Boris from Boris Godunov
PUCCINI: Arias from La bohème, La rondine, Suor Angelica,
Gianni Schicchi, Manon Lescaut, and Tosca
Anna Netrebko's fourth recital disk for DG is stunning. Called Souvenirs, the CD contains a wide range of music exquisitely sung, recorded in March 2008 in Prague's Dvorak Hall. The program includes operetta classics, lieder, a traditional Jewish song, Zarzuela excerpts, and Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem. This is one of the finest recordings ever made of Depuis le jour, and the two Rimsky-Korsakov songs are pure magic. Superb sound with better singer/orchestra balance than heard on the soprano's CD of Russian arias (REVIEW). Souvenirs should be in every vocal collection.
Bass René Pape's first recital disk, Gods, Kings & Demons, is another winner. Pape, a commanding stage presence, has been a major figure on the operatic scene for some years now. In this wide-ranging program he displays his versatility, and of particular interest to most collectors will be his Wagner and Mussorgsky. Pape doubtless will be a major Wotan, and as he is not yet forty, should be around for a long time. He also impresses in the Boris Godunov death scene. Sebastian Weigle and the Dresden forces give strong support. Audio is excellent.
Admirers of Angela Gheorghiu might wish to investigate EMI's new twin-disk release: a CD and DVD of performances taken from previous issues. The DVD begins with "Un bel di" lip-synced to an inappropriate modern Japanese set (with two unexplained characters), followed by Turandot and Gianni Schicchi arias from a 2002 concert conducted by Ion Marin, and the Butterfly love duet from a 1999 concert performance with Giuseppi Sinopole on the podium (an exciting performance in which she is joined by Roberto Alagna). After this there is an adulatory view of the soprano written, narrated and produced by Jon Tolansky. In this, we hear (but don't see) Gheorghiu talking about Puccini's music. No question that the Romanian soprano is one of the most exciting singers of the day, and if you don't have previous issues of these performances, this might interest you.
Chandos continues their series of operas sung in English with Salome in a translation by Tom Hammond. In the final scene it sounds odd indeed to hear Salome sing, "I have a need to bite you, to bite you, to bite you as one desires to bite into ripened fruit." Many opera fans applaud opera in English; I am not one of them unless it is the opera's original language. Even then, most listeners would find the text difficult to understand much of the time—and that's the case on this new recording except for softer passages. The entire cast is excellent except for Susan Bullock in the title role. Her's is a big voice with a pronounced wobble and she doesn't begin to suggest the teen-age young girl. As usual with Chandos, audio is excellent, but I imagine most listeners will prefer Strauss's masterpiece in the original German. The complete English text is provided.
R.E.B. (December 2008)