Sempre Libera

Sempre Libera

by Anna Netrebko


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Sempre Libera

Anna Netrebko's debut CD sent critics scrambling for superlatives to describe that impressive solo effort from opera's brightest new star, and Sempre Libera, the Russian soprano's follow-up showcase for her heart-meltingly lovely voice, should be just as enthusiastically received. It includes excerpts from two Verdi operas, Otello and La Traviata, but the greater focus is on the bel canto repertoire that is such a natural fit with the singer's light-lyric timbre and that has encouraged comparison with legends like Callas and Sutherland. Scenes drawn from Bellini's La Sonnambula and I Puritani and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (operas, save for I Puritani, that she has performed onstage) display the fresh, liquid tone that is her greatest gift, coupled with sure coloratura and a natural sense of phrase. The Mad Scene from Lucia also boasts the glass harmonica that Donizetti originally intended, a part usually covered by flute. With Verdi, Netrebko delves into the composer's more sharply etched characters with more of an eye for drama. In Violetta's first-act scene from Traviata (again, music that fortunate opera-goers have seen Netbreko perform), a relatively relaxed "Forse lui" gives way to a somewhat hard-driven "Sempre libera," underscoring Violetta's firm strength of character. Netrebko crowns the scene with a luminous high E-flat, one of several glowing top notes on the disc. And in Desdemona's last-act scene from Otello, she delivers the delicate "Willow" Song and "Ave Maria" with a tender beauty that is deeply affecting. The encore, Puccini's familiar "O mio babbino caro," is another crowd pleaser in the vein of Musetta's Waltz, which brought Netrebko's debut disc to an upbeat close. Claudio Abbado and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe are the accompanists of a singer's dreams.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/10/2004
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947480020
catalogNumber: 000299902

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Anna Netrebko   Primary Artist,Soprano (Vocal)
Claudio Abbado   Conductor
Saimir Pirgu   Tenor (Vocal)
Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Chorus of Milan   Choir, Chorus
Sara Mingardo   Mezzo-Soprano (Vocal)
Mahler Chamber Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Romano Gandolfi   Choir Master
Nicola Ulivieri   Brass Baritone
Andrea Concetti   Bass (Vocal)
Sascha Reckert   Glass Harmonica
Verdi Chorus Milan   Ensemble

Technical Credits

Arrigo Boito   Librettist
Clive Arrowsmith   Cover Photo
Fred Munzmaier   Art Direction
Stewart Spencer   Liner Note Translation
Wolf-Dieter Karwatky   Engineer
Francesco Maria Piave   Librettist
Salvatore Cammarano   Librettist
Thomas Voigt   Liner Notes
Felice Romani   Librettist
Christopher Alder   Producer
Giovacchino Forzano   Librettist
Dagmar Birwe   Engineer
Carlo Pepoli   Librettist

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