Verdi: Canzoni

Verdi: Canzoni

by Diana Damrau


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Verdi: Canzoni

Diana Damrau is arguably one of the finest artists in the opera world in the early 21st century, with exquisite phrasing, drama, and heartfelt emotion. One need only hear her interpretations of German lieder, the Queen of the Night, or even Bernstein. Yet these Verdi canzoni are rather a disappointment, given Damrau's prodigious talent, though César Augusto Gutiérrez and Paul Armin Edelmann seem to be better suited to this repertoire. Damrau's "Stornello" begins this album, and there is too much scooping and added drama in the voice. The legato lines are lost, and Damrau interprets them in a more spoken fashion. "Lo spazzacamino" comes across as too bright and shrill; the drama seems to be coming more from the artist putting something into the song, rather than organically coming from the song itself. Sometimes the pitch variation in Damrau's vibrato creates a bit too much distortion, such as when she sings "Perduto ho la pace" in the song of the same name. However, here, one can hear Damrau's beautiful lower voice, and perhaps this song succeeds more because there is more restraint in her interpretation. "Brindisi (2nd version)" in particular demonstrates the general problem with all of these songs: it needs more darkness and heft in the voice, and these are generally not qualities for which Damrau is renowned. This is not to say that brighter, lighter voices should not sing Verdi, for Gilda is not a spinto role; rather, Damrau's voice is not suited to these particular Verdi canzoni. Regarding the other artists, Edelmann's baritone is tender and lyrical, as in "La seduzione" and in "Nell'orror di notte oscura," for he evokes sympathy in the listener, he has the ability to touch you. His legato and lyricism are like that of a tenor. But sometimes, one feels that the fire and passion needed for Verdi are a bit lacking; "Non t'accostar" is turned into a lied. The most successful match is Gutiérrez with the Verdi songs. He has more brightness and power, such as in the "Brindisi" and "Il mistero" (which is executed flawlessly), solid technique, and a consistent sound that never breaks. Sometimes his phrasing tends to run all the same, as does Edelmann's on occasion. Overall, this is not the most ideal choice of artists for Verdi, but this in no way disregards the great abilities of these opera singers. ~ V. Vasan

Product Details

Release Date: 05/31/2011
Label: Telos Records
UPC: 0881488010053
catalogNumber: 1005
Rank: 200518


  1. Il mistero ("Se tranquillo a te daccanto"), song for voice & piano
  2. Il Tramonto II ("Amo l'ora del giorno che muore"), song for voice & piano
  3. Ad una stella ("Bell'astro della terra"), song for voice & piano
  4. Deh, pietoso, oh addolorata, song for voice & piano
  5. In solitaria stanza, song for voice & piano
  6. Brindisi I ("Mescetemi il vino!"), song for voice & piano
  7. Il poveretto ("Passegger, che al dolce aspetto"), song for voice & piano
  8. L'esule ("Vedi! la bianca luna"), song for voice & piano
  9. Non t'accostare all'urna, song for voice & piano
  10. La seduzione ("Era bella com'angiol del cielo"), song for voice & piano
  11. Nell' orror di notte oscura, song for voice & piano
  12. More, Elisa, lo stanco poeta, song for voice & piano
  13. Brindisi II ("Mescetemi il vino!"), song for voice & piano
  14. Perduta ho la pace, song for voice & piano
  15. La zingara ("Chi padre mi fosse"), song for voice & piano
  16. Lo spazzacamino ("Son d'aspetto brutto e nero"), song for voice & piano
  17. Stornello ("Tu dici che non m'ami"), song for voice & piano

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