Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Glinka, Tchaikovsky,Rimsky-Korsakov

COMPOSERS: Glinka,Prokofiev,Rachmaninov,Rimsky-Korsakov,Tchaikovsky
ALBUM TITLE: Anna Netrebko Russian Album
WORKS: Songs & Arias by Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov
PERFORMER: Anna Netrebko (soprano), Ekaterina Sementchuk (mezzo-soprano); St Petersburg Chamber Chorus; Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre/Valery Gergiev
CATALOGUE NO: 477 6151
Opera’s ‘it’ girl, as a Detroit newspaper recently dubbed her, has come a long way from the fresh-voiced 23-year-old beauty propelled by Valery Gergiev into the limelight as Glinka’s heroine Lyudmila. It’s a very different sound now, more covered and solidly supported in the middle range, if not necessarily heavier – Tchaikovsky’s Tatyana will always be a step too far for Netrebko’s lyric soprano – but also more artistically floated above the stave where her real distinction, divorced here from undeniable stage presence and film-star glamour, is really to be found. The programme of Russian arias and three orchestrated songs has integrity and will introduce more cautious fans to some ravishing repertoire but doesn’t quite come off. Despite flashes of a deeper engagement in the number from Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, the mostly languid sequence can seem vocally monochrome, relieved by wistful colours from Gergiev’s hard-working Mariinsky players in warm recorded sound and some distinguished cameos from the company’s leading singers. David Nice