COMPOSERS: Bellini and Meyerbeer,Donizetti,Gounod
ALBUM TITLE: Dreams
WORKS: Arias by Gounod, Donizetti, Bellini and Meyerbeer
PERFORMER: Pretty Yende (soprano), Mattia Olivieri (baritone), Carlo Lepore (bass); Chorus and Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Giacomo Sagripanti
CATALOGUE NO: 88985430152
This new disc from the South African soprano covers similar territory to her previous, prize-winning debut disc. She begins with a nigh-on immaculate account of the waltz song from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. To the Mad Scene from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (her previous disc included different extracts) she brings a pure and ethereal tone, entering into the character and her poignant situation within a world of her own beyond earthly reality. In the same composer’s Linda di Chamounix aria, Yende is both fleet and light on her feet. In the sequence from Bellini’s La straniera, Yende is at times placed too far back, but once again she engages with the text and drama.
In the Dinorah extract, she provides more context than usual for the so-called Shadow Song by starting with a section of spoken dialogue; but her interpretation, while determined, lacks some of the charm many sopranos have brought to Meyerbeer’s piece.
In the final scene from Bellini’s La sonnambula, Yende’s virtues once again shine out in a finely charted lyrical line.