Anna Netrebko – Sempre Libera (2004/2013) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]
LPCM 2.0 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 | Time – 01:08:58 minutes | 12,94 GB
The story of Anna Netrebko’s success requires no further recounting here: beginning with a sensational Salzburg début in 2002 as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, she’s become an almost unrivaled presence among classical artists. Her first aria recital entered the German pop charts, and with the video clips for this album she stands to become the first opera diva for the MTV generation. The clips have already provided her with a key to the gates of Hollywood. It is in the scene from the Traviata thatAnna Netrebko made her feature film début in Garry Marshall’s Princess Diaries II with Julie Andrews.
Anna Netrebko knows what she can do and where (at least for now) her limits lie. Most of all, she knows what the others can, or could, do. With the greatest respect she speaks of Callas (“She is and will remain unique, there’s no one else like her”), of Mirella Freni (“After I’ve listened to her, I sing better”), and of Renata Scotto, from whom she has learned the essentials for interpreting bel canto roles.
This album from the young Russian soprano seems to invoke comparisons with those legendary singers: anyone who takes on roles like Violetta in La traviata, Amina in La sonnambula, Lucia or Desdemona in Otello has to reckon with being measured against Callas, Scotto, and Freni. Initially Anna Netrebko’snew recording was to be a pure bel canto recital, but thenClaudio Abbado suggested adding Desdemona’s great scena. At first she was skeptical: she had never sung the part before, and, moreover, it lies considerably lower than her bravura bel canto roles. On the other hand, she felt so secure with Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra that she decided to take the plunge. In the recording, it sounds as though Desdemona has been a fixture of her repertoire for years.
Branching out from lyrical parts (like Susanna in Mozart’s Figaro), Anna Netrebko has gradually taken on some heavier, prima donna roles. She made headlines in Los Angeles as Lucia (in a new production by Marthe Keller) and in Vienna and Munich as Violetta, which she has called her most demanding part to date: “First of all, in terms of vocal technique it’s incredibly demanding, because you basically need four voices – a different one for each act and scene. And dramatically you need to give everything you’ve got. You have to love with her, suffer with her, and die with her. Whoever does that, however, will always have to pay a price with the voice – just ask anyone who’s surrendered her heart and soul to this role.”
Every interpreter of the Traviata must also completely surrender heart and soul to the audience – especially in the crucial scene of Act I, the heroine’s internal monologue. Violetta is confused. Is it really love that she feels for Alfredo? She yields to the emotion for a moment, but then pulls back. No, it’s all an illusion! What’s left of her life she will devote exclusively to the pursuit of pleasure. “Sempre libera!” – Ever free, ever free for new adventures.
“Sempre libera,” this desperate hymn to sexual freedom, requires much more than a convincing actress: it demands a vocal virtuoso who has mastered all the fine points of classical bel canto. Verdidecorated the whirl of desire that Violetta evokes here with lots of little notes, and many a world-class diva has stumbled over them. Something else that makes this scene such a bugbear for every singer: at the end it goes up to top E flat. Although Verdi didn’t actually notate the part with that extreme high note, it quickly became part of the performing tradition and still remains, despite all arguments against it, a “matter of honour.”
Anna Netrebko has taken on this challenge as well. “I don’t think I’ve sung as many high Eflats in my whole life as I did in these recording sessions. But Maestro Abbado and the wonderful orchestra helped me to sing better than ever before.”
“Endowed with film-star looks as well as an extraordinarily beautiful voice, Russia’s Anna Netrebko seems to have everything. Her second disc, of Italian arias (Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi), accompanied by Claudio Abbado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, certainly showcases her even tone throughout the compass, and her superb technical control, with a legato line that many a singer would envy.” – Record Review / Barry Millington, Standard (London) / September 2004
Giuseppe Verdi / Vincenzo Bellini / Gaetano Donizetti (composer)
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
Anna Netrebko (soprano vocals)
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Blu-ray Pure Audio Discs:
Audio is taken from the original master tapes and mastered in 24-bit/96kHz resolution with a choice of three sound formats: PCM, Dolby True HD, or DTS-HD Master Audio. You can finally enjoy the music in the fidelity originally experienced in the studio.
Semper Libera – Anna Netrebko – Claudio Abbado Track Listing:
Giuseppe Verdi – La traviata
 No. 3 Scena ed Aria: “È strano! è strano! – Ah, fors’è lui – Follie! Delirio vano è questo!”
 “Sempre libera”
Vincenzo Bellini – La sonnambula
 No. 12 Scena ed Aria finale: “Ah! se una volta sola rivederlo potessi”
 “Ah! non credea mirarti”
 “Ah! non giunge uman pensiero”
Vincenzo Bellini – I puritani
 No. 7 Scena ed Aria: “O rendetemi la speme – Qui la voce sua soave”
 “Ah! tu sorridi e asciughi il pianto!”
 “Vien, diletto, è in ciel la luna!”
Gaetano Donizetti – Lucia di Lammermoor
 No. 14 Scena ed Aria: “O giusto cielo!” – “Il dolce suono”
 “Ohimè! … sorge il tremendo fantasma”
 “Ardon gli incensi”
 “Spargi d’amaro pianto”
Giuseppe Verdi – Otello
 “Era più calmo?” – “Mia madre aveva una povera ancella”
 “Piangea cantando nell’erma landa”
 “Ave Maria”
Giacomo Puccini – Gianni Schicchi
 “O mio babbino caro”
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