Constantine Orbelian, Russia Philharmonia, Sondra Radvanovsky & Moscow Academy of Choral Art
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True Verdi Soprano
Brava!! Finally, an opera recital recording by a REAL opera singer - it's been a long time! Bluntly, this girl can sing and are we lucky! Hear her in the opera house first chance you get, she's got the goods!!
A Verdian Specialist that brings Joy
I've seen this lady on stage at the Met and at San Francisco. I am an older opera lover that remembers some of the greats from the past. Sometimes those greats from the past satisfied and sometimes they did not. That is true for all listeners and observers. We go to the theater on a given night in a certain mood or expecting things that do or don't transpire. This particular singer, for me, is exciting with a luscious voice and a great range that she seems to navigate almost effortlessly. I was also impressed with her acting ability. I think we are again blessed with a wonderful Verdian. I'm equally sure that in 30 or 40 years a singer of that era will be compared to this one and found lacking.
The Second Coming Of...
I've read so many raves about this disc that it's hard to find a great past Verdian Radvanovsky hasn't been compared to: Ponselle, Milanov, Callas, Price, etc. In truth, she is not much like any of these ladies - she hasn't the technique or evenness of Ponselle, the power or float of Milanov, the vulnerability of Callas, or the sheer tonal beauty of Price. Although she has chosen her pieces well, Radvanovsky doesn't leave a strong impression - I found myself quite often thinking, "Yes, but..." with each listen. She has a great sense of the Verdian sweep and makes all of the obvious dramatic points, but somehow manages not to convince in any of the varied moods here. The voice is solid and takes the many high Cs easily, yet it also manages to sound curiously earthbound much of the time. She does reach for the high E at the end of the Bolero, but doesn't take the optional D-flat in the second Trovatore aria, which is always disappointing. She doesn't evidence much in the way of chest voice, but does take the low cadenza in the first Vespri aria. Her florid work never sounds confident, but neither does it sound clumsy or desperate. I'm going to take my lack of satisfaction to mean that I need to hear more from this artist - Delos supposedly recorded a live recital of duets with her and Hvorovstovsky, so maybe that will finally convince me one way or the other!
Born: August 27, 1956 in San Francisco, CA
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s