In the Still of Night (Songs by Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky)
Anna Netrebko’s first live solo album and first Lieder album is accompanied by conductor/pianist Daniel Barenboim. This was a major concert event of the Salzburg Festival 2009. Netrebko’s all-Russian recital is accompanied by Barenboim’s wonderful playing. Ms. Netrebko’s warm, dark, rich voice gives us the haunting, soulful melodies of songs by Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, and others. “In The Still Of Night” showcases Netrebko’s artistry and deep connection to art songs from her homeland. This recording is a natural follow-up to her Grammy ®-nominated Russian Album. This album was released in the U.S. in April, 2010 as a Deluxe Version, packaged in a beautiful hardcover book which contains additional texts, full translations of song texts, exclusive pictures and press quotes.
While the music is great, I personally did not have access to the song texts, and I think having these is really important in a CD of this type. After all, the text provided the composer with the inspiration to set it to music, so having the text available to the listener is key for those of us who do not understand the language.
On track 22, however, we hear a song in German, which I do understand. It is the last song of this CD: The second song, from “Vier Lieder”, Op.27, called Cäcilie. It is a bit peculiar for one simple reason: We hear Ms. Netrebko sing in her rich, pleasing voice; yet – for me – it was a bit disturbing to hear German in a heavy Russian accent. The 21 earlier tracks are all sung in Russian, so they come off fine, since I, for one, do not understand the Russian language. As such, I am still not clear why one single track had to be sung in German??
Click below for an interview with both Anna Netrebko, and also with Maestro Barenboim:
Click below for an 8-minute audio extract from Ms. Netrebko’s Salzburg concert: