Venera Gimadieva CD review

MOMENTO IMMOBILE: Gimadieva / The Halle / Marciano (Rubicon LC07800) ★★★★

Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva's debut recording deserves a better cover photograph that one looking like a seedy faded 70s Polaroid snap. Once past the naff presentation the nine bel canto arias included reveal a singer with impressive dramatic powers and vocal range who, at 34, is just approaching her prime. The album's title comes from Regnava nel silenzio, the eponymous heroine's aria in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Callas and Sutherland, the role's two greatest interpreters, delineate the singer's options – emphasize drama or sheer beauty of sound. Gimadieva, with her emphatic vibrato, wisely opts for the Callas style: listen to the dread and wonder in her voice on the line di sangue rosseggiò (as red as blood).She brings delicacy to Desdemona's Willow Song from Otello –Rossini's not Verdi's – and sweetens her tone as the ingénue in Ah! Non credea from Bellini's La Somnambula. The Halle under Gainluca Marciano provide excellent support.
Norman Stinchcombe

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