Renée Fleming / Marco Armiliato

Verismo

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AllMusic Review by

This collection of arias and scenes from verismo operas will be a must-have for fans of Renée Fleming. Fleming is in excellent voice, singing with her characteristic immaculate technique, creamy tone, warmth, and dramatic incisiveness. The disc should also appeal to fans of obscure verismo because it includes, in addition to some of the standards, a good selection of rarities, including excerpts from Leoncavallo's La bohème and Zazà, Zandonai's Conchita, Cilea's Gloria, and Giordano's Siberia. These are mostly roles Fleming is unlikely to have an opportunity to sing on-stage, so it's especially valuable to have her insightful and beautifully executed interpretations recorded here. Besides being balanced between familiar and more obscure repertoire, the album gives Fleming a chance to shine in music spanning a broad range of emotions, from the wrenchingly poignant to the girlishly lighthearted. In "Senza Mamma," which opens the album, Fleming sings with aching grief, and shapes the aria with grace and dignity. She is also memorably touching in "Angioletto, il tuo nome?," an extended scene from Zazà. Among the most appealing selections are the excerpts from La Rondine, which show Fleming at her most joyfully radiant. Marco Armiliato, leading Coro e Orchestra Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, provides exemplary accompaniments, attentively responsive to the singer, but at the same time full of individuality and character. Decca's sound is clean, present, and well-balanced.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suor Angelica, opera
1
4:31
Iris, opera (melodramma) in 3 acts
2
3:36
La Rondine (The Swallow), opera
3
5:48
Lodoletta, opera in 3 acts
4
4:26
La Wally, opera (dramma musicale) in 4 acts
5
3:08
La bohème, opera
6
4:36
7
1:54
8
2:06
9
3:20
Zazà, opera
10
10:31
Manon Lescaut, opera
11
5:35
Conchita, opera
12
2:41
Gloria, opera
13
3:23
Fedora, opera
14
4:10
Turandot, opera
15
6:47
Siberia, opera
16
2:40
La Rondine (The Swallow), opera
17
2:59
blue highlight denotes track pick