Puccini Rediscovered - Violeta Urmana's new recording for the Deutsche Grammophon
"Puccini Rediscovered" - the title of this CD says it all: years of work by the celebrated musicologist and Puccini researcher Michael Kaye have turned up real finds from the maestro's oeuvre. The seemingly inexhaustible Puccini discography will surely be enriched by this special recording, in which hitherto unpublished manuscript versions, alternative arias and composer's revisions are captured on CD. When Violeta Urmana slips into the character of Manon, Minnie or Cio-Cio-San and sings their arias in their unabridged original version, reconstructed from Puccini's own handwritten sheets, she reveals completely new and surprising facets in music we all thought we knew inside out. And then there are the excerpts from La rondine, his neglected masterwork, that present the dreamy, operettish Puccini, and the grand duet from his seldom performed opera Edgar, uniting the voices of Violeta Urmana and Plácido Domingo, that points the way to the great later works in a manner that is quite amazing.
As one of the leading dramatic sopranos of our time, Violeta Urmana devotes herself here to a repertoire that not only is ideally suited to her voice but will be of equal interest to philologists of music and lovers of opera. "These arias give you a wonderful opportunity to put yourself into these women's situations, because Puccini is so true and authentic in his expression of feelings," says Violeta Urmana. "You have to let all your artistic juices flow into it."
This ambitious recording is steeped in artistic integrity and musical imagination, as it takes us off the beaten track to rediscover the unknown Puccini.
Placido Domingo, Vienna Philharmonic, Alberto Veronesi
Release: September 2009
1 CD Deutsche Grammophon
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