I said I was not much interested in the CD business, but I do follow the new releases when I can. Before summer 2011 I recommended you a few superb recording, and I still believe all three of them are magnificent -- each in its own way.
Some CD's are great for the way the program presented on them is interpreted and those are that I like the most. Christine Schäfer, René Pape and Anna Larsson (among others) are the true geniuses of interpretation. They manage to turn their 'imperfections' to their advantage that add to their already extraordinarily humanized way of singing the known songs or arias.
But then you have those who have an uncommon sense of musicality, who dare to sing the known stuff in their own, recognizable, way -- that actually gives a whole new flavor to the songs and arias they sing. Malena Ernman and especially Peter Mattei are good examples of that kind of singing. They both recently released new CD, and both contain several very interestingly performed tunes.
Krassimira Stoyanova, instead, is a quite different case: a singer who managed to avoid the stardom, and almost stealthily impose herself as one of the best living singers.
The funniest, the wittiest and the greatest entertainer among opera singers, Malena Ernman, released her new CD "Opera di Fiori", where she even included the Queen of the night aria (Sic!), Habanera and Seguedilla, Casta Diva, Olympia's aria, two duets with Anne Sofie von Otter, and La ci darem la mano with another singing genius Christopher Maltman. Great stuff!
Below is a video from her live performance of the Olympia's Aria (very funny!)
That woman makes the most difficult arias look and sound easy. Everybody loves Malena!
Peter Mattei does not appear to be as funny, but he is practically everyone's favorite singer, because of that divine talent for singing and performing every song or aria in an effortless and unique way. This --not perfectly edited-- CD "Great baritone Arias" contains some of his best interpretations, including Onegin, Yeletsky, Don Giovanni, Posa, von Eschenbach... Definitely a CD to cherish!
Below is his (unbeatable!) take on Onegin from Salzburg, in one of the best productions of this opera to date.
Krassimira Stoyanova released her new CD called "Slavic Opera Arias". If you experienced Krassimira in any opera house, you will love this CD. She is probably the most impressive singer to listen to in live performances today: the voice is filling up easily the big venues and at the same time remains soft, elegant and classy. You certainly remember her recent Tatiana in Herheim's production of Onegin, or her exemplary Anna Bolena, her magnificent Donna Anna, or her stunning Verdi heroines -- where only Anja Harteros comes close to her. She is not as famous in the French repertoire, which is unfair, considering that only a few singers managed to sing the Hérodiade aria at the level close to that of Stoyanova's.
As a video example I decided to post her superb singing in Verdi's Requiem:
If you like this Requiem, I would like to suggest you to listen to a performance from 2010 in Salzburg, with Mariss Jansons conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the soloists: Krassimira Stoyanova, Marina Prudenskaja, Jonas Kaufmann, and Stephen Milling. Here are two links: part one, and part deux.