Verdi (CD) – Ildar Abdrazakov

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Verdi (CD) – Ildar Abdrazakov

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Artists: Ildar Abdrazakov, Orchestre et Chœur Métropolitain de Montréal
Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
CD Release Date: June 22, 2019

Throughout his career at opera houses in London, Munich, Paris, Berlin, and Milan, Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov has been known for Verdi roles, beginning with Macbeth under the baton of Riccardo Muti in 2001. Abdrazakov is joined by previous collaborators Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Orchestre Métropolitain to record the bass’s first solo album on Deutsche Grammophon, featuring famous bass roles by Verdi.

This release marks Abdrazakov’s debut on the Deutsche Grammophon label, but he has been singing the material in performance, notably at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, for some years. Abdrazakov has chosen material he knows well, and with which he has something to contribute, rather than simply offering the expected group of operatic hits. There isn’t a “standard” Verdi tune in the bunch, but Abdrazakov approaches them deliberately and with warm familiarity. This is the album’s key attraction: Abdrazakov makes a strong case for several pieces that until now have been considered also-rans in the Verdi canon.

Most are from the first part of Verdi’s career, and several bring to life the very first Verdi opera of all, Oberto, which is not often performed. Abdrazakov’s intention to dig deeply into early Verdi is indicated by the retention of several lengthy instrumental scene introductions, which give him room for his measured readings, and more generally by fine support from conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, leading the Orchestre et Chœur Métropolitain de Montréal.


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