Aida Garifullina
ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
Cornelius Meister
Int. Release 03 Feb. 2017
1 CD / Download

Track List

Charles Gounod (1818 - 1893)
Roméo et Juliette, CG 9

Act 1

Léo Delibes (1836 - 1891)

Act 2

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908)

The Snow Maiden


Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Six Romances, Op.63, TH 107

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
12 Songs, Op.21

Arr. Rot



Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)
Mazeppa, TH 7

Act 3

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908)
The Golden Cockerel

Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)
12 Songs, Op.21

Arr. Rot

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 - 1908)
Four Songs, Op.2

Arr. Tarkmann


Sergey Vasil'yevich Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943)

Aida Garifullina, RSO-Wien, Cornelius Meister

Vasili (Pavlovich) Soloviev-Sedoy (1907 - 1979)
Aida Garifullina, Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra, Vitaly Gnutov

Total Playing Time: 58:51

Her debut album of music . . . is a simply stunning work of musical art and showcases Aida's soaring vocals with tremendous clarity and smooth transition of notes. Simply put, this is an extraordinary album and deserves to be heard by lovers of classical music, of her, and of music in general . . . Personally, I first got introduced to Aida via her work on the "Florence Foster Jenkins" soundtrack, where she performs a stunningly beautiful version of Delibes' "The Bell Song" . . . In closing, it has to be noted that Aida Garifullina's vocals, looks, attitude are all top notch and her work here on "Aida" will make the hairs stand up on your arms. She is as equally talented as she is beautiful and commands that as much truth and verve are embroiled evenly within every note she brings forth, each and every time.

Russian soprano Aida Garifullina is the latest sensation on the operatic scene . . . Her voice is rich . . . She is most impressive in the final track , "Midnight in Moscow" . . . The recording was made [in a very resonant acoustic] . . .

. . . [an] impressive debut album . . . [when Garifullina] floats through Rachmaninov's "Vocalise", or the ecstatic, stratospheric climax to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Oriental Romance", you understand why she has the world at her feet. The burnished quality of her timbre, flawless from top to bottom, is thrilling.

Garifullina has a fine lyric coloratura voice with a surprising strength and vibrancy to it, so that the more coloratura items have a very particular quality to them which makes her performances very appealing. She also has a lovely secure technique and a nice evenness of tone from top to bottom . . . "Je veux vivre" from Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" gives you the idea, with shapely phrases, technical security and great charm . . . [in "The Bell Song" from "Lakme"] we can again appreciate the beauty of sound allied to superb technical delivery . . . The big advantage of hearing Garifullina in this music is that she is able to combine a fine technique, with quite a full voice in just the way the roles require. She sings Tchaikovsky's "Serenada" from "Six Romances" and Rachmaninov's "Lilacs" from "Twelve Romances" with great style and engaging charm . . . There is a lovely lyric melancholy to "Maria's lullaby" from Tchaikovsky's "Mazeppa", and the two items from Rimsky Korsakov's "The Golden Cockerel" show the Queen of Shemmakha at her most langorously seductive . . . If you like beautiful singing, then this is the disc for you. In all the items on the disc, Garifullina shows herself to be a stylish, elegant performer with a supreme technique.

. . . [on the basis of this excellent debut disc Aida Garifullina] has a great future ahead of her . . . an alluring combination of well-known arias . . . The arias by Gounod and Delibes go well, whilst in the arias from her homeland, she is even more persuasive . . .

Aida Garifullina won Plácido Domingo's 2013 Operalia competition and, on the basis of this excellent debut disc, has a fine future ahead of her . . . From the West, she sings Gounod's "Je veux vivre", and Delibes' "Bell Song" which [sounds really well] . . . From the East there's music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov, all winningly, and idiomatically, performed. I especially enjoy R-K's sinuous "Song Of India", from Sadko, and his "Hymn To The Sun", from R-K's last opera, "The Golden Cockerel". But then I also love the Lullaby, from Tchaikovsky's "Mazeppa", and, of course, Rachmaninov's evergreen Vocalise. In fact, I like it all. But it's the final item that steals the show for me: "Midnight In Moscow", with an orchestra of balalaikas. What a great tune it is.

. . . [Garifullina's] debut album is well worth listening to . . . [Juliette's "Waltz Song" and Lakme's "Bell Song" are both calling cards efficiently dispatched with] good coloratura and comfortable top . . . Garifullina reveals a surprisingly warm middle voice and quite a saturated tone for a light soprano . . . she sings sensibly within her means and capitalises on the freshness of her instrument . . . her selections from Rirnsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov have an emotional directness . . . Cornelius Meister conducts with seriousness of intent and some spacious tempi.

. . . Aida Garifullina has it all. She is stunningly beautiful, and possesses the voice to match . . . as amply revealed on her debut album for the Decca label . . . she sings the whole thing with such finesse that it's easy to . . . revel in the lusciousness of the music . . . [in the Tatar folksong "Allüki"] the heart of Garifullina's voice is revealed. Notice the soft precision of her consonants, the gentle undulations of her vibrato, and the tenderness of her expression. It's the particular combination of these attributes that makes her unique . . . Garifullina's utterly beguiling interpretations of "Cossack Lullaby" and Rachmaninov's "Lilacs" further prove her distinctive talent. I can't wait to find out what's next for this exceptional soprano.

. . . she demonstrates plenty of fizz in Juliette's "Je veux vivre", which is giddy with excitement . . . She is carefree and vivacious in Snegurochka's aria from Rimsky- Korsakov's "The Snow Maiden" . . . and moving in the lullaby from Tchaikovsky's "Mazeppa" . . . There's seductive charm and gilded upper notes in the chromatic arabesques of the Queen of Shemakha's "Hymn to the Sun" from "The Golden Cockerel" . . . she winningly appropriates "The Song of the Indian Merchant" from tenors . . .

. . . a debut to remember . . . Garifullina dazzles in this impassioned and musical performance.

The two opening arias excerpted from "Roméo et Juliette" and "Lakmé" display the livelier, flashier side of Ms. Garifullina's timbre: "Ah! Je veux vivre" generates ample excitability . . . Where Aida Garifullina arrestingly touches the ear is settled within the remaining works, all which originate inside her Motherland: she's in her element, collectivizing many types of emotional stretches to make the librettos pop with meaning and empathy. Native reminisces are visceral and well-articulated particularly in the traditional lullaby, "Allüki" and Rachmaninoff's "Lilacs" . . . Garifullina's voice simply floats like a wave of liquid velvet . . . "Hymn to the Sun" has radiance and flourished notoriety, while the feeling of temptation surfaces beautifully in the "Seduction Aria" from "The Golden Cockerel". One the most pleasing attributes Ms. Garifullina brings to the forefront is her polished grace notes, particularly evident in the "Oriental Romance" . . . She dissipates notions of effort surrounding any one of the many difficult reaches found on this album. It makes the listen that much more imposing and persuasive. Alignment of notes to voice is convincingly impeccable with a delivery being erudite, direct and confident without assumed swagger. This Decca CD is pure joy.

. . . [Garifullina] captures the swirling excitement of "Je veux vivre" and brings vibrant colour to "Où va la jeune Indoue" . . . here is an artist who puts Rimsky-Korsakov at the centre of her enterprise. In addition to "Snow Maiden", "The Golden Cockerel" is represented dazzlingly by two of the Queen of Shemakha 's arias . . . There is something satisfyingly old-fashioned about Garifullina's artistry . . . the sheer pleasure she conveys in her singing -- and the confidence of a singer revelling in her own glamorous tone -- suggests the emergence of a possible new star.

Garifullina is in superb voice. She has real intensity, buoyancy and freshness in the two French arias. In "Ah! Je veux vivre" from Gounod's "Roméo et Juliette" the soprano soars effortlessly to the high register. In the "Bell Song" from Delibes' "Lakmé", such a splendid vehicle for coloratura display, she is sultry, dark-tinged and atmospheric . . . [Allüki" is] conveyed with such aching tenderness . . . ["Oriental Romance" is deeply satisfying] in an alluring performance heavy with exotic perfume. Queen of Shemakha's arias from Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Golden Cockerel" make the greatest impression . . . [both arias] display Garifullina's smooth and assured singing with such attractive coloratura and effortlessly controlled power . . . ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien under the baton of Cornelius Meister proves to be a wonderful partner for Garifullina, providing striking playing of focus and warm colour . . . This ravishingly sung album of soprano songs and arias is all the more remarkable as this is Aida Garifullina's debut release.

This debut disc shows off her stunning voice . . . Fearlessly she tackles the formidably difficult "Bell Song" from "Lakmé" right at the beginning with spectacular coloratura acrobatics mingled with a wistful oriental charm supported beautifully by the lush orchestration . . . ["Song of India" is sung] with rapt sensuous enchantment . . . Suitably conducted with great panache by Staatsoper conductor Cornelius Meister and beautifully recorded . . .

. . . Garifullina dazzles . . . this very fine showcase launch shows where she's peerless: as a bright, light lyric soprano of impassioned musicality in the Tchaikovsky numbers and above all Rachmaninov's "Vocalise", matchlessly phrased . . . Cornelius Meister conducts with spirit throughout.

Aida Garifullina's smartly planned anthology is full of enticing delicacies, wonderfully performed . . . I was floored by the "Hymn to the Sun" and a "Seduction Aria" from Rimsky-Korsakov's "TheGolden Cockerel", both sung with fierce intelligence and utter conviction, Garifullina's voice unfazed by the fiendishly high writing. The Rimsky-Korsakov items are consistently gorgeous . . . Items like the "Oriental Romance", or the beautiful "Snow Maiden's Aria" are real finds, and worth the disc price alone. And wonderfully accompanied too by Cornelius Meister's Viennese forces . . . Garifullina even manages to make the familiar "Vocalise" sound freshly-minted . . . "Midnight in Moscow" is a real guilty pleasure, and I was smitten by a kitschy transcription of "Allüki", a Tatar folk song. All sensationally good, Garifullina's warmth and enthusiasm making this disc a real grower.

. . . a nicely varied mixture . . . [Garifullina has] a very attractive lyric soprano with a coloratura extensive . . . She is technically very impressive, with clearly articulated fioritura . . . [in the "Bell Song" from "Lakmé", Garifullina conveys] the required exoticism and her dynamic palette is wide. I also like that, unlike some sopranos, she does not double the speed for the bell sections . . . Her trill is excellent . . . [the aria from the prologue of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Snegourochka"] is delightfully done with excellent enunciation and a real sense of the Snow Maiden's awakening wonder. The "Lullaby" from "Mazeppa" is tenderly sung . . . [and the] final note is beautifully poised . . . ["Alliki" and "Cossack Lullaby"] are lovely and well-orchestrated . . . ["Midnight in Moscow"] is a delightful encore . . . I very much enjoyed this CD . . . There is much that is fine and even more that is very promising . . . if all goes well, she could be one of the major sopranos of her time.

. . . ein warmer, runder, schöner Sopran, beweglich, sicher und voll jugendlichen Charmes. Das reicht bis übermorgen.

Betörend schön klingt Aida Garifullinas Stimme . . . Beim Wiegenlied aus Tschaikowskys "Mazeppa", Liedern von Rachmaninow oder Arien aus Opern Rimski-Korsakows funkelt ihr dunkles Timbre in vielen Farben und Schattierungen . . . Beachtlich ist dieses Album . . . Eine Klasse für sich: Cornelius Meister mit dem ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester.

Hier ist die dunkel timbrierte Stimme der Gewinnerin des Operalia-Wettbewerbs 2013 ganz zu Hause . . . [entwickelt sie sich] so weiter, reift hier eine ideale Interpretin für das russische Repertoire mit klarflutendem Timbre heran. Deren Stimme aber auch Leichtigkeit besitzt, wie sie in der koloraturgespickten Glöckchenarie aus Leo Délibes "Lakmé" und Rachmaninows Vocalise beweist . . .

Ein junger lyrischer Sopran mit einem sicheren Fundament, das Wärme und Sicherheit verströmt.

. . . auréolée d'une jolie réputation, la nouvelle égérie du Mariinski se distingue d'emblée par une voix limpide, cristalline, aisée dans l'aigu . . . idéale pour les rôles de coloratures lyriques légères . . . Bien épaulée ici par Cornelius Meister . . . Impeccable, la musicienne dévoile une ligne vocale charnue et crémeuse: un soupcon de Fleming, une larme de Moffo, une pointe de Bonney, et le tour est joué . . . le talent est là, et on aurait tort de se priver d'une Reine de Shemakha si sensuelle, d'un "Zdes' khorosho" de Rachmaninov aussi céleste . . . la voix d'Aida Garifullina habite un visage et une silhouette qui, sur scène, donnent une certaine crédibilité à ses incarnations. Ne la perdons pas de vue.

. . . [dans le répertoire Rimsky-Korsakov] Aida Garifullina brille indiscutablement . . .