Slovak soprano Edita Gruberova is undoubtedly one of today’s most well-known interpreters of colouratura opera singing, and especially of Italian bel canto. She made her debut in 1970 as Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Vienna State Opera and, ever since her performances in the same role at Glyndebourne and Salzburg in 1974, she has been a regular fixture on the world’s leading operatic stages and concert podiums. Flattering epithets such as ‘the Queen of colouratura’, ‘the Slovak Nightingale’ or ‘prima donna assoluta’ are hardly exaggerated, for they really do represent what Edita Gruberova has embodied for almost half a century. She is celebrated all over the world for her perfect mastery of vocal technique, her astonishing ability to master even the most difficult colouraturas and highest notes, her clear and precise intonation and, most importantly, for something that overshadows and transfigures everything else: the seductive and beguiling timbre of her voice.
This CD released by BR-KLASSIK to celebrate her 50th stage anniversary (Gruberova debuted on February 19, 1968 at the age of 21 as Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville at the National Theatre in her hometown of Bratislava) presents nine recordings made between October 1983 and June 2000 at Bayerischer Rundfunk concerts. In addition to well-known and well as lesser-known arias from operas by Handel (Alcina), Rossini (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Donizetti (Lucia di Lammermoor, Linda di Chamounix) and Bellini (Beatrice di Tenda), and also the Couplet of Adele from Johann Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus, Edita Gruberova can also be heard in interpretations from Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate, his Laudate Dominum from the Vesperae solennes de confessore (performed together with the Regensburger Domspatzen), and also Michael Haydn’s far too rarely performed Christmas cantata Lauft, ihr Hirten, allzugleich.
This CD is more than a historical portrait – it offers a representative musical cross-section of Edita Gruberova’s wide-ranging repertoire, and also includes several surprises that complement and enrich her comprehensive discography.
“Il dolce suono mi colpì di sua voce! – Ardon gl’incensi – Spargi d’amaro pianto” from Lucia di Lammermoor
“Ah, tardai troppo – O luce di quest’anima” from Linda di Chamounix
“Ah! Se un’urna è a me” from Beatrice di Tenda
“Una voce poco fa” from Il barbiere di Siviglia
Johann Strauß (son)
“Spiel ich die Unschuld vom Lande” from Die Fledermaus
Wolfgang Amadé Mozart
“Exsultate, jubilate”, motet for soprano and orchestra KV 165/KV 158a
“Laudate Dominum” from Vesperae solennes de confessore KV 339
Georg Friedrich Händel
“Ah! Mio cor, schernito sei” from Alcina
“Lauft, ihr Hirten, allzugleich” from Deutsches Offertorium pro Festa Nativitatis Domini MH 217
Edita Gruberová, soprano
Munich Radio Orchestra
Mark Elder, Lamberto Gardelli, Leopold Hager, Pinchas Steinberg, Marcello Viotti (direction)
Catalogue No: 900325 – 1 CD
Release Date: 29 June 2018