Ildar Abdrazakov’s first solo CD has been released on 7th of January 2014 with the title «Power Players - Russian Arias for Bass»!
Lately, to be honest, I tend to listen to more male vocal than to female one. I don’t know…I guess that’s my must for now!) And Ildar is its essential part!
Last year I heard and read a lot of stuff concerned his voice, personality. I’d had no idea about Ildar before (Shame on me!!!).
I was waiting for his CD for a long time. I think it’s unfair to have made us wait for so many years!!! He is a very experienced and famous singer and just now he has recorded his first album! But anyway…when I got a chance to hear it, I was no longer angry at people!). So I wanna tell you what you’re gonna find there!
The recording as you can guess from the title includes the most famous arias for bass (and baritone) from Russian operas.
The CD opens with Aleko’s Cavatina «Ves’ tabor spit» from the eponymous opera of Rachmaninov. Needless to say, that is one of the most beautiful aria for a baritone (actually). Ildar makes it its own, unique, that catches your attention immediately. The music of Rachmaninov requires to have a huge range of emotions, a powerful voice to sing it properly and Ildar has it all. You feel how his hero is desperately in love with Zemfira and how he’s obsessed with her.
Glinka’s opera «Ruslan and Liudmila» is presented with two excerpts: «Farlaf ’s Rondo» and Ruslan’s aria «O pole, pole». The first one is phenomenal! It shows how coward and helpless Farlaf is. The melody is a diamond in this operatic setting! Ruslan’s aria is written for baritone, it’s opposite to a dynamic «Rondo». Ruslan sees the battle field covered with dead bodies. But unlike his rival he is brave and ready to fight for his love till the end! Ildar manages with quick pronunciation easily. Being Russian I understand every single word in each track which makes me respect him even more. He also presents us the emotional change very clear that happens with these characters.
The most touching arias from this CD are definitely «Ne sna ne otdykha» from Borodin’s «Prince Igor» and «Chuyut pravdu» from Glinka’s «A Life for the Tsar». Prince Igor wants to be free to correct his mistakes; his conscience torments him in imprisonment. Ivan Susanin is gonna give life for his country. These operas are very patriotic and make us to think if we can do or not sth like that for our country. Ildar’s timbre lets him sing with such a dramatic colour that always gives me goose bumps when I listen to these pieces!
Gremin’s aria from «Eugene Onegin» is beloved by audience, I think, in every theatre where it’s staged. The lyrics are very true to our reality that’s why everybody (or at least the majority) feels sympathy for this old man who finds his love - Tatyana. This warm sound, with which Ildar fills the music, really calms you, portrays the stability of Prince Gremin considering his age and shows his kind heart. I think this hero suits Ildar very much cause he seems so nice and warmhearted man as well))).
Aria «Gospod moi, yesli greshin ya» from Tchaikovsky’s «Iolanthe» is sung very gently with huge love cause it’s about father who deeply cares about his daughter and wants her to be happy. This piece really touches me a lot!!! Ildar Abdrazakov is a really good actor! He moves me into tears by his portraying of desperate King Rene! His intonations, musical lines are powerful but at the same time very soft as it should be. His voice is HUGE and bottomless, you just sink in it.
The most joyful track of all is, of course, «Kak vo gorode bylo vo Kazani» from «Boris Godunov» or it’s also called Varlaam's «Drinking Song». Song tells the story how Tsar Ivan fought with the Tatars. I guess Ildar enjoyed it a lot when he was singing it!!! No wonder! You really begin to sing along and suddenly you have an irresistible desire to dance (or maybe it’s just my Russian gut!)!!!
I hope we’ll see the next album of this wonderful bass very soon!!!