Saturday, 6 April 2013

Julia Lezhneva

Reflecting recently on listening to Handel's Alessandro, I commented: “Of the two female rivals, Julia Lezhneva (Rossane) struck me as exceptional, with a voice that is attractive, accurate and that appears to mean what she is singing”.

Well, today the postgirl brought a new solo CD sung by Lezhneva, the 23 year old Russian from Sakhalin Island. What a voice! Few musicians in their early 20s, especially singers, can have had such an inpact. Ms Lezhneva goes on to my “auto-buy” list for the future, a list inhabited by few 23-year olds apart from Tianwa Yang.

Quibbles? I have the impression that the CD started with a concept: “we'll call it Alleluja, so we need four works for soprano ending with Alleluja”. Always bad to start with a concept, and then to hunt around to fill out the concept. The CD contains cantatas for solo soprano by Vivaldi, Handel, Porpora and Mozart. Of the four, only the Vivaldi could be classed as first-class music. The other three works are somwhat second class, including the motet by the 16-year old Mozart. That is the problem with starting with a concept. Four first-class works for soprano by Vivaldi, Handel, Porpora and Mozart present no great challenge; it's just when you stipulate they all have to end with Alleluja that the problems begin …

Almost certainly not Ms Lezhneva's fault; it's those loser modern marketing gurus again. Let me hope that next time Ms Lezhneva records, she gets to choose the music, and the marketing gurus just have to fit in with her choice

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