Arias of Cilea, Saint-SaŽns,  Ponchielli,  Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev,  Verdi, Bizet, Rossini and Johann Strauss.
Marina Domashenko, mezzo-soprano; Philharmonia of Russia/Constantin Orbelian, cond.
DELOS DS 3285 TT:  57:45
 (5 channel) 

You might well wonder how all that voice can come from a petite, beautiful, young (not yet 30) woman; doubtless she is helped by the engineering.  This is a fine collection including many familiar arias; at this stage of her career we cannot expect, and do not get, much in the way of characterization, but there is much vocal beauty here.  This was recorded over 6 days in 2001; one wonders why it took so many sessions to record less than an hour of music.  A fine multi-channel SACD. 


SHOSTAKOVICH:  Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a.  SCHNITTKE:  Concerto for Piano and Strings.
Moscow Chamber Orch/Constantin Orbelian, pianist/conductor
DELOS SACD 3259  TT:  47:37
(5 channel) 

A superb CD by all standards (except for minimal playing time), offering two important 20th Century works. These are somber listening experiences—the Shostakovich is Rudolf Barshai's arrangement for string orchestra of the Quartet No. 8 which is dedicated "To the memory of the Victims of War and Fascism." Despair of the time is evident in this powerful music; the Schnittke also is a brooding, tragic work. Superlative performances from all concerned, and excellent, natural engineering. Recommended.