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Verdi Arias

Sondra Radvanovsky , Verdi , Constantine Orbelian , Philharmonia of Russia Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Il trovatore: Act I: Tace la notte! 5:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Il trovatore: Act IV: D'amor sull'ali rosee vanne 6:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Un ballo in maschera, Act II: Ecco l'orrido campo - Ma dall'arido stelo 9:09Album Only
listen  4. Il corsaro, Act I: Non so le tetre immagini 6:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. La forza del destino: Act IV: Pace, pace mio Dio! 6:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. La forza del destino: Act II: La Vergine degli Angeli 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Ernani: Ernani, Act I: Ernani, Ernani involami 8:09Album Only
listen  8. Aida: Aida, Act III: O patria mia 7:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I vespri siciliani*: Act IV: Arrigo! Ah, parli a un core 4:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. I vespri siciliani*: Act V: Bolero 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Philharmonia of Russia
  • Conductor: Constantine Orbelian
  • Composer: Verdi
  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Delos Records
  • ASIN: B0039ZCHPY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


"There is no cry heard more often these days than, "Where are all the Verdi sopranos?!?" Yes, there was a day when we had the likes of Aprile Millo, Eva Marton, Leontyne Price, Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas, Leonie Rysanek, Zinka Milanov and Antonietta Stella all singing in the same, say 25 or 30 years. While we do have a few adept Verdi sopranos, the one most promising for "Legendary" status is Sondra Radvanovsky, whose new album Verdi Arias all but seals her status as a leader in the crowd of Verdi specialists.

As with all good singers, some very much dislike Ms. Radvanovsky's voice. Some say it is too earthy, some don't care for the upper register, and some manage to say the voice is too small. After hearing Ms. Radvanovsky live three times at the Met in recent seasons (Leonora, Lina, and Elvira), I can assure you her vocal presence is as clear and powerful as any soprano out there today, so let's put that canard to rest.

But what really excites me about her singing is its uniqueness. I love when you hear a singer and know, after only a few bars, who that special timbre belongs to -- think of the list in the first paragraph. That is indeed the definition of "memorable," and Ms. Radvanovsky's voice is memorable to say the least. The earthy, smoky, almost husky middle and lower voice blossom into a powerful and shining upper register with a golden color over which she has wonderful control... One thing that drove me wild on this album is her Aida. While she has not performed the role in its entirety yet, the liner notes indicate that the announcement of a Radvanovsky Aida is coming soon, and when it is, I am getting a ticket. Her treatment of the recitative was nothing short of sublime, and the heart-rending conflict of the piece is drawn to its furthest extent without losing sincerity. And it is all summed up in one of the most beautiful pianissimo endings of "O patria mia" one will ever hear.

In a perfect world you'd have it all, but I'm more than happy to take the small "imperfections" in Ms. Radvanovsky's voice. After all, that's what makes a singer great - not a generic sound or feeling, but to express our own individual statement and feeling, which Ms. Radvanovsky does with deft ability and a truly unique beauty." -Valmont -- Parterre Box: Jun 01, 2010 -

"This album proves why this GTA-based singer is considered to be one of the finest interpreters of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. Radvanovsky's huge pipes radiate drama and passion. The singer also knows how to hold back, creating tension with soft touches, rather than hammer blows (my favourite aria on the album is "Arrigo! Ah, parli a un cor," from I vespri siciliani). Although conductor Constantine Orbelian and the Philharmonia of Russia could have been more sensitive accompanists, this CD is a real treat." -Patricia Petibon --

Back in September at War Memorial Opera House, American soprano Radvanovsky floated and dazzled as the anguished Leonora in San Francisco Opera's production of Verdi's "Il Trovatore." In the final act, she sang the aria "D'amor sull'ali rosee": It was practically weightless, every suffering note perfectly perched or falling to a whisper. And such colors in her voice! It was awesome, as are the 10 arias on this disc, "D'amor" among them. -- Mercury News, Richard Scheinin

Best Music Of The Year So Far: Classical - Few musical events are as exciting for me as hearing a terrific new singer for the very first time live. I heard Sondra Radvanovsky sing Verdi and Puccini arias in February, and was blown away. Now she has her first solo recital disc. If she keeps on singing at this level, we'll have a major new star on our hands. She opens her mouth and huge streams of sound soar out like giant bolts of multicolored cloth -- shimmering silver, azure blue. It's a huge voice, yet she knows how to harness all that power. Note the passage beginning two minutes into this awesome aria from Verdi's Il Trovatore. --, June 24, 2010, Tom Huizenga

Sondra Radvanovsky has been a welcome presence on the Met stage and elsewhere for some fifteen years, and her work deserves permanent documentation. Her soprano is lustrous and vibrant, maintaining a spinning line over a long range, with a full-throated approach to top notes. The voice is nicely anchored to the support via the low range: she tends to tread carefully on stepwise descents, but on the present disc, the low A in Amelia's big scene from Un Ballo in Maschera is firm enough.

So supple and evenly produced an instrument might seem ideally suited to bel canto, and indeed, her best singing here comes in the earlier arias most strongly influenced by that style. The singer renders "Tacea la notte" with a lovely, pure legato, sustaining music and text in long, arching phrases; she sails through a single verse of the cabaletta at a relaxed tempo, with a nice turn through the high C and a good trill. "Ernani, involami" has a buoyant lift; some of the fioriture sound a bit cautious, but in the cabaletta Radvanovsky brings the runs some sense of abandon. Again, the recurring trills at the top of the staff are excellent.

Bright, clear projection and verbal clarity suit Radvanovsky's soprano for some of Verdi's weightier heroines as well. The big Ballo scene and "O patria mia," as well as "Pace, mio Dio," from La Forza del Destino, all have a good "spoken" immediacy, with the words planted on flowing legato lines. The Ballo selection ascends to a full, clear high C, though the more exposed one in the Aida aria sounds less comfortable. There are moments of strain in "Pace, mio Dio" -- at "Cotanto Iddio," for example -- but the rise to B-flat is good.

Given the singer's evident sense of line in the Trovatore arias, it's odd that her phrasing in "La vergine degli Angeli" and in Medora's aria from Il Corsaro should be short-winded, caught in half-bars. The florid Vespri bolero should have been dazzling, but the first verse, particularly, is labored; Radvanovsky loosens up a bit for the second, capping it with a solid E in alt. There are mild problems throughout the program with midrange notes that don't quite speak dead center, presumably the product of tight session time rather than any technical inadequacy.

Constantine Orbelian draws solid support from the Philharmonia of Russia. The strings are sometimes scrappy, but the winds are expressive. Some moments suggest that this may not be the conductor's most comfortable métier: the rhythm in "Tacea la notte" sounds insufficiently grounded, and the brisk orchestral introduction to "Ernani, involami," while urgent, sacrifices nocturnal atmosphere. The men's chorus in "La vergine degli Angeli" is nicely blended, but the mixed chorus is frayed in the bolero.

The recorded quality is pleasing, though it handles resonance inconsistently. The ambience around voice and orchestra can be conspicuous, yet close miking exposes the soft high A-flat of "D'amor sull'ali rosee," which would have worked fine in the opera house, as tight. The booklet omits some texts and prints others in the wrong places -- the cabaletta to the first Trovatore aria, for example, is printed at the start of the second, in place of the opening lines for Leonora and Ruiz. -- Opera News, Stephen Francis Vasta

Sondra Radvanovsky has built her career and reputation in the US where she has garnered rave reviews without achieving the worldwide fame she merits. When I heard her live at Covent Garden a couple of years ago I knew I was hearing something special and I have no hesitation in declaring that this recital is by far the most vital, beautiful and exciting Verdi recording by a soprano to emerge for years. The voice is huge, dusky of tone, with exquisite trills, a perfect vibrato and poised, thrilling top notes - listen to a wonderful and harmonically unexpected top C sharp in the opening aria, "Tacea la notte". It is not perfect; she sometimes employs a bit too much sliding which is beyond mere portamento when moving from note to note and there is occasionally still a hint of the flatness in the middle of the voice which elicited some complaint earlier in her career. These are minor flaws set against the refulgence of this incredible voice which recalls the glory days of Verdi sopranos of the 1950s. Her words are clearly enunciated and there is no lack of emotional identification with the roles she sings.

The programme is hardly very original, the only comparative rarity being the aria from "Il Corsaro", but I am not complaining when it is sung this well. I have read elsewhere that some listeners hear a Slavic quality in her sound, but I do not find her plaintive, lustrous tone the least un-Italianate. She seems to be in complete control of an exceptionally powerful instrument; downward runs are perfectly articulated and she can fine back her huge tone to produce heart-stopping diminuendos. On this showing, I'd move heaven and earth to hear her Aida. As a clincher, she concludes the last aria from "I vespri siciliani" with a stunning top E! I am now looking forward to hearing her album of duets with Hvorostovsky and the same Russian orchestra again conducted by the experienced Orbelian. -- MusicWeb International, Ralph Moore, November 2010

The first official days of summer are heating up. And that, of course, signals an annual ritual: It's time to turn up the air-conditioning, pop a cold brew and consider the great classical CDs released in the past six months. From the soaring voice of Sondra Radvanovsky to the turbulent sounds of the Berlin Philharmonic in full cry to hypnotic chants from Kiev, hear a few of the many terrific new recordings, made mostly on small, independent labels. -Tom Huizenga -- NPR Music, June 24, 2010

The solo CD debut of American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, who is already being called one of the great Verdi singers of this generation. She has performed in every major opera house around the world, and recently completed a winter recital tour of North America. Arias from the operas Il Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera, Il Corsaro, La Forza del Destino, Ernani, Aida, and I Vespri Siciliani. An impressive debut! -- Public Radio Delmarva: June 14, 2010 -

[F]ew recent opera recital discs have given me as much pleasure as Sondra Radvanovsky's "Verdi Arias," the American soprano's new collection on the Delos label.

Radvanovsky is a star at the Metropolitan Opera, with an achingly lovely voice, and much more. In an age when too many singers sound well-trained but bland, Radvanovsky is so emotion-charged and honest that she seems old-fashioned, from the pre-jet set era. What sets her apart is her fusion of glamorous vocalism and crafted storytelling: words matter to her as much as the music, and you believe she's the character she's singing. With crisp diction and anguished lyricism, she's gorgeous through arias from "Il Travatore" and heartsick longings of "O patria mia" from "Aida," plus hit arias from less often staged operas such as "I vespri siciliani," "La Forza del Destino," "Il Corsaro" and "Ernani." Perhaps best of all is her aria "Ecco l'orrido campo" from "A Masked Ball," where the heroine, Amelia, goes to the gallows at midnight to pick a magic herb that will quell her adulterous longings. At the moment she's about to snap the plant stem, she catches herself trembling and intones, "Oh! Chi piange, qual forza m'arretra?" ("Oh! Why do I weep, what's holding me back?") Almost speaking the line, Radvanovsky makes it a moment of stabbing emotion, of a woman for the first time going inside herself, a glimmer of self-awareness. The soprano is totally in the moment, inside the role. An ensemble called the Philharmonia of Russia, conducted by Constantine Orbelian, backs her with scrappy energy and abundant charm. (The disc, recorded in Moscow in 2008, comes with minor audio-engineering and program-note problems, although these don't stand in the way of enjoyment.) Radvanovsky's voice records well. I've heard her a few times on stage, and this CD offers the same frisson to the listener that her voice does in the opera house. This is a disc I'll be returning to often. --, Pierre Ruhe, August 4, 2010

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hyperbole... or not? May 23, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When one reads such hyperbolic comparisons as those to Callas and Caballé, it makes one listen with a more critical ear than one might otherwise.

This is a thrilling singer with a gorgeous voice who knows how to use it, generally speaking. She is not flawless, however, but that doesn't really take away from how good she is; nor does it prevent me from giving this CD 5 stars.

There are some weaknesses though. She relies too often on portamento to get from one note to the next. This is probably her greatest flaw. In a couple of places where there are a lot of rapid, decorative notes, she slips and slides all over the place. There is the occasional intonation problem, and her diction could be more precise.

One reveiwer mentioned her vibrato as possibly being a problem. I couldn't disagree more. Her vibrato is tight and delightful and is an innate characteristic of the voice, which is very beautiful. She has power, the phrasing is good, her expression of emotion is excellent, her range is commendable, the trills sweet.

The coloring of the voice is indeed Callas-like - in a couple of places in the "O Patri Mia," one would be hard pressed to tell you weren't listening to Callas. The climactic note of the "Bolero" is one of the most thrilling notes I have ever heard; it sends chills up the spine much like that of Leontyne Price in Vissi D'arte. Incredibly, she does not slide up to this particular note, she hits it dead on! It is worth the price of the entire disc.

The orchestra is wonderful, and the CD well recorded. Great sound.

All in all, Ms. Radvanovsky is a force to be reckoned with - and perhaps those comparisons above are only a little bit hyperbolic. ;)
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Verdi - and A Perfect Voice! April 23, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I can only add my voice to the two above: Sondra Radvanovsky IS the voice we've been waiting for. In the lushness of her singing is the darkness of Callas, the purity of Caballe, the intense power of Price. She brings to Verdi a sustained sense of believable character, dramatic focus, and compelling phrasing that brings us into her web completely. Each aria on this album is perhaps the best I have heard it sung in years. From the first time I heard her on a Met broadcast (and didn't know who she was - I had to wait for intermission credits) I was enthralled. I simply cannot get enough of her voice because she makes the opera entirely real and plausible. In Ernani, for example, this IS a woman in love; in Aida, this IS a woman longing for a country she knows she will never see again. And so on through each piece on this extraordinary CD. If you don't own it, I would kindly suggest you grab one fast and discover the true power of grand opera as presented by the astonishing voice of a true singing actress - something I feared we might not really see again. Well . . . she's h-e-e-e-r-e!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vocal triumph April 22, 2010
Format:Audio CD
The excitement of Callas, the power and presence of Leontyne Price. Finally a Verdian voice and a recording that is memorable and unique - towering way above the generic voices of the last two decades and since the great sopranos of our day - Milanov; Tebaldi; Price; Callas. The Aida aria is breath-taking, the La Forza powerful. This recording deserves 10 stars! Buy it and you will be convinced and hooked. I am looking forward to may more from this great singer. Well done Sondra!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous!!!! April 28, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I agree with all the previous reviews and can only say this woman has a totally unique gift and her voice and performance is gorgeous in every respect. I cried when she performed Sour Angelica in Los Angeles and have been a fan of her Elizabetta in Don Carlo and Leonora in Il Travatore. This is a Verdi album to treasure. Now, will they hurry up and release her album with Dmitri!!! She is rising to the very top of the class of sopranos singing today. Don't miss acquiring this terrific disc. The conductor and orchestra are also in perfect tune with her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Verdi Soprano for Today May 3, 2010
Format:Audio CD
I don't ordinarily review CDs that have already been reviewed here by several others. But in this case I couldn't resist. I'm not a opera maven and don't tend to keep up with what's going on in the opera world -- who's hot, who's not. But I'd heard so much from friends about Radvanovsky that I had to try this CD. I've not seen her in the opera house or in concert nor ever heard a broadcast of hers so I didn't really know what to expect . But WOW! This woman has one gorgeous voice! And perfect for Verdi for which there has been such a dearth of really fine soprano voices in recent years. The Trovatore arias ('Tacea la notte placida' and 'D'amor sull'ali rosee') sold me completely. The deal was sealed with the Ballo and Forza arias. The final luminous high B flat in 'Pace, pace' sent shivers up and down my spine. The voice gleams and has enough edge, without being at all shrill, that it cuts through heavy orchestration with ease. Plus it is a beautiful thing in itself and utterly identifiable. (Most of the really great sopranos can be identified within the first few notes.) Add to that her ability to act with the voice and you have a complete package. Now I can hardly wait to see her in next year's Met Trovatore.

Oh, and the American conductor Constantine Orbelian and his Russian orchestra give Ms Radvanovsky wonderful support.

Scott Morrison
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular
What a voice!! A soprano encompassing Verdi's spinto and dramatic roles. A shame that Ms Radvanovsky has not made more recordings of complete operas. Read more
Published 8 months ago by RJAdams
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money
Radvanovsky does Verdi. Is there really any need for comment. She's currently one of the best Verdi sopranos out there.
Published 8 months ago by Mark Haney
2.0 out of 5 stars The singing is great. The sound is unbearable.
The engineers have produced a recital which sounds like Radvanovsky is singing from the bottom of a well. Too bad, because her performances are great.
Published 10 months ago by Tim Sauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
It is a wonderful recording. Sondra sings her heart out and shines! It was a great purchase and I gave one as a gift also!
Published 18 months ago by alzebrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Sondra can really sing Verdi
She was a revelation to me when I first saw/heard her in the Met Trovatore. Wow. You will enjoy her emotional scope and the drama in her sound. Great.
Published 20 months ago by N. Klingman
5.0 out of 5 stars Best American Soprano for mature Verdi in decades
Not since the days of Price and Arroyo has there been an American soprano so capable of fulfilling all the demands of the spinto soprano roles of Verdi. Read more
Published 24 months ago by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and spectacular singer
I have been enjoying this cd for over a year now, and her Verdi concert with Hvorostovsky too, but I was totally unprepared for the shock of hearing this great voice live. Read more
Published on March 30, 2012 by J. Luis Juarez Echenique
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING SONDRA
I listened to a sample before purchasing this CD but this did not prepare me for the absolutely magnificent voice of Sondra Radvanovsly. Read more
Published on March 11, 2012 by Lesley G. Fallon
5.0 out of 5 stars The reigning Verdian soprano.
Talk is cheap. This IS the Verdian soprano singing today.
Why she is not commercially as well promoted as Barbara Frittoli? Ask her agent. Read more
Published on March 17, 2011 by Abert
4.0 out of 5 stars pity ..
I totally agree with all the fans, Sondra Radvanovsky in the assessment of her voice. But I do not like the conductor, and did not like the work of a sound engineer on this CD. Read more
Published on March 8, 2011 by vinokurov
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