Moscow greeted the new operatic year together with prominent Latin American friends. A true sensation became Puerto-Rican soprano Ana Maria Martinez invited by Vladimir Fedoseyev to perform with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra at the Big Hall of the Conservatory.
Martinez’s performance was respectable and irreproachable. After the orchestra gave a strict, almost model interpretation of the rarely played Symphony No4 by Beethoven (and once again showed why it remains the preferable Beethoven performer in Vienna and many other European capitals), the prima donna presented a full-fledged programme. Ana Maria Martinez has, over her career, been a favourite of Placido Domingo and won his Operalia 1995 contest, later many times performing with him in concert. Her Moscow debut has brilliantly continued the singer’s successes.

Maria Babalova.Izvestia

Not just a queen.

During the quiet post-festal days, Vladimir Fedoseyev opened the new symphonic year at the Big Hall of the Conservatory with a magnificent joint performance of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra and the true star of the world opera stage, Placido Domingo’s frequent partner Ana Maria Martinez.
Quite unusually, Fedoseyev managed to break completely the common framework of such orchestral-vocal concerts with featured guests (something like ‘several beautiful arias with nice orchestral overtures in between’). The concert opened not with some series of miniatures, but with the entire Symphony No 4 by Beethoven. And this was not just a filler, this was a full-fledged vivid performance. The second, slower part was wonderful, with its tender phrasing, supple strings and excellent woodwind instruments, and the orchestra also elegantly presented the energetic and technically difficult finale.
Only when the orchestra stopped, and the audience finished applauding, Martinez entered the stage to perform two Mozart arias.
After the intermission, Martinez became Mozart’s Countess (Dove sono I bei momenti), Verdi’s Luisa Miller (Tu puniscimi, o Signore), Puccini’s Tosca (Vissi d'arte) and Bellini’s Juliet (Oh, quante volte) – all equally ravishing. Throughout her vast repertoire, Martinez displays soft and rounded phrasing and clear, deep, noble sound. The grieving Juliet by Bellini enraptured the whole audience. Then, before the end of the concert, Martinez changed her noble grief to a noble mild smile and sang light and airy zarzuela arias.
The orchestra’s accompaniment, under Vladimir Fedoseyev, was both accurate and expressive. The ensemble also made a delightful surprise during a short break between Martinez’ arias in the second part of the concert: here, instead of a usual impetuous overture Fedoseyev offered the audience the overture to Traviata. And again the orchestra, which among its numerous concerts has not been lately always ideally correct, showed the grandeur of its best performances – where one would expect a simply introductory piece, they heard a powerful symphonic masterpiece, breath-taking in each note and every pause.

Yulia Bederova.Vremya Novostey 1

12.01.2009

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