Aida Garifullina – Midnight in Moscow
Despite the fact that Aida Garifullina’s Midnight in Moscow is an EP featuring only three tracks, this is a little musical gem. When I reviewed the debut album of the winner of Operalia 2013, I concluded by writing that I would «wait for her next works with great expectations» and, being this EP her first solo release after that recording, I have now to say that it was worth waiting.
Midnight in Moscow takes the title from the first of the three songs, the popular (and well known also outside Russia) song by Soloviev-Sedoy, in the original Russian Podmoskovnie vechera. After this song, the EP includes Pakhmutova’s Tenderness and Krutoy’s White Bird. The last track is actually from Garifullina’s debut album. This is all the programme of the EP, but the way in which Garifullina sings these pieces is so fine that it is worth listening to them again and again.
Garifullina’s voice is a magical blend of sweetness and luminosity. This wonderful Tatar-born soprano has both the technical skill and smoothness to touch the listener’s heart – and the charm of the three songs is the perfect means to reach the aim. Differently from her debut album, she does not perform arias directed to show off her astonishing coloratura command. This time, she has chosen three arias that give prominence to her skill as a sensitive and communicative interpreter.
In this regard, her perfect, clear diction is an aspect that is not to be underestimated, but what is particularly gripping in Garifullina’s performance is her emotional honesty and heartfelt commitment to what she is singing. Even though these songs do not require a dramatic spirit, the soprano sings them intensely. Her bright and warm timbre give a special colour to the songs, a colour which is radiant and glorious at the same time. Although this recording highlights many feelings, overall it is as shining and limpid as a sunny day.