Aida Garifullina—ORF Radio Symphony, Vienna/Cornelius Meister (Decca 4788305)
This debut album has to be one of the most eagerly awaited operatic events of the year. Since her win at Operalia, The World Opera Competition in 2013, Aida Garifullina has sung around the world, even appearing in the role of Lily Pons in the film Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. Plácido Domingo calls her “One of the most exciting opera divas of today and tomorrow.” Aida Garifullina features mostly Russian selections on her program: songs and opera highlights from Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky, plus a truly ravishing version of Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise. She sings a Tatar Folk Song to acknowledge her forebears from Mongolia, a Cossack Lullaby, and her recital closes with a real gem: the classic Midnight in Moscow sung to a recording from 1962 by the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra. And it works!