Olga Peretyatko / NDR Sinfonieorchester / Enrique Mazzola ARABESQUE

Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko is the latest in a group of young performers championed by the revived Sony Classical label. She's got personality to spare, and, from the looks of the pictures, charisma, too. Arabesque seems to be an album designed to showcase her suitability for a wide variety of roles; the program runs from Mozart forward through the 19th century and includes the Italian, French, and German languages. She's certainly versatile and seems to have fun with most of the music, and she bears watching as a rising star. This said, there's just one type of aria in which Peretyatko really stands out, and that's the vigorous diva number that lets her voice bloom effortlessly into its upper range in rapid, churning material. The Mozart concert aria Ah se in ciel, K. 538, that opens the program is a fine example, as is Verdi's Mercè, dilette amiche from I Vespri siciliani. In this kind of material the voice simply doesn't reveal any weak points, and it's tremendously exciting. It seems almost to become unmoored from the key in climactic passages without ever getting out of control, and the effect of that is uncanny. Slow things down in something like the Villanelle of Belgian soprano-composer Eva Dell'Acqua, and Peretyatko is competent, but not as riveting and not as powerful. There is nevertheless a sufficient number of really brilliant flashes here to make the voice-seekers sit up and take notice. (James Manheim)

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