V1397. ANTONINA NEZHDANOVA: Songs by Alabiev, Arensky, Delibes, Denza, Tosti & Arditi; Arias from Les Huguenots, Fra Diavolo, Lakmé, Hamlet, Barbiere, Lucia, I Puritani, La Boheme, I Vespri Siciliani, Ein Wintermärchen, Zauberflöte, Snegoroutchka, Life for the Tsar, Tsar’s Bride & Ruslan and Ludmilla. (Austria) Preiser 89704, recorded 1907-14. - 717281897044
“The Russian soprano’s entire career was centered in Russia and even there almost entirely at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (30 years). Only rarely did she make guest appearances in St Petersburg, Kiev and Odessa. Her single appearance outside Russia was in 1912, when she sang Gilda at the Monte Carlo Opera….It was for her that Rachmaninoff composed his ‘Vocalise’.”
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May/June, 2009
“After studies in Odessa, Nezhdanova graduated from Umberto Masetti’s famous class at the Moscow conservatory in 1902 (among other students: Nadezhda Obukhova and Nina Koshetz). She was immediately engaged at the Bolshoi, where she remained for nearly 40 years, singing leading rôles in Russian and west European operas, most frequently opposite Leonid Sobinov. In 1912 she was Gilda at the Paris Opéra. Some outstanding rôles of her huge repertory: Ludmilla in Glinka’s RUSLAN AND LUDMILLA, Tatyana, Lakmé, the Snow Maiden, Volkhova, Elsa (!) and Rosina, Marfa and Antonida. Nezhdanova entered into the communist era with apparent enthusiasm. In 1922 it was felt that selected Russian artists should visit places abroad to convince the West that Russia had not descended into utter barbarism. Nezhdanova was ambassadress in this, appearing in Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, the Baltic capitals and other cities in Germany and Poland. In the USSR she was among the most honoured singers and teachers, continuing throughout Worldwar II. She received several of the country’s highest awards. From 1936 she taught at the Stanislavsky Opera Studio, later at the Bolshoi Opera Studio, and finally at the Moscow Conservatory from 1943 until 1950.
Nezhdanova is one of the greatest representatives of the Russian-Italian school. Hers is a beautiful, firm and pure voice and she sings with a phenomenal coloratura technique (trills and staccati!). She was married to the conductor Nikolai Golovanov and died in Moscow in 1950. Nezhdanova made a number of recordings that display the beauty and flexibility of her voice and the excellence of her technique. She is considered by opera historians and critics to have been one of the finest sopranos of the 20th century.”
- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile