As might be expected from a singer so young, the voice is fresh and commendably flexible. What cannot be determined is how large the voice is and whether it will show to good effect in the world’s major opera houses. On this recital disc, the singing is uniformly excellent. Although the arias are for the most part taken from the mezzo repertoire, Lezhneva is a true soprano. Her voice is most effective in the middle to upper middle register. She has first-class technique and a winning style that serves her well in this repertoire. What is most striking is the musical maturity with which the arias are presented. The first cut, Tanti effetti from “La donna del lago,” is particularly effective. Throughout the recital, trills, staccati, and other coloratura effects are immaculately executed.
Minkowski’s conducting is supportive and flexible, but he never loses the pulse of the music. The playing of the Sinfonia Varsovia is also uniformly of high quality. The orchestral support in Rossini’s Willow Song from “Otello” is especially sympathetic. As always, Naïve’s digital sound is bright and clear, without the glare and etching that often makes digital sound so tiring. All in all, this disc introduces an exciting new artist.