Orlin Anastassov a revelation in this peerless recital
Niel Rishoi | Ann Arbor, MI USA | 02/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD features the up-and-coming bass Orlin Anastassov, of his singing Orthodox Chants, along with The Seven Saints Choir of Sofia, conducted by Dimitar Grigorov, Snezhana Grigorova the choir master.
It contains music by Grechaninov, Lyubimov, Dinev, Chesnokov, Hristov, Zinoviev, Arkhangelskiy, Chesnokov, Nikolaev-Stroumsky. Recorded in March 2004.
This is a stunning CD, frankly. What beautiful music. Stirring, reflective, reposeful, so deep in soul, and yes, profound.
The power and beauty of Anastassov's singing is overwhelming. This is a simply gorgeous voice on its own terms, maybe the most sheerly beautiful since Cesare Siepi's, and that's saying a lot. Although the tone is softer-grained than Siepi's, the heady resonance and smoothness are qualities they share. A lot of basses don't sing correctly: they judder, rumble, and sound really woofy. Anastassov has awell-produced, genuine basso cantante. Not yet 30 when this was recorded, already, the voice's quality is unbelievably mature, conversely youthful-sounding: he has the freshness with an already "settled-in" vocal production and technique. I speculate the years will bring on an increased sonority. Make no mistake, though. Anastassov has definitely arrived. This voice is indisputably one of world-class.
The quality of the tone is a rich gold, I'd call it. Ambiguous metaphor aside, I was taken aback by the resonant richness, the warm beauty, and the molten sheen of the timbre. Talk about a God-given voice. I kept thinking of a Cathedral Organ-like fullness, the way it pipes out over the chorus. It is a big, full-toned instrument, absolutely solid from top to bottom. The legato is flawless, the dynamic control just astounding. The tone rides effortlessly on perfectly supported breath. No rough edges, no wobble or yawning. Even though I have to read the translations to understand what is being sung, it's clear that this music is being sung from the very heart of his soul.
Then, you can glean from this review that I have not heard such an impressive bass in a long, long time. I strongly recommend this CD.