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L'elisir d'amore (Highlights).
Vincenzo La Scola (tenor) Nemorino; Alessandra Ruffini (soprano) Adina; Simone Alaimo (bass) Dulcamara; Roberto Frontali (baritone) Belcore; Mariangela Spotorno (soprano) Giannetta; Hungarian State Opera Choir and Orchestra/Pier Georgio Morandi.
Naxos 8.554707 [DDD] [77'09]

Taken from the complete set on Naxos 8.66045/6, these excerpts give the impression of a performance which, while generally more than adequate, skims happily along the surface of this glittering piece without ever venturing any deeper. The Adina, Alessandra Ruffini is the best of the soloists. She pitches well, refrains from screaming and carries a lightness that is becoming to her role. The peasant Nemorino, sung by Vincenzo La Scola, is less pleasing. Although his diction in Quanto è bella (Act One) is excellent, he sounds tired by the end of this three and a half minute excerpt. Again, in the Act Two duet Ai perigli della guerra, he is strained and begins to sing under the note. He is unable to get to the bottom of Una furtiva lagrima, which is grossly disappointing. Simone Alaimo's Dulcamara is appropriately buffo in the Rossinian Udite, udite o rustici, but none of this is enough to make up for the feeling of a run-through which pervades the entire disc.

The recording lacks depth and crowds when overburdened, as in the Terzetto Tran tran tran … In guerra ed in amore from Act One.

Best avoided. If you want to hear this opera at its sparkling best, buy it (complete) with the Alagna/Georghiu dream-team on Decca 455 691-2. (£25)


Colin Clarke



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