Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
L’Italiana in Algeri - Dramma giocoso in 2 Acts
Mustafà – Lorenzo Regazzo (bass);
Elvira – Ruth Gonzalez (soprano);
Zulma – Elsa Giannoulidou (mezzo);
Haly – Giulio Mastrototaro (bass);
Lindoro – Lawrence Brownlee (tenor);
Isabella – Marianna Pizzolato (contralto);
Taddeo – Bruno de Simone (bass);
Transylvania State Philharmonic Choir, Cluj;
Virtuosi Brunensis/Alberto Zedda
rec. live, Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany, 2, 3, 5 July 2008
NAXOS 8.660284-85 [68:57 + 67:17]

Experience Classicsonline

It took me only a few seconds of listening to realise that there was likely to be something special about this recording. The Overture is so well known and often played, but here it comes up with the kind of invigorating freshness and brightness that brings an immediate grin to your face. Partly this is due to the use of the recent critical edition by Azio Corghi, whose changes of flute to piccolo in the allegro section, and detailed changes of phrasing throughout are entirely for the better, but it is due even more to the sheer rhythmic grace and suppleness of the playing. Alberto Zedda may have been nearly 80 when this recording was made but you would never guess it from the results. The orchestra sounds to be of an appropriate size for the work – not on historic instruments, I understand, but certainly historically informed - and it has been recorded in an acoustic which appropriately feels like the kind of medium-sized opera-house that Rossini would have expected.

Apart from Lawrence Brownlee the cast is not as starry as other versions of the work, but what is much more important is that the majority of the soloists are native speakers of Italian and all have clearly been thoroughly rehearsed together as an ensemble. Brownlee sings with grace and manliness - an uncommon quality in this role. Bruno de Simone and Lorenzo Regazzo have voices which are clearly distinguishable from each other and both are masters of Rossini’s writing for comic basses. The ladies are perhaps less individual, Marianna Pizzolato in particular lacking the kind of vivid characterisation that we find in recordings with, say, Marilyn Horne or Jennifer Larmore. Nonetheless she sings with great beauty where required, and at all times communicates the dramatic situation to the audience. It is indeed this quality of communication which makes the recording special. There is no sense of a routine run-through; instead there is the freshness of apparent new discovery.

This is wholly appropriate as L’Italiana in Algeri was written when the composer was only twenty-one. He had written nine operas before it but here reveals himself for the first time as a complete master of writing for the stage and one determined to make this clear to the audience. The special merit of this performance is that the performers are clearly working as an ensemble. It was recorded at live performances but the only significant adverse effects are very occasional moments of ragged ensemble and the brief applause at the end of some, but not all, numbers. On the other hand the very positive effect is the palpable sense of involvement in the performance from everyone involved.

Naxos have recorded a number of Rossini operas at the Wildbad Festival already, but this is by some way the best I have heard so far. No libretto is included with the set and that on their website is in Italian only. There is however a detailed and helpfully cued synopsis which is some consolation - although in a comic opera you really do need to be able to understand all the words to appreciate it as the composer intended.

John Sheppard

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.