One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Il Signor Bruschino - Farsa giocosa in one act (1813)
Florville, Sofia's beloved - Frank Lopardo (tenor); Gaudenzio, Sofia's tutor - Samuel Ramey (baritone); Sofia - Kathleen Battle (soprano); Bruschino (Padre) - Claudio Desderi (bass); Filiberto, inn-keeper - Michele Pertusi, (baritone); Marianna, a maid - Jennifer Larmore (mezzo); Bruschino (Figlio) and Commissario di polizia - Octavio Arévalo (tenor)
English Chamber Orchestra/Ion Marin
rec. May 1991, Henry Wood Hall, London. DDD

This was the last of the four Venetian farces composed by the young Rossini and was first performed in 1813 when he was twenty-one. This one act opera hardly represents him at his most sparkling or inventive but contains flashes of the joys to come in the form of the complex patter trio and the display aria for Sofia. The latter is here sung winningly by Kathleen Battle three years before her dismissal from the Met and her disappearance from the opera stage. The presence of Rossini specialists baritone Claudio Desderi and bass Michele Pertusi, plus the great coloratura bass Samuel Ramey provides additional lustre to the casting. That said, I am one of those who cannot enjoy the oddly strangulated tonal production of American tenor Frank Lopardo and have always considered the uncongenial sound he makes to have fatally compromised recordings such as Angela Gheorghiu’s otherwise spectacular “La traviata”, live under Solti at Covent Garden in 1994. Certainly Lopardo seems to have been largely dropped from recordings since and on this basis for good reason.

The plot is a typical Italian farce revolving around mistaken and feigned identity: Florville masquerades as the younger Bruschino in order to further his plan to win the hand of Sophia, who has been promised by her guardian to that eponymous gentleman, who in turn hardly appears on stage and speaks but once. The overture features an amusing door-knocking motif – the tapping of the violinists’ bows on their music stands. The subsequent music, despite being inventive for its era, is only intermittently absorbing. It all bowls along nicely under Ion Marin’s alert direction, although nearly a third of the total duration is devoted to recitativo. The finale is a typically ebullient dénouement and celebration of the power of love but in truth little here makes much impression.

No libretto is provided but there is a track by track synopsis in three languages.

Ralph Moore


We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger