Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Domenico Cimarosa, Gaetano Donizetti, Argeo Quadri|
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Listen to Samples
A fine golden age Don Pasquale
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 12/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Challenged by Giordano Bruno to come up with a Don Pasquale that might change his opinion of Donizetti's late comic opera as lackluster, I offer this 1964 recording made for Decca. Newly remastered as part of the popular Original Masters series, this one has everything we've come to expect from golden age Decca recordings. The sound is rich and deep with the voices strongly forward and seeming to float above the orchestra. The instruments and voices blend harmoniously as opposed to their modern recorded counterparts who seem to engage in a tug-of-war of dynamics. Perhaps the greater rehearsal time allotted to performers during those halcyon days of vacuum tubes and three channel recordings is responsible for the concordance of sound.
Whatever the reason, Decca's recordings of the early 1960's are renowned for their excellence. Istvan Kertesz conducts energetically and with humor, always sensitive to the pathos that lays just underneath. The Wiener Staatsopernchor and Orchester sing and play beautifully. Fernando Corena, Angelo Mercuriali, Graziella Sciutti, Juan Oncina, Tom Krause are all splendid. If you like this opera, as I do, this recording is definitely worth your attention. Included on this two disk set is Domenico Cimarosa's short comic opera Il maestro di cappella, which makes for a fun little filler. Strongly recommended.
Truly wonderful - how I wish this has a DVD release!
Abel | Hong Kong | 03/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From Decca's 'Original' series, this early 1960's recording of Donizetti's opera buffa Don Pasquale is a true jewel from every sense of the word.
If you consider the cast, you will easily see that the lead roles were being filled by probably the 'best suited' singers - Fernando Corena in the title role, his unique vocal style of basso buffa and his similarly 'buffa' looks; Gabriella Sciutti with her slyly sensuous bel canto smoky soprano and 'child woman' looks; Juan Oncina with his lyrical tenor with slight under tone of pathos and heartily earnest good looks...
Even on CD, you can visualise the wonderful musical drama by these lead characters. I have not heard the baritone before, but must say that he also gave a wonderful performance under the baton of the great Kertecz.
If you compare this with the modern production available on DVD with Juan Diego Florez, Isabel Rey and Ruggero Raimondi, immediately you would see that the modern production could not gain on single inch of ground over this 1963 recording. JDF is a great bel canto tenor, but his Ernesto could not convey the sense of pathos and loss in the middle section of the opera to the extent of Juan Oncina. While he is a great Tonio and lots of other Donizetti heroes, Ernesto could not be said to be his best role. Ruggero Raimondi is clearly past his prime in that 21st century recording on DVD. Isabel Rey simply is no match for Sciutti.
With three main leads in such good balance backed up by a wonderful orchestra and superb conductor, this 'Original' release of Decca's former LP Don Pasquale is a winner through and through."