A surprisingly affectionate Cosi from Solti, with very good
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From the first note it's apparent that Solti isn't going to stomp the life out of this music--his overture is less frenetic than what we've grown used to in period performances. His relaxed, affectionate mood holds good throughout this 1973 account from Covent Garden, where Solti was music director. The singers are favorites at the Royal Opera, also, every part taken at least commendably and sometimes better. Tenor Ryland Davies' Ferrando sounds a bit thin-voiced and uneasy in Italian but is exuberant and musically adept. Tom Krause sounds great as a secure, dark-voiced Guglielmo. Pilar Lorengar and Teresa Berganza (both Spanish) are sympathetic as the two sisters, although neither is absolutely in command of the music. The best thing about them is how well their voices blend. Everyone acts well, with at least a stab at comedy.
I would rank the Colin Davis set on Philips a notch higher than this one, since it has Monserrat Caballe and Janet Baker, who outshine the women here, and more relaxed, expressive conducting. But at a bargain price this is certainly an enjoyable, well-presented Cosi in very good sound."