Bartolo | New York City, New York USA | 11/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This early Rossini opera is a total delight, particularly in the hands of Battle and Ramey, both at the height of their powers. This may not be "great" opera (nor Rossini's best), but it's exuberant fun! Ramey's first-scene aria "Nel teatro.." is as exciting as baritone arias ever get, and gloriously executed. The whole production is virtually flawless.
Sound quality is terrific. At this re-issue price, a positive steal!"
Superb singing, good conducting, problematic sound
G.D. | Norway | 01/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rossini's brilliant early one-acter never fails to please in this version from Deutsche Gramophone under Ion Marin. And this is indeed an opera where the quality of the conducting and orchestral playing is crucial, perhaps even more so than the singing. Fortunately, Marin and the English Chamber Orchestra are generally up to the task giving us an energetic and lively performance with abundant richness and rhythmic zest. Sometimes, however, the playing falls apart, crucially in the overture for which far better performances are available.
That said, the cast is generally excellent - Desderi gives us a splendid portrait of the main character with consistently fine singing and Battle gives us some stunning singing (although she seems overall less comfortable in her role). Lopardo and Ramey are magnificent.
The major caveat here, if there is one, is the sound quality, which makes the music seem distant and fuzzy (at least intermittently). So all in all, this is perhaps not the perfect recording, but it is probably the best in the catalogue and can overall be safely recommended."