Rossini - Il viaggio a Reims / Ricciarelli, Valentini-Terran
Bjorn Viberg | European Union | 11/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rossini - Il viaggio a Reims / Ricciarelli, Valentini-Terrani, Cuberli, Gasdia, Araiza, E. Gimenez, Nucci, Raimondi, Ramey, Dara; Abbado is a record that I picked up at my local library by chance. I thought why not give it a try and to my surprise this is a very pleasent opera. The book-let created by Deutsche Grammophon is more like a small book and contains 232 pages. In here we get the entire text in 4 languages, i.e., English, German, Italian and French; we also get many fine pictures, and a very interesting short essay about the Opera called a Lost Masterpiece Recovered by Janet Johnson. The book also contains a synopsis written by Janet Johnson and two short essays about the Opera by Phillip Gossett and Klaus Geitel. The sound quality is nothing short of stupendous and this easily gets the highest mark."
The best of all possible recordings of opera
N. Freidin | Huntington, WV | 10/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You cannot get better than this. One of the best recordings of an opera since the invention of vinyl discs. An exuberant, infectious, live performance (Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro, in 1984) of a Rossini opera, written for the coronation of Charles X of France in 1825 (the opera and the king were short-lived). However, large chunks of the opera were resurrected later for 'le Comte Ory' in 1828.
This is one instance where everything came together to perfection. The orchestra (the Chamber Orchestra of Europe), the conductor (Claudio Abbado), and the legion of internationally reknowned singers (a cast of some 18 voices), all worked to create two and one half hours of pure magic. The cast is too long to list, but all the great Rossinians of the day are here, from Lucia Valentini Terrani, Katia Ricciarelli, to Ruggero Raimondi, Enzo Dara and Leo Nucci. Samuel Ramey and Francisco Araiza are other well known names. Lesser known singers, as the remarkable Cecilia Gasdia, are among the added delights. The solos, and especially the ensembles, the famous 'Gran pezzo concertato' for fourteen voices, for example, are a caress to the ears and a joy to the heart.
The recording has superb sound, immediate and clear. It has won numerous awards, and rightly so. This is my 'desert island' choice of any opera recording."
Refreshing and delightful, but Abbado did better later
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the reconstruction of Rossini's champagne-fizzy Voyage to RHeims has brought great delight to audiences, and Abbado's premiere recording is largely responsible. I don't know if he thought it had drawbacks, or wehther he just loved Il Viaggio so much that he wanted to remake it in Berlin. both are concert readings, and both show amazing accuracy in Rossini's incredibly difficult bel canto style. But it's evident to any listener who doesn't have cotton in his ears that the later Sony recording is superior in sonics and stylishness. I am all for the Chamber Orch. of Europe, but they aren't the Berlin Phil, and the sound here tends to be edgy and distant. As for the singing, there are pluses and minuses on both sets, but the high points are higher form Berlin."