Dr. J. J. Kregarman | Denver, Colorado United States | 02/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is all you could expect from Opera Rara - an excellent program, well sung, well presented and deserving of repeated listening."
High quality froth
Larry VanDeSande | Mason, Michigan United States | 05/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Giachino Rossini (1792-1868), who was born 300 years after fellow Italian Christopher Columbus "discovered" America, is one of the kings of opera buffa and bel canto, penning some of the world's most famous and beloved operas. His collections of songs, demonstrated ably on this CD, are less well-known to all but the most ardent Rossini enthusiasts even with collections by Cecilia Bartoli and other famous and not so famous singers dotting the musical landscape.
This collection is a group of solos, duets, choruses, quartets, piano unaccompanied and other vocals for a sterling group of practitioners led by pianist Malcom Martineau, mezzo-contralto Catherine Wyn-Rogers and tenor Lawrence Brownlee, a young American whose "calling-card role," according to his website, is Conte Almaviva in The Barber of Seville. He is heard to best affect in "Addio ai Viennesi" which requires breath management and acrobatic leaps reminiscent of the Qui Tollis in Rossini's Messe di Gloria Messa di Gloria & Tantum ergo (Rossini in Wildbad 1999).
There are other glories in the collection including Wyn-Rogers in "Le Dodo" and the chorus "Le Chant du Titans" from the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir. Soprano Mirielle Delusch is outstanding in the French langauge songs and the concert is quite a delight, a frothy collection that reminded me of a 1970s compilation of Schubert's social music for duets, trios and quartets from Fischer-Dieskau, Janet Baker, Elly Ameling, Gerald Moore and others (Franz Schubert Vocal Duets, Trios & Quartets ASIN: B000GYLGG2) that's still available on a limited basis.
The Opera Rara offering comes in a cardboard box with a large booklet full of notes, bios, pictures and the native and translated text to every song and chorus. In modern digital sound, with a deep soundstage and outstanding enunciation, this is a premium package aside from the one obvious fault -- the music isn't very important. Since Rossini was not one to search for mankind's purpose or the answers to great questions in life through his music, it's unlikely anyone will come to this collection disappointed. Although expensive, you can buy with confidence if you enjoy this kind of thing.