Act I, Part 1: Falstaff!/Ola! - Enrico Facini/Bryn Terfel/Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga
Act I, Part 1: 6 Polli: 6 Scellini - Bryn Terfel/Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga
Act I, Part 1: Ma E Tempo D'assottigliar I'ingegno - Bryn Terfel/Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga
Act I, Part 1: L'onore! Ladri! - Bryn Terfel
Act I, Part 2: Alice/Meg/Nannetta - Stella Doufexis/Adrianne Pieczonka/Larissa Diadkova/Dorothea Roschmann
Act I, Part 2: Fulgida Alice! Amor T'offro.../Quell'otre! Quel Tino! - Stella Doufexis/Adrianne Pieczonka/Larissa Diadkova/Dorothea Roschmann/Enrico Facini/Anthony Mee...
Act I, Part 2: In Due Parole - Anatoli Kotscherga/Enrico Facini/Thomas Hampson/Anthony Mee/Daniil Shtoda/Dorothea Roschmann...
Act I, Part 2: Pst, Pst, Nannetta - Daniil Shtoda/Dorothea Roschmann/Adrianne Pieczonka/Stella Doufexis/Larissa Diadkova
Act I, Part 2: Udrai Quanta Egli Sfoggia - Anthony Mee/Thomas Hampson/Anatoli Kotscherga/Enrico Facini/Adrianne Pieczonka/Dorothea Roschmann...
Act II, Part 1: Siam Pentiti E Contriti/Reverenza! - Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga/Bryn Terfel/Larissa Diadkova
Act II, Part 1: Alice E Mia! Va', Vecchio John - Bryn Terfel/Anthony Mee
Act II, Part 1: Signore, V'assista Il Cielo! - Thomas Hampson/Bryn Terfel/Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga
Act II, Part 1: C'e A Windsor Una Dama - Thomas Hampson/Bryn Terfel
Act II, Part 1: E Sogno? O Realta? - Thomas Hampson/Bryn Terfel
Track Listings (16) - Disc #2
Act II, Part 2: Presenteremo Un Bill/Giunta All'albergo Della Giarrettiera - Adrianne Pieczonka/Larissa Diadkova/Stella Doufexis/Dorothea Roschmann
Act II, Part 2: Gaie Comari Di Windsor! - Adrianne Pieczonka/Stella Doufexis/Larissa Diadkova/Dorothea Roschmann
Act II, Part 2: Alfin T'ho Colto, Raggiante Fior - Bryn Terfel/Adrianne Pieczonka
Act II, Part 2: Quand'ero Paggio - Bryn Terfel/Adrianne Pieczonka/Larissa Diadkova
Act II, Part 2: Mia Signora! - Larissa Diadkova/Bryn Terfel/Adrianne Pieczonka/Stella Doufexis/Thomas Hampson/Anthony Mee...
Act II, Part 2: Vien Qua/Che Chiasso! - Dorothea Roschmann/Daniil Shtoda/Enrico Facini/Anatoli Kotscherga/Anthony Mee
Act II, Part 2: C'e/C'e/Se T'agguanto!/Se Ti Piglio - Thomas Hampson/Enrico Facini/Larissa Diadkova/Stella Doufexis/Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga...
Act III, Part 1: Ehi! Taverniere! Mondo Ladro - Bryn Terfel
Act III, Part 1: Reverenza. La Bella Alice/Quando Il Rintocco Della Mezzanotte - Larissa Diadkova/Bryn Terfel/Adrianne Pieczonka/Thomas Hampson/Dorothea Roschmann/Stella Doufexis...
Act III, Part 1: Brava. Quelle Corna Saranno La Mia Gioia! - Thomas Hampson/Adrianne Pieczonka/Stella Doufexis/Daniil Shtoda/Dorothea Roschmann/Enrico Facini...
Act III, Part 2: Dal Labbro Il Canto Estasiato Vola - Daniil Shtoda/Dorothea Roschmann/Adrianne Pieczonka/Larissa Diadkova/Stella Doufexis
Act III, Part 2: Una, Due, Tre, Quattro - Bryn Terfel/Adrianne Pieczonka/Larissa Diadkova
Act III, Part 2: Ninfe! Elfi! Silfi!/Sul Fil D'Un Soffio Etesio - Dorothea Roschmann/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Simon Halsey
Act III, Part 2: Alto La!/Pizzica, Pizzica - Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga/Bryn Terfel/Larissa Diadkova/Adrianne Pieczonka/Stella Doufexis...
Act III, Part 2: Ogni Sorta Di Genti Dozzinale - Bryn Terfel/Adrianne Pieczonka/Stella Doufexis/Larissa Diadkova/Rundfunkchor Berlin/Simon Halsey...
Act III, Part 2: Facciamo Il Parentado/Tutto Nel Mondo E Burla - Thomas Hampson/Anthony Mee/Anatoli Kotscherga/Adrianne Pieczonka/Dorothea Roschmann/Daniil Shtoda...
A common failing of recent Falstaff recordings is the hole in the middle--the larger-than-life Sir John sung by baritones several sizes too small for the role, both vocally and dramatically. That problem doesn't exist here... more ». Bryn Terfel's outsized singing personality perfectly matches Verdi's conception. Whether bellowing in rage, preening in praise of his fleshly abundance, or crooning sweet nothings to his intended conquests, Terfel dominates this performance as a Falstaff should. As his adversaries, Thomas Hampson's Ford is outstanding, well-sung and characterized, and Adrianne Pieczonka's Mistress Ford is quite good, too. Indeed, there's little to complain about with the rest of this well-assembled cast. If some older recordings of the opera boast more distinctive touches (e.g., the way Cloe Elmo's Mistress Quickly relishes her repeated "reverenzas" for Toscanini), few are as well-matched. Claudio Abbado gets the Berlin Philharmonic to play well in music it can't have done before. The engineering is adequate, if opaque, with orchestral details too often fading into the background. In sum, while Abbado's Falstaff doesn't match the classic Toscanini (RCA), Karajan (his first), or Solti, it's by far the best of the current crop and indispensable for Terfel's and Hampson's performances. --Dan Davis« less
A common failing of recent Falstaff recordings is the hole in the middle--the larger-than-life Sir John sung by baritones several sizes too small for the role, both vocally and dramatically. That problem doesn't exist here. Bryn Terfel's outsized singing personality perfectly matches Verdi's conception. Whether bellowing in rage, preening in praise of his fleshly abundance, or crooning sweet nothings to his intended conquests, Terfel dominates this performance as a Falstaff should. As his adversaries, Thomas Hampson's Ford is outstanding, well-sung and characterized, and Adrianne Pieczonka's Mistress Ford is quite good, too. Indeed, there's little to complain about with the rest of this well-assembled cast. If some older recordings of the opera boast more distinctive touches (e.g., the way Cloe Elmo's Mistress Quickly relishes her repeated "reverenzas" for Toscanini), few are as well-matched. Claudio Abbado gets the Berlin Philharmonic to play well in music it can't have done before. The engineering is adequate, if opaque, with orchestral details too often fading into the background. In sum, while Abbado's Falstaff doesn't match the classic Toscanini (RCA), Karajan (his first), or Solti, it's by far the best of the current crop and indispensable for Terfel's and Hampson's performances. --Dan Davis
A Falstaff for the new millenium
Rodney Hrvatin | Adelaide, South Australia Australia | 08/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Bryn Terfel first performed this work here in Australia, many critics believed he would rise to become one of the great Falstaffs of our age. They were right. Terfel's cheeky nature makes him the ideal person to portray the big oaf with the required amount of non-humility. His arias (for want of a better word) are some of the finest singing on this set. He is superbly matched by Thomas Hampson as the jealous Ford. His second act aria is an absolute highlight for me and nearly made me burst into spontaneous applause at the conclusion (until I realised I would have looked stupid clapping a cd). Hampson brings both fear and humbleness to the role which is rare, but not in Hampson who, along with Terfel, must surely be one of the great male voices of our time. The ladies fare well too, headed by Adrienne Pieczonka as Alice. Although, at the risk of sounding like a Gramophone Magazine pedant, she does occasionally lose some of the brightness and sparkle in her middle register- not that it matters a lot to the untuned ear, it is still a memorable performance nonetheless. The supporting roles are all sung superbly with the right choice of character voice for each one. Vocally, the only drawback is Daniil Shtoda's Fenton who has a rather annoying vibrato when pitching his top notes. It's almost as if he's trying a little TOO hard. Commanding it all is the skillful hand of Claudio Abbado. Being a Verdi veteran (and having created, arguably, two defenitive recordings of Verdi operas- "Simon Boccenegra" and "Macbeth") he brings all his wealth of knowledge to this score. At no time does he sound forced with tempo and the Berliners respond with their usual finesse and grace. The set is well worth the money, and it more than compliments the old Karajan, Gobbi, Schwarzkopf set from the 50's. I believe that this recording will surely go down as one of the finest releases of the year."
The best of the last
J. Luis Juarez Echenique | Mexico City | 09/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard to believe that Claudio Abbado hasn't recorded a Verdi opera in almost 17 years, but then, where are the great Verdi voices these years?
Here he was fortunate enough to grab the best possible cast of our time. True, both Terfel and Hampson are still rather young for their roles, and neither is a natural-born verdian, but at least both are individual artists with first class voices.
Terfel makes a jolly Sir John, and he pours a lot of sound to go with the belly, it's only the sense of fun of a Giuseppe Taddei that is missing.
Hampson too makes a young and yuppy Ford, missing the sheer gusto that the great Rolando Panerai brought to a role he made his own.
Abbado recorded this opera after a long and serious illness, but you would never know it. The Berlin Philharmonic play like gods and most of the rest of the cast is very good.
Of all digital versions this stands next to the 1982 Giulini for all around excellence. In general I would still prefer Giulini's cast, and even though Bruson is a little too-serious knight, he is the genuine article as a Verdi baritone. The Karajan digital recording suffers from his unidiomatic conducting, but Taddei and Panerai make it indispensable. The Gardiner recording has a very provincial cast that is hardly memorable (except for Sara Mingardo as Quickly)."
Bryn Terfel is Falstaff
D. A Wend | Buffalo Grove, IL USA | 03/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having seen Bryn Terfel sing Falstaff I was very interested in this recording of the opera. His performance for this recording is superb, and is the chief reason for buying this set. Claudio Abaddo and the Berlin Philharmonic are equally excellent and it is apparent from their performance that they have a lot of affection for the score. However, having listened to this recording a few times, I think it helps to have seen a performance of Falstaff in order to better appreciate the comic situations and humor, particularly for a better appreciation of Mr. Terfel's performance. The booklet provides a glimpse into the makeup and costume that adds so much to the character.The wives of Windsor, Adrianne Pieczonka (Alice Ford), Dorothea Roschmann (Nannetta), Larissa Diadkova (Mistress Quickly) and Stella Douffexis (Meg Page) are very well cast. Their performances are full of character and are a highlight of the recording. Thomas Hampson's Ford seemed to me to be overshadowed by Bryn Terfel, and not a very good match with the role. Mr. Hampson sings well but his character never catches fire. Daniil Shtoda made a suitably ardent Fenton and Anthony Mee and Anatoli Kostcherga make a comic Bardolph and Pistol. The recording is excellent with a good feel for the orchestra and singers. Altogether, this is a good recording but not one that can outshine those that came before it."
A sore disappointmentm , but there is another Terfel version
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/24/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I expected greatness given the lead singer and conductor. But Terfel blusters and overacts, showing too much fussiness in his phrasing and not enough simple Italian brio. (I didn't believe this Falstaff when he says, at the end, that he is humorous in himself and the cause of humor in others.) Terfel has lots of color in his voice, more than anyone since Taddei and Gobbi, but there's also an alarming wobble at times to mar the pitch. Nobody else in the cast does anything special, and Abbado reverts to his unsmiling, proficient style in Verdi. For a set that clearly was supposed to be a classic, this is more or less a dud unless you simply accept what each singer has to offer on its own terms.
Fortunately, as of Nov. 2007, the Metropolitan Opera has made a deal to provide online versions of many broadcasts, and one from April 6, 2002 features a Falstaff with Terfel in muh better form, with James Levine giving one of the funniest, most lively accounts of the score that I have ever heard. The rest of the cast is also satisfying, more comic and in better voice than DG's cast (few of the suporting singers on either set are stars). Only the sonics fall short of Abbado's set, although they are good enough. The online source is Real Rhapsody."
Brilliant and exuberant
Santa Fe Listener | 02/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This an effervescent recording of what is, in my opinion, Verdi's greatest opera. The BPO play with terrific elan and virtuosity (as you'd expect). Abbado conducts the performance with all the experience he's gained over many years. It shows. The extraordinary second scene of Act II (where Falstaff gets dumped into the Thames) is very successful, the line of the drama never being allowed to slacken. All the singers sound involved in the performance, much as they would if it had been recorded live.
When listening to this recording you can only be amazed, again and again, at the incredible fecundity of Verdi's musical imagination. As a comic opera, Falstaff only has an equal in the three Da Ponte operas of Mozart. No one else, other than Mozart and Verdi in Falstaff, came close to creating a fluid musical texture that could respond to every comic nuance of a libretto. Certainly not Rossini, good as he is. What a miraculous achievement this score is. 10 out of 10 for the recording too for bringing it to life"