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Opera - Released September 1, 1972 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Classical - Released August 2, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | Opera Rara

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Classical - Released August 10, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Rossini’s Stabat Mater has had some birth difficulties: the work had been commissioned by a Spanish aristocrat in 1832 but the following year, the composer had only finished half, and a sickness prevented him from pursuing. Still wishing to satisfy his sponsor—and his wallet, probably—, Rossini asked his friend and colleague Giovanni Tadolini to compose for him the remaining numbers, and in 1833 was resounding in Spain the world creation of the Stabat Mater by Rossini, who didn’t hesitate to sign the complete partition without mentioning Tadolini’s name. Such a prankster! In 1841, the work was bought out by a Parisian publisher who wasn’t aware of the deception, Rossini was even more offended that he kept all rights for himself, and after many money exactions that don’t necessarily give a good image of him, Rossini completed the partition himself, and it was given in its complete and 100% Rossini form in 1842. The public and the critics were divided: some observers, somewhat Germanic, thought that this religious music sounded a lot like an opera. This new recording of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, with a nice array of Italian-like soloists, will delight the enthusiasts. © SM/Qobuz

Opera - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Opera - Released February 9, 2018 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
No, sir: Ricciardo e Zoraide is not an obscure opera from the young Rossini. In the same year, 1818, the maestro had already stunned the world of lyrical music with Tancredi, L'Italiana in Algeri, Il turco in Italia , The Barber of Seville, Otello, La cenerentola, La gazza ladra and a good fifteen or so others. But then, why should the "drama" Riccardo e Zoraide remain in the shade, even today when there is something of a fashion for unearthing forgotten works? Let's just say that the script is worse even than most badly-put-together scripts. As Richard Osborne has it (in Rossini, his life and work), "with all these details, the work reads like a Marlowe epic re-written by the Marx brothers; only Rossini's music brings to life and carries these crude dramatic archetypes." … And yet: what a musical treasure! From the overture... There isn't an overture, at least, not one of those overtures which is pretty much interchangeable between operas: Rossini unfolds an ample musical prologue, which describes the start of the action, with the rather spectacular addition of a backstage orchestra. Airs, ensembles, choirs, the score contains innumerable splendours and it would be a crying shame for them to go unheard. We should add that after its first performance in 1818, Ricciardo e Zoraide was performed all over Europe, translated into German and French, and given a last outing at la Scala in 1846, before disappearing until 1990, and then falling out of sight yet again, before being unearthed for a performance at the Wildbad Rossini Festival 2013 in Germany. And here is a live recording of that very concert: a discographic rarity which merits discovery. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released November 8, 2010 | Warner Classics

Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month

Classical - Released January 1, 1966 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Full Operas - Released January 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
Antonio Pappano's recording of Guillaume Tell with Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus is the first commercial recording of the authoritative 1994 edition of the opera by M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet. At three and half hours, it is essentially compete, with only a few cuts the composer had sanctioned. The performance, recorded live at 2010 concert presentations, reveals the seldom-heard opera as a masterpiece that deserves a place in the repertoire. It was Rossini's last opera, and it both summarizes his mastery of musical drama and moves opera into new directions that were to influence both Verdi and Wagner. The finale is a remarkable moment, unlike quite anything that had come before it in opera, resplendently Wagnerian in the luminous, cathartic serenity of its depiction of the Swiss peoples' joy at being freed from a century of Austrian oppression. Gerald Finley is splendid in the title role. He projects nobility and humanity, and his singing is nuanced, powerfully ringing, and warm. The bulk of singing falls not to Tell, but to the morally complex Arnold, sung by tenor John Osborn, who handles the long, arduous, dramatic, (and high-lying role) with distinction. His voice is not large, but he conveys an Italianate ardor and maintains an appropriate lyrical intensity throughout. Soprano Malin Byström as Mathilde delivers a less-even performance. When she is highlighted, as in her second-act solo "Sombre forêt" and extended scene with Arnold, she tends to sound forced and labored, but otherwise, when she is interacting as part of the ensemble, she seems considerably more relaxed, and by the fourth act her singing is eloquent and assured. In the significant role of Jemmy, Tell's son, Elena Xanthoudakis is entirely convincing, singing with youthful energy and winsome simplicity. The large supporting cast is uniformly excellent, and the excitement generated by the characters' interactions is terrific, particularly in the fabled scene in which Tell is compelled to shoot an apple off his son's head. The chorus plays an unusually large role and sings with dramatic urgency and sumptuous tone. Pappano draws gorgeous, stylish, graceful playing from the orchestra and creates tremendous excitement in the dramatic moments. The sound of the recording is consistently well-balanced, clear, and resonant, and the audience and page-turning noises are only minimally distracting. Highly recommended for anyone who loves opera.

Classical - Released April 15, 2013 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica

Classical - Released August 15, 2007 | harmonia mundi


Classical - Released January 1, 1972 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This is a Barbiere "di qualità, di qualità": in fact, of very great quality indeed, from Deutsche Grammophon. Recorded in London in the summer of 1971, it is one of the first meetings of Claudio Abbado and the London Symphony Orchestra. It is also the first of Alberto Zedda's philological editions of Rossini's works, whose scores have been covered over by inherited errors for over a century. Getting rid of the additions which have, quite wrongly, become traditional, means restoring certain interruptions and the fine instrumentation of the period; and above all, singing and playing without exaggerations, thanks to an innate sense for the theatre. It's a spot of spring cleaning which has restored the youth of the 24-year-old composer's masterpiece. Bravo, signor barbiere, ma bravo! It is a dream record, with singers who are well-versed in the repertoire. Everyone is right where they need to be, from Teresa Berganza's wiley and cheeky Rosina, to the refined and hard-working Figaro played by Hermann Prey, via Luigi Alva's frivolous Count and the utterly ridiculous Basilio played by the outrageous Paolo Montarsolo. We're amused by their antics, as we admire the well-oiled and unstoppable machine of Rossini's theatre, under the unceasingly inventive and thrilling baton of Claudio Abbado. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Opera - Released September 19, 2014 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet

Classical - Released February 23, 2018 | Warner Classics


Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released June 25, 2013 | Carus

Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

A great vehicle for its star, Juan Diego Flórez, this beautifully engineered and nicely packaged live version of Rossini's Le Comte Ory from the 2003 Rossini Opera Festival is also a good all-around representation of the opera. Led by Jesús López-Cobos, and featuring a solid cast, it strikes an effective balance between clean musical presentation and comic energy, and manages to be entertaining through most of its two hours. Flórez's charismatic performance as the scheming Ory is the main reason to check out this DG release, and what elevates it from being just another good recording to a top consideration for this piece. His singing here is every bit as polished as can be heard on his more manicured solo recordings, with the same ringing tone and easy top range. Flórez also reveals an incisive, take-charge musicianship that is easier to appreciate in the context of a complete opera. His coloratura is rock solid, his sense of line and style is perfect, and he lets the smile in his voice take care of the comedy instead of hamming it up. Stefania Bonfadelli tackles the rangy and often busy role of the Countess capably, though her voice is too heavy to be ideal for the part, and she often gets bogged down in passages of coloratura as a result. The dark-voiced Alastair Miles is entertaining and perfectly cast as Ory's stern Tutor. As the page, Isolier, Marie-Ange Todorovitch is appealing and suitably androgynous, although she doesn't compete for much attention in ensembles where the better-focused sounds of Flórez and Bonfadelli take center stage. The rest of the cast contributes nicely, and the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna plays well under López-Cobos, if without some of the sparkle you want from a Rossini orchestra. The Prague Chamber Choir is unusually tight for a live opera chorus. In the end, choosing this recording over the others available on the market comes down to taste. But Flórez's world-class singing should at least put it near the top of the list.

Opera - Released January 1, 1985 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Year - The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Classical - Released October 6, 2014 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
It would be hard to find ground more trodden in the orchestral repertory than the Rossini overtures recorded here by Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, most of all the William Tell (Guillaume Tell) Overture made popular by The Lone Ranger. And, as a result, the album offers a strong illustration of why this conductor has become so popular. Not only does he make the William Tell Overture sound completely fresh, with such a wealth of delicately traced instrumental detail in the earlier sections that the listener will almost forget the famous finale is coming. He structures the entire program in a way that's both fun and instructive. The seven overtures are presented in chronological order, beginning with the rarely heard but very effective La scala di seta overture (1812) and ending with William Tell (1829). This is not a common way to perform them, but it works: the big tunes are there throughout, but the internal structure and especially the orchestration bloom like the interior petals of a flower. The similarly rare Andante e tema con variazioni, a set of variations for chamber winds from 1812, is another bonus, in this little piece Rossini seems to have developed some of the wind writing woven throughout the overtures. A superior Rossini instrumental album that anyone might enjoy, most especially those who've heard it all before.

Classical - Released October 8, 2010 | Warner Classics