I have heard that the Barbican is not an easy place to record in, though I thought Davis's "Kullervo" had some power, but here we need much more orchestral presence. Granted, the best music is quiet -- Romeo alone, etc., and the Love scene -- but still . . . we need to be closer. Davis conducts these sections beautifully and raptly, and he and the orchestra deserve better. I tend to think that the final scenes (after Juliet's funeral procession, for which the choral writing is striking and effective) are relatively weaker, but that impression might be a result of the distant sound and the unpleasing and wobbly singing of the bass who sings Father Laurence. Early on, the mezzo who carries a good bit of the burden of narration, Daniela Barcellona, has a much too pronounced vibrato, though her voice itself has lovely tone quality. The tenor, Kenneth Tarver, sings well, although the sound engineers could surely have caught more bloom. This is a mixed bag, then -- great music in two-thirds of the piece, and very sensitive conducting throughout -- but too many distractions. I think I'll be looking for a better-sounding version.