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Rossini: William Tell (French version) [Box set]

Antonio Pappano Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £23.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Currently Music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Antonio Pappano was born in London of Italian parents. At the age of 13 he moved with his family to the United States, where he continued his studies in piano, composition and conducting. Work as a repetiteur and assistant conductor rapidly led to his ... Read more in Amazon's Antonio Pappano Store

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Product details

  • Performer: Gerald Finley, John Osborn, Malin Byström, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Elena Xanthoudakis, et al.
  • Orchestra: Orchestra dell'Accademia Santa Cecilia
  • Conductor: Antonio Pappano
  • Composer: Gioachino Rossini
  • Audio CD (11 July 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B004XMW70W
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,795 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ouverture - Antonio Pappano/Orchestra Dell' Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia, Roma
2. Quel jour serein le ciel présage - Coro Dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
3. Accours dans ma nacelle - Orchestra Dell' Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
4. (Ici l'on entend le ranz des vâches) - Orchestra Dell' Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
5. On entend des mantagnes - Antonio Pappano
6. Pasteurs, que vos accents s'unissent - Marie-Nicole Lemieux
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Quelle sauvage harmonie - Coro Dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
2. Quel est ce bruit? - Coro Dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
3. Ils s'éloignent enfin - Antonio Pappano
4. Sombre forêt - Orchestra Dell' Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
5. Ma présence pour vous est peut-être un outrage - Antonio Pappano
6. Oui, vous l'arrachez à mon âme - Orchestra Dell' Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Divertissement - Pas de Soldats - Antonio Pappano
2. Audacieux, incline-toi! - Carlo Cigni
3. Tant d'orgueil me lasse - Antonio Pappano
4. Rejoins ta mère, je l'ordonne - Carlo Cigni
5. Je te bénis en répandant des larmes - Coro Dell'Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia
6. Sois immobile, et vers la terre - Antonio Pappano
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Product Description

BBC Review

The last and grandest of his 40-odd operas, William Tell is also one of Rossini's very finest. Not merely the summation of his well-honed craft, it is also remarkably adventurous and forward-looking. Its vast romantic canvass proved hugely influential on the next generation of operatic masters: composers as widely different as Verdi, Meyerbeer and even Wagner owe it a great debt. The most famous episodes of the Tell legend - the shooting of the head-perched apple, daring escape by boat in a storm - feature in a gripping and human score which proves beyond doubt that Rossini was far more than a musical comedian.

The opera was a massive and - initially, at least - enduring success: in 1868 Rossini attended its 500th performance at the Paris Opera, 39 years after its premiere. But tastes change, and its epic five-hour performance time has been a major factor in its recent neglect. Another is the herculean role of Arnold, an endurance test which few modern-day tenors could pass. One who does, however - and with flying colours - is John Osborn. His combination of supreme vocal agility, phenomenal stamina and tonal beauty is a principal asset of this new set, his sumptuous account of Arnold's Act Four aria a tour de force.

Antonio Pappano directs a taught and often thrilling account of score, aided by his increasingly crack band of Santa Cecilia players. The strong cast includes Gerald Finley, commanding in the title role, and Malin Byström in beguiling voice as Mathilde. Recorded at live concert performances in Rome in 2010, the sound is vivid and atmospheric, though some may find the audience applause between numbers distracting. Its only serious rival (sung in the original French) is the 1972 studio recording with Montserrat Caballe and Nicolai Gedda, also on EMI; this new version is a superb modern alternative. EMI has gone to town on the packaging, from the fat booklet full of photos, intelligent notes and complete libretto (unusual these days) to the witty cover image. Pappano's compelling advocacy, proving that there is much more to William Tell than its famous overture, ought to win Rossini's last operatic word many new fans.

--Graham Rogers

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Product Description

3CD Orch.Naz.St.Cecilia/Antonio Pappano

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine performance of Rossini's masterpiece 18 July 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There is so much in Rossini's mammoth opera which hints at middle Verdi that those, who recognise Rossini in works like Barbiere and L'Italiana, will be amazed coming to this work for the first time at the sheer dramatic verve and musical depth to be found within it. Rarely done on stage because of the demands on the singers, particularly that of the tenor Arnold, I have only seen it once, in Paris in an excellent production with Thomas Hampson as Tell. I was impressed then by the sheer dramatic scope of the work. Of course, there are parts where you hear Rossini churning out standard stuff, but there is much wonderful music here.

The performance recorded live in Rome under the baton of Antonio Pappano, benefits from brisk speeds, which cover some of the duller patches in the score, particularly in the first act. Gerald Finley is a commanding presence as Tell and John Osborn, who I recently saw in another killer tenor role - Raoul de Nangis in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, is excellent and has a voice which thrills without sounding strained. Malin Bystrom is also fine as Princess Matilde although she cannot eclipse Caballe in the role on the old EMI recording.

In short, with excellent singers in the subsidiary roles, this is a performance which can be warmly recommended. I did not find a problem with the sound quality, playing the discs through a blu ray surround system.

Live performances of course have pitfalls and it is always irritating to hear calls of bravi! In the theatre it is fine but on disc such noises are a distraction on repeated listening - easy to remove - EMI take note!

I will not part with the old EMI studio recording with Bacquier as Tell but this new one, available at an exceedingly low price, can be heartily recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but flawed 19 July 2011
By Jeffan
Format:Audio CD
Complete recordings of this work, Rossini's great and final masterpiece, are very rare indeed - especially in the original French,so it may seem a tad ungrateful to not be bowled over by the experience. I have nothing but praise for Pappano and his Italian forces, they all give of their best. The live recording does not disturb me as much as it obviously has other reviewers, however I do take exception to some of the vocal contributions. Gerald Finley gives an indepth and superbly vocalised performance of the title role, in my opinion now the best on record, the smaller roles are well filled, but the leading tenor and soprano leave much to be desired to this listener at least. The much praised John Osborn has neither the heroic quality nor range for Arnold and is no competition for Pavarotti or Gedda, Malin Byström is frankly out her depth (whatever that may be) and gives only a vague impression of Matilde's character. Just compare her to Caballé or Freni, and you realise just how lacking in stature Byström's interpretaion is. A great pity. Those of you who already have the Gardelli or Chailly versions need not rush out to purchase this set unless, like me, you're a Rossini freak!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happened in Act Four? 15 Sep 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a fine recording with Gerald Finley outstanding but I'm puzzled by the disfiguring cut in Act 4. The libretto says it's scenes 5 and 7 that are cut but I think it's scenes 5 and 6 which include a trio for Mathilde, Jemmy and Hedwige and a prayer for Hedwige together with a musical build-up for the approaching storm and some helpful plot exposition. There's about ten minutes of rather good music gone and with someone as talented as Marie-Nicole Lemieux on hand it seems perverse to cut her only solo. Anybody any idea why this was done?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Let me start by saying that this recording is a must-have. Tell is a great work, in which Rossini's typical signature Rossinianisms are mixed with new elements of grand opera and a certain Verdian quality. It is musically rich, engaging and a true musical journey (that ends in what is perhaps the opera's best moment - the hymn to liberty). On this account alone, do buy this box set.

The opera is well-served by Pappano, who has an unsurpassable feel for 19th-century Italian opera. The singers are impressive, all of them, and only Byström occasionally falls just a little bit short.

The only major issue that prevents me from giving this recording the full five stars is the recording quality - the sound is sometimes a bit dry, and it sounds as though it has been recorded in early-1950s mono. In 2011, this is simply ridiculous. Surely, the hall could have been miked better and the post-production team could have done a better job.
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