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5.0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard - A Perfect Rake's Progress, 1 May 2009
M. Savage "savagela" (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress (Audio CD)
This is the production that got everything right. Anne sounds fresh and young. Tom is Ardent and a light lyric tenor. Nick is menacing but witty, Baba is just fusty enough, The chorus sounds balanced and well articulated.

The tempos are quick and light, in contrast with almost every other recording out there. There is nothing ponderous about this opera: It's hilarious and wise when done right.

Highlights: Tom's aria "Here I Stand" - so thrilling, Anne's Aria "No Word from Tom - I go to him" a classic Cavatina/Cabaletta form with plenty of fireworks, and Anne's heartbreaking lullaby "gently little boat" at the end.

The Libretto by Auden is so smart and sly, with lots of lovely turns of phrase. It's really a work of art. Stravinski's turn to neo-classicism, so reviled at the time, now sounds wonderful. The score is much much more complicated than it sounds, but melodic and emotional.

The Rake's Progress is one of the best operas of the 20th century and it has been so ill used in the many recordings. This is the recording that shows how delightful it can be. Don't miss it.
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Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress
Stravinsky - The Rake's Progress by Regina Sarfaty (Audio CD - 1995)
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