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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bubbling barbiere, 19 Feb 2007
This review is from: Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Audio CD)
This has the fizz and sparkle of a live recording with all the benefits of a studio set. Gui and his enchanting cast were the first to strip the opera down and return to something nearer the composers intentions. Although by modern standards this is not a "critical" edition or a period instrument performance it is surely closer than most recordings to the spirit of of the piece.

Many cuts are opened up and the singing, while discreetly decorated is never vulgar or out of character. The sense of ensemble, so necessary in this opera, creates a feeling of openhearted joy. this is such a happy performance, filled with latin sunshine and high spirits.

As Rosina, De Los Angeles is adorable, the pretty and plump heroine to the letter. Although a soprano there are no show off embellishments, and (thank heavens) no ridiculous high e's. She sings the original mezzo version, which is perfectly suited to her darker, smoky voice, while the top notes have a brilliance that mezzo's find hard to muster. As always with this glorious singer the enthusiasm is infectious. She has excellent comic timing (As in the scene where she tries to conjure an excuse to her guardian for using a pen for writing to her would-be lover - exquisite)and brings rich and warm, often sensual, tone to her part.

Alva's Almaviva is in good form too. He also recorded the role with Callas, but here he's in more balanced company. Bruscantini's Figaro is not too hammy nor too reticent, a good balance that can be lived with. And the whole cast pull together it seems to create the special atmosphere necessary to really preserve something special. A great recording of the century it certainly is, for it was the beginning of a Rossini Revolution in which his works were reassessed. But above all, and most importantly, this recording is FUN!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic. Fantastic performances!, 20 Aug 2014
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Marcolorenzo (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Audio CD)
This is the classic reference recording of this opera. It is truly one the all time best recordings of any opera performance ever recorded (together with Rigoletto and Falstaff in this same Great Recordings Series). The spoken dialogues here are extremely clear and very well articulated, and the comic scenes are perfect in their character and humor- there is no exaggerated slapstick comedy approach here. Victoria de los Angeles is sublime. Her performance here is the best recorded performance of Rossina ever - supple and perfectly balanced, with a very sweet tone. Hers is also the best characterization of the part. Sesto Bruscantini sings Figaro majestically. The combination of Victoria de los Angeles, Bruscantini, and Alva (Conte Alamviva) is sheer perfection as Gramophone has said. This is truly one of the 20th century's Great Recordings. Beautiful, highly enjoyable - a CLASSIC.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly underrated. WHY???, 10 July 2007
This review is from: Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Audio CD)
This recroding of barbiere is one of the best recordings of the opera. However, no one ever mentions it on lists of the best recordings of the opera. This is just severely unfair.
Gui is a proven Rossinian and his direction here is probably the best on record. De los Angeles is a sweet, lyrical and above all, charming Rosina.
Alva's Almaviva (his second recording of the role) is good. He is in excellent form throughout.
Bruscantini is a superb Figaro. He is so funny that the first time I heard this, I just could not stop laughing. Buy this recording, and you will not be dissapointed.
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Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia
Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia by Glyndebourne Festival Chorus (Audio CD - 2002)
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