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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Falstaff by Balfe, 16 July 2009
By 
Peter Wiesner (Bangkok, Thailand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Balfe: Falstaff (Audio CD)
This is a delightfull opera in the belcanto style. Wonderfull singing, good voices and what music. You can recognise nearly all Belcanto Composers. Pleasing to the ear - at least to mine.

Highly recommend it for lovers of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars early Balfe.....great!!, 6 Feb 2012
This review is from: Balfe: Falstaff (Audio CD)
I have only known Balfe's music from the Argo recording of "The Bohemian Girl", which I have enjoyed as good soupy Victorian stuff. "Falstaff" is a bit of a revelation....firstly, because it is so Italian (sung in Italian too), reminiscenst of Donizetti and the Ricci brothers. I thoroughly enjoyed this well sung/well played/ well presented recording.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Balfe's 1838 masterpiece, 14 Dec 2013
By 
Nicholas P. Slocombe (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Balfe: Falstaff (Audio CD)
In a contemporary review the Spectator, rather sniffily, described Michael Balfe as a better composer of Italian Opera than of the native English variety. And do you know, having listened to Falstaff I think they were absolutely right! The libretto by Manfredo Maggioni may be as full of absurdities and idiocies as anything by Edward Fitzball or Alfred Bunn but it just sounds so much better integrated with the music. And what music, Balfe composed a series of tuneful arias, choruses, duets and trios - the whole bel canto nine yards. Of the soloists I think Majella Cullagh is the standout performance but truthfully all the principals are good. The orchestra sounds suitably enthused by Balfe's music and the chorus is superb. Ok it is no way ground breaking, it follows in the traditions established by Rossini and embellished by Bellini and Donizetti, against whom I really believe it can stand comparison.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised, 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Balfe: Falstaff (Audio CD)
When I got around to listening to it I was pleasantly surprised to find that, as an opera, it works quite well and am thus puzzled as to why it has been neglected for so long.
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Balfe: Falstaff
Balfe: Falstaff by RTE Concert Orchestra / The National Chamber Choir of Ireland (Audio CD - 2008)
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