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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 24 Feb 2004
By 
E. WOOLSTON (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a sparkling version of the opera. It romps along happily without losing any of the musical beauty. A good sound quality and singers well matched to their part make this a CD you will be happy to own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Il Barbiere uncut and from the goldren era, 14 Jan 2013
I was surprised to find that this Barbiere is uncut - so it includes all the recetitive, which might put some people off. The sound is great, and just on the cusp of the stereo revolution.

Valletti as Almaviva is a little too heavy for my taste, but having said that he is a gem in his recetitive - expressive and fun as they all are. Merrill wallows in singing a comic role and his rich tone is a great asset as Figaro. Corena is, in my opinion, the best Bartolo. He is in fine voice here and his diction even in the testing allegro vivace section of his aria is exemplary - he may be a tad OTT at times but you've got to love him. Tozzi is wonderful as Basilio - just listen to what he does with "Va ronzando" in "La Calunnia". Peters has a tiny voice and whilst she certainly has agility, her vocal embroidery becomes tiresome and holds up proceedings. I realise that this was a prerogative of the soprano, or mezzo, in Rossini's time, but I miss Berganza or Baltsa's mellow tones and the uncomplicated approach.

Leinsdorf and the Met are steady throughout, but now and again you become aware of their presence (like the brass in "A un Dottor della mia sorte") which is no shame.

I wondered why this recording is not and has not been more easily available. It could be that the uncut three LPs was it's downfall in an era when cutting masterworks was all the rage, and now it faces stiff competition. Nevertheless, I recommend it for Merrill, Corena and Tozzi alone.
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This product

Rossini : Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Greatest opera collection)
Rossini : Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Greatest opera collection) by Alceo Galliera, Mario Carlin, Philharmonia Chorus, Roberto Benaglio, Luigi Alva Philharmonia Orchestra
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