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Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia Box set

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: £29.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Oct. 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Decca (Universal Classics)
  • ASIN: B0000041W2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,432 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

PATANE / TEATRO BOLOGNA

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are many recordings on CD and DVD of this classic opera but two stand out above the rest. The EMI version with Tito Gobbi and Maria Callas or this fine 1988 recording (released 1989) which is undoubtedly the modern recording to go for.

Along with the fabulous Cecilia Bartoli as Rosina, the cornerstones of the set are Leo Nucci and Paata Burchaladze as Figaro and Basilio respectively. One is also introduced to some modern Rossini interpreters in William Matteuzzi and Michele Pertusi. This is a stellar modern cast and is backed by the Bologna forces under Giuseppe Patane who died, in Munich after conducting a performance of this opera, a few months after this recording was made. Incidentally, the Harpsichord continuo is played by Maurizio Benini.

This is still the modern Barber of our time and can be heartily recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyous and fun, the way it should be. 13 Jun. 2012
By What's in a name? - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a light, comic opera, and so it should sound joyous and fun. This performance achieves that perfectly, in great quality sound. And there are no bad performers in this, no one spoils the fun or one's enjoyment by substandard singing or playing or conducting; it is a very solid performance of this great opera. The quick portions achieve the manic quality appropriate for this kind of comedy. It is no wonder that this is the noted critic Ted Libbey's favorite recording of this wonderful opera. It may be that some other versions have some individual performances that are better; the snippets I have heard of Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia / Prey · Berganza · Alva · Dara · Montarsolo · LSO · Abaddo seem to suggest that Hermann Prey might be a better Figaro than Leo Nucci, but there is nothing at all wrong with Leo Nucci (I am complimenting Prey, not insulting Nucci), and one is buying the totality, not just one performer when one buys an opera recording. And that is a reason to really love this recording, because there are no dud performances, no bad sound, nothing to prevent one from enjoying it tremendously. And it captures the feel of the comedy perfectly.

I recommend that you listen to all the snippets you can here at Amazon of this version, as well as the Abaddo recording in my link, and think about what matters to you. While you are at it, you may want to listen to all the snippets of all of the other versions of this opera that Amazon sells. I think if you do, you may well come back to this one and buy it. This one has a "rightness" about it that cannot be beat--they have found the ecstatic truth of this opera; the best one could do in that regard is to equal this fantastic performance. This recording is truly worthy of five stars. Well done one and all!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have been enjoying two outstanding performances of "The Barber of Seville" 23 May 2011
By jt52 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
By Rossini - the 1989 Bologna recording led by Giuseppe Patane and the 1971 London recording led by Claudio Abbado -- recently and I want to recommend both of them to potential listeners, with some comments about their relative strengths. Each one is outstanding.

Patane recording - What jumps out at me is the joy of the artists' musicmaking. The orchestra clearly has this music in its blood and they play with precision and panache, underlining what a talented orchestrator Rossini was. Another plus is a young Cecilia Bartoli as Rosina, a role which first brought her to prominence in the year before this recording. I've always admired her singing and she is exuberant and completely in control here at the young age of 23. I also found Paata Burchuladze in the comic role of Basilio to be excellent, both vocally agile and precise and able to convey the broad humor of Basilio's lecherous money-grubbing. As an example, take the rage-filled, stuttering, first act aria "A un dottore della mia sorte," which is funny. The recording is audiophile level and represents one of those really excellent recordings from the first decade of digital sound. I have highlighted certain contributions but the remainder of the singers are very good. A sparkling performance.

The Abbado recording - An excellent version with slightly different strengths. Hermann Prey is simply great as Figaro. His rendition of "Largo al factotum", the first act introductory number which is probably the single most famous aria Rossini wrote, is outstanding, is sung with zest. Prey has such a big voice that he carries the number with ease. He later collaborates with the Rosina in this set, Teresa Berganza, in a virtuosic "Dunque io son," which is memorable. I found Abbado's conducting of the two orchestral numbers, the famous Overture and the 2nd act Thunderstorm, to be outstanding - forward drive is combined with control and accuracy. Recorded sound is very good. All singing and playing is at a high level. All in all, a great recording and one to treasure.

Listening to this opera took me away from the German 19th-century music that I have been listening to recently. While I love the music of such angst-filled composers as Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann, I sometimes wonder where the sense of fun so evident in the music of their immediate predecessors went. That spirit of levity lies at the heart of this music by the young Rossini, and it is a refreshing break. (This comment applies also to contemporary pop music - how many songs cover sad topics? Most of them.) This isn't to criticize music preoccupied with sad or serious matters. But listening to Rossini made me realize how a dimension of musical high-spiritedness had been lost with the ascent of Beethoven and the rise of the Romantic period, a preeminence which has continued to live on in today's music.

Anyway, enough commentary. Two wonderful recordings which I strongly recommend. They'll put a smile on your face.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bartoli as Rosina...the beginning 5 Feb. 2007
By M. T. Risner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
We must not be to quick to judge Ms. Bartoli's instrument based soley on this recording. She was only twenty three at the time and shows remarkable skill for someone whose voice is, in essence, only about 10 years old. Here she sounds much more like a true mezzo-soprano than she does today, her tone is dark and full--quite different from the light, ringing, bell-like sound that we attribute to her today. She sounds a trifle strained at the top of her register, near B and C, but this is not where the meat of Rosina lies. Her sound is consistant in the troubling middle range and even does a fair job with the low Gs that litter the score. Her natural charm comes through in the scenes of the opera rather than in her solo line. She plays wonderfully with Leo Nucci, the great Italian "working-man" baritone of the 80s, here heard in his prime before he started taking on the heavier Verdi repertoire. The rest of the cast is exemplary and the wonderful nuances of the Italian language are brought to the fore by native speakers. This is a wonderful recording of a truly wonderful opera. I was most pleased to add it to my collection.
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last-a coloratura mezzo! 23 Aug. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Let me confess, first of all, that I have never been convinced that Cecilia Bartoli deserves quite all the adulation she receives. Second, I have always had difficulty completely enjoying "The Barber of Seville" - and other Rossini operas - because of his passion for coloratura mezzos, common enough in his time but an almost extinct breed today. If a modern mezzo manages to get through the difficult coloratura passages without totally disgracing herself, she still sounds old enough to be Rosina's mother. Bartoli not only sails easily and delightfully through the hard stuff; she manages to sound like a young woman in the process. The rest of the cast is excellent, and, being almost completely Italian, puts a liitle more zing into the acting than non-italians can achieve. Hearing this has not only put it on my wishlist; it has made me reevaluate Bartoli.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Previous Review is wrong 24 Sept. 2005
By Bedengost - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The previous review that said Bartoli has no high notes is completely out of his mind. Not only does Bartoli have the high notes her role requires, but she also has everything else. SHe is one of the few exemplary Rosina's on record and far surpasses Callas or any other coloratura for that matter( Sill's being an exception just on sheer characterization). IN addition to this the rest of the cast is wonderful, although some may prefer Sherill Milnes. This recording is wonderful and should be a staple in any opera lover's library.
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