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  • Mosè
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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£20.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 16 May 2012
The version sung here in this 1968 live RAI performance is the 1827 "back-formation" into Italian, sometimes called "Il Mosè nuovo", from the extensive revision of the original "Mosè" Rossini made for Paris called "Moise et Pharaon" - er... got that? If you want to hear the original Italian one there is an excellent recording from Philips starring Raimondi, who is in considerably more impressive voice there than he was for Sawallisch's other extant live recording on Orfeo, made in 1988 in Munich. Indeed, I found that recording disappointingly inert and much prefer the glorious amplitude of Ghiaurov as Mosè in his youthful prime in Rome.

There are other advantages to this Rome performance: not least, the presence of that delightful and neglected artist Teresa Zyllis-Gara and Shirley Verrett, plus little known but virile and impressive tenor Ottavio Garaventa, preferable to both Araiza and the white-voiced Palacio. However, one considerable loss inherent in any performance of the revision is the placing of the great chorus "Ah! chi ne aita?" at the beginning of Act II, where it loses impact compared with its opening the opera as it does on the 1818 composition for Naples. The second version is grander, with a beefed-up role for the chorus, is more "through-composed" and contains the other most celebrated ensemble, Moses' Prayer, "Celeste man placata!" - but that is invariably included in performances even of the 1818 version, as it is so sublime.

Previous reviewers are, I submit, excessively generous in their assessment of the quality of the sound: it's fluffy mono with a fair amount of distortion and blare - but perfectly listenable. This Frequenz issue has been available for pennies for years and is, by all accounts, as good as any on a more expensive label. I find it preferable to the Orfeo on several levels despite the latter being in considerably better stereo sound.
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