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on 25 November 2011
The idea that one of the all time classic recordings of a Mozart opera could be obtained for nigh on £6 would have been considered bizarre a few years ago . This is a trememdous bargain . Gui conducts with a delicious lightness of touch . The singers are superb and Jurinac ( who died this week at the age of 90)is in my opinion the greatest Countess ever recorded. Her Porgi Amor is so touching it takes your breath away.

The mono sound is fine . Recommended with all possible enthusiasm
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on 1 May 2012
This 1955 early stereo recording of a Glynebourne production (but recorded in the studio) is superb. The cast including Jurinac as a radiant sounding countess has rarely if ever been equalled. At this price from the Marketplace this must be the greatest classical bargain on Amazon. I agree wholly with the other reviewers here. "Classic" is a much used word these days but this recording made at Abbey Road is a true "classic". Buy without hesitation!
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I believe that this is the first stereo studio recording of this evergreen opera and the sound remains very good, with its very slightly subdued ambience and slightly undercooked bass frequencies compensated for by the lift and drive of an ensemble which always pushes the drama onward rather than linger over the beauties of the music. Indeed the listener is taken aback by the speed Gui adopts for the overture and he never looks back.

It is unfortunate that there a few cuts, enabling it to be fitted onto two CDs (not that the original producers had CDs in mind...), especially as they include the arias for two excellent singers in the robust Monica Sinclair's Marcellina and Hugues Cuénod's light, oily Don Basilio. The cast in general is first rate, even if the pure, dignified Countess of Sena Jurinac is just a bit anonymous and languid, in contradiction to Gui's general paciness, yet her restraint is paradoxically touching in "Dove sono". Bruscantini hasn't the juiciest voice but he sings so naturally, elegantly and intelligently as Figaro and bass Calabrese is saturnine and incisive as the Count, even if he sounds rather "senior" in tone; both are singers of the old school, neat, agile, with the slightly faster vibrato typical of Italian singers of that pedigree.

Risë Stevens has a lovely voice but also something of Calabrese's disadvantage in that she sounds too fruity and "bosomy" to be a lovesick boy; this was, after all, the same year as she was triumphantly singing Carmen at the Met, but she sounds more apt in "Voi che sapete", where she somewhat tames her voluptuous tone, than in "Non so più". Sciutti is absolutely charming as Susanna and the cast is completed by a couple of old stagers with big, firm voices in Ian Wallace and Monica Sinclair. As a result, the ensemble numbers are especially satisfying; try the magical Terzetto, track 28, CD 1 and the famous "Canzonetta sull'aria" is sheer delight.

PS: even the supposedly complete and considerably more expensive three CD EMI "Great Recordings" issue, oddly coupled with the two symphonies 38 and 39 twice interrupting the opera, includes only Basilio's aria; Marcellina's must never have been recorded.
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on 26 January 2008
Un merveilleuse version, délicieusement italienne. Jurinac est à son meilleur, Bruscantini et Sciutti sont idéaux. Et le maestro Gui nous offre vraiment une folle journée.
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on 4 September 2007
This is a good, clear recording. Excellent for anyone wishing to sing any of the arias and hear the words properly. Excellent value for money.
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on 30 May 2015
best opera ever good recording
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on 5 July 2007
I was so disappointed with this CD. Unfamiliar with the names of the main soloists, I ordered this CD which was produced in 2005 to find that it was in fact recorded in what sounds like mono in 1955. The sound almost all comes out of just the one speaker and is of inferior quality to recordings of today.
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on 20 September 2014
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on 1 December 2012
As usual Amazon Downloader failed. Finally got files downloaded via Cloud Player (so I no longer own the MP3s outright) but file names so long you couldn't rename or delete or copy them.
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