Notes and Editorial Reviews
Here we have an unnecessary recording of Rossini's almost indestructible bauble taped live at La Scala in l964, in decent sound. Gabriele Santini leads a good, energetic, fun-filled, pre-Rossini-revival performance, giving his cast plenty of leeway. Sadly, that leeway consists of slurring (or abbreviating) many of the composer's multi-note runs and otherwise beefing-up what in fact should be a light, breezy score.
Sesto Bruscantini's Figaro is big-voiced and burly but he sings well enough to please, and Luigi Alva's Almaviva is correct in tone and attitude but he lacks the ability to articulate any of Rossini's faster music--a real problem, it must be said, among tenors until the last 20-or-so years. Carlo Badioli's Bartolo is
entertaining and Nicolai Ghiaurov's mammoth but gorgeously intoned Basilio is likewise convincing. The true problem lies with Fiorenza Cossotto's Rosina: why this great Amneris and Azucena would want to play a character who is vocally half her size is beyond me; she sort of sounds like Rosina-on-steroids, or, actually, Lady Macbeth. In short, there are far finer Barbieres on the market than this one.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Il barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini
Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone),
Fiorenza Cossotto (Mezzo Soprano),
Luigi Alva (Tenor),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,
Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Written: 1816; Italy
Date of Recording: 01/20/1964
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