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Donizetti: Don Pasquale / Muti, Freni, Bruscantini, Nucci

Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 47068   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Gösta WinberghMirella FreniLeo NucciSesto Bruscantini,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera ChorusPhilharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Muti, then a newcomer, virtually made his name when he conducted this opera at Salzburg back in 1971. Then as now he is a stickler for fidelity to the score, playing it complete and insisting on his cast singing the written notes and nothing else. That means Winbergh taking a high C sharp in the last-act duet and the patter duet for Malatesta and Pasquale being shorn of its customary comic accretions. There is finesse and brio in the conducting but some want of wit. Tempos tend to be strict and unyielding to the singers. The reverberant recording emphasizes the somewhat un-intimate feeling of the whole performance but it is none the less a reading that consistently keeps one's interest, because the playing is alert, the rhythms keenly Read more sprung.

Sesto Bruscantini took the role of Pasquale in the 1952 Cetra LP set. His voice isn't so round as it was then, but his sense of style and fun is unimpaired. In between he essayed Malatesta, and maybe his basically baritone voice is better suited to that role, here taken with panache by Nucci who, with the help of a few aspirates, manages the fioriture fairly well. He is fundamentally a Donizettian rather than a Verdian singer, and he is much happier here than as, say, Macbeth or Luna. He also gets a smile into his tone.

Winbergh is an accurate and fluent Ernesto, but as with his more recent Nemorino on DG, he evinces little charm and seldom sings below forte. Freni again defies the passing years, delivering here her aria with rhythmic bite and a real sense of flirtatious fun; her scene with Bruscantini in the First Act is an object-lesson in pointing words and colouring the voice-on the part of both singers. When the joke against Pasquale goes too far, she finds just the plangent tone to express her doubts.

-- Gramophone [8/1988]
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Works on This Recording

Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Gösta Winbergh (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano), Leo Nucci (Baritone),
Sesto Bruscantini (Baritone), Guido Fabbris (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1982 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London 
Length: 122 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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