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Rossini: Guillaume Tell / Muti, Zancanaro, Merritt, La Scala

Release Date: 06/15/2004 
Label:  Opus Arte   Catalog #: 3002  
Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Luciana D'IntinoAlberto NoliAmelia FelleErnesto Gavazzi,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  4 Hours  0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This performance is also available on CD

Corps de Ballet, Orchestra & Chorus of Teatro alla Scala
Conductor Riccardo Muti

Running time 239 mins
Picture format 4:3
Sound format Dolby Stereo

Riccardo Muti conducts a fine cast led by Giorgio Zancanaro in the title role of Rossini's towering and opulent last opera with the Corps de Ballet, Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala. Sung in Italian

Guglielmo Tell - Giorgio Zancanaro
Arnoldo - Chris Merritt
Gualtiero Farst - Giorgio Surjan
Melchthal - Franco de Grandis
Read more Ruodi - Vittorio Terranova
Leutoldo - Alberto Noli
Gessler - Luigi Roni
Matilde - Cheryl Studer
Rodolfo - Ernesto Gavazzi
Jemmy - Amelia Felle
Edwige - Ludicana D'Intino

REVIEW - - -

In many ways this is a magnificent achievement. I just wish the DVD issuing companies would get their act together in terms of presentation. Here we have a brief, one paragraph plot synopsis (for a four-hour opera!) and no background notes on either work or performance. Instead Opus Arte has reproduced the entire libretto – with no track indications whatsoever and with no translations. This is a side of DVD production that needs addressing.

The staging is fascinating. Vast panelled video screens provide the scenic backdrops. Videos of nature in all its glory are projected onto these. It makes for breathtaking effect, and the good news is that one does not tire of it.

Muti conducts with real assurance. Pacing the drama magnificently, it is on performances like these that the controversial Maestro has made his well-deserved musical reputation. Tell emerges as a masterpiece from first to last. Rossini's compositional confidence in his craft is never once in doubt, and there is no trace of any longueur anywhere.

This is clearly an opera for which Muti has unbounded affection. This comes out clearly in the Overture, with its 'vocal' solo cello and its inclusion of oases of peace alongside real excitement. The camera relishes the opportunity to focus on the Maestro - occasionally, later, he 'appears' juxtaposed onto the stage, a technique that seems to crop up regularly in these Scala DVDs. Strings are very much on-the-ball for the 'famous' part.

The Scala chorus, too, are in fine fettle, as they amply demonstrate in the gentle prayer that precedes the rather stand-and-deliver Fisherman (Vittorio Terranova). Much better from the angle of stage presence is our Guglielmo of the evening, the experienced Giorgio Zancanaro. If his gestures can be rather stock-in-trade (in Act 3 especially), he brings a real vocal warmth to the role. And at least it looks as if he shoots the arrow.

Chris Merritt is a strong Arnoldo, ardent in his love for Mathilde, thirsty for revenge in Act 3. The long scene he has with Guglielmo in Act 1 works particularly well, because of the intensity both singers bring to their parts. His best moments are saved for the Fourth and final Act; his high register there is simply lovely. Mathilde is Cheryl Studer, who comes into her own in Act 2. Her scene is magnificent in its lyricism and her sensitive shading of the line. At this point we are treated to more 'ghost' images of Muti; rather off-putting they are, too. The dark staging of Act 2 lends a particularly close atmosphere to events. In Act 3 Studer is if anything even more impressive - her vocal manoeuvrability is astonishing. Call me a heathen for this, but I cannot help thinking the interruptive ballet to be over-long and a huge distraction. Ballet-lovers, will, of course, disagree.

Alberto Noli is a forceful Leutoldo; Ernesto Gavazzi's Rodolfo is rather weak, though. Luigi Roni''s Gessler is on the wobbly side initially although he improves tremendously as the opera progresses.

Ensembles are a consistent joy – just try the finale of Act 1 – thanks to Muti's clear direction and the superb choral forces.

This is a superb DVD. Tell is one of Rossini's masterpieces. The composer's inspiration never once flags. Do try to experience this treat.

Colin Clarke, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Guillaume Tell by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Luciana D'Intino (Mezzo Soprano), Alberto Noli (Bass), Amelia Felle (Soprano),
Ernesto Gavazzi (Tenor), Giorgio Surian (Baritone), Franco De Grandis (Bass),
Giorgio Zancanaro (Baritone), Cheryl Studer (Soprano), Chris Merritt (Tenor),
Vittorio Terranova (Tenor), Luigi Roni (Bass)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 
Language: Italian 
Guillaume Tell by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Luciana D'Intino (Mezzo soprano), Amelia Felle (Soprano), Ernesto Gavazzi (Tenor),
Franco de Grandis (Bass), Chris Merritt (Tenor), Alberto Noli (Bass),
Luigi Roni (Bass), Cheryl Studer (Soprano), Giorgio Surian (Baritone),
Vittorio Terranova (Tenor), Giorgio Zancanaro (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Bel Canto Fan December 25, 2011 By Perry S. (New Plymouth, -) See All My Reviews "First of all there is really no choice so if you want William Tell, this is it. Secondly, and luckily, it is a production worth having. It is long and there are two discs so I watch the opera over two nights. The cast and the singing are uniformly good. The production is at times disappointing. There is a strange tiered basic set which I am unsure as to the purpose. The background is a series of films of the countyside and rushing streams. This is quite effective and I enjoyed that aspect. Because many of the scenes are quite long, the action on stage is mostly quite static. However, William Tell is popular because of the music. I enjoyed Cheryl Studer's voice as Matilde and regret she did not have a longer career. Would I buy another version if it was offered ? It would need more action on the stage and I doubt the opera will ever have much action. So I am happy to have this DVD." Report Abuse
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