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Cat. No. CHAN 3160 Price: 9 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 3160 - Rossini: The Italian Girl in Algiers (Highlights)
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Available From: 01 April 2009
Rossini: The Italian Girl in Algiers (Highlights)

The latest instalment in the lauded Chandos Opera in English label is Rossini’s The Italian Girl of Algiers.  One of Rossini’s most wonderful comic operas, it has a plot full of wit, warmth and endearing craziness and music bubbling with fun and laughter.  


Jennifer Larmore, who last appeared on Chandos Opera in English, in the Grammy-Award winning, Hansel and Gretel, is renowned for her performances of Isabella.  She here performs the role in the premiere recording of the work in English language.  Jennifer is superbly supported by Barry Banks, Alastair Miles and Alan Opie, under the lively baton of Brad Cohen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Brad recently conducted Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers for Chandos OIE which elicited excellent reviews.  


Issued as a ‘highlights’ disc, this is the perfect way to familiarise yourself with the opera.  

 

Reviews

“Translator David Parry has done very well, making textural sense as well as allowing the musical line the flexibility it requires. The clear diction of the outstanding cast is notable. Brad Cohen’s tempi are excellent. The choir and the Philharmonia perform the music with clarity and sparkle. The recording is first-rate.
James McCarthy

Limelight Magazine - October 2009

“… there’s much to admire in David Parry’s translation here, and the performance of the work under Brad Cohen generally sparkles. In the title role of Isabella, Jennifer Larmore once again proves her aptitude for this music, dispatching coloratura runs with ease and in particular underlining the humour of the opera. She revels in playing a naughty, sexy woman who has unbeatable power over men, something which comes across particularly in the Isabella-Mustafà duet, ’Oh, how amusing! He looks frightful!  Barry Banks’ sense of style in the bel canto repertoire is impeccable, and the intensity of expression he brings to the role of Lindoro makes a huge impression in his arias and ensembles… Alastair Miles’ Mustafà is a wonderful portrait of a buffo buffoon and his contributions are always notable for his clarity of diction and poise.

Cohen’s conducting of the Philharmonia is high on imagination and detail…. “

“… there’s much to admire in David Parry’s translation here, and the performance of the work under Brad Cohen generally sparkles. In the title role of Isabella, Jennifer Larmore once again proves her aptitude for this music, dispatching coloratura runs with ease and in particular underlining the humour of the opera. She revels in playing a naughty, sexy woman who has unbeatable power over men, something which comes across particularly in the Isabella-Mustafà duet, ’Oh, how amusing! He looks frightful!  Barry Banks’ sense of style in the bel canto repertoire is impeccable, and the intensity of expression he brings to the role of Lindoro makes a huge impression in his arias and ensembles… Alastair Miles’ Mustafà is a wonderful portrait of a buffo buffoon and his contributions are always notable for his clarity of diction and poise.
Cohen’s conducting of the Philharmonia is high on imagination and detail…. “
Dominic McHugh

MusicalCriticism.com

“Barry Banks is mellifluousness itself as Lindoro, and Alastair Miles and Alan Opie show equal vocal dexterity in the comic roles.”

Richard Lawrence


Classic FM Magazine - June 2009

“A remarkable recording of the best bits of Rossini’s comedy”

“…her Isabella [Larmore], superbly articulated and projected, is both formidable and funny. Her Act 2 cavatina, played with original cello obbligato, is the lyric highlight
Happily, the three men in her life are equally vividly characterised: Opie as her hang-dog admirer Taddeo, Barry Banks a most eloquent Lindoro, and Alastair Miles as the lascivious Mustafa. Brad Cohen conducts superbly …”
*** Gramophone Recommends ***
Richard Osborne

Gramophone - June 2009

"Chandos have certainly fielded a handsome cast. Barry banks a proper plaintive Lindoro… Alastair Miles soft-grained bass makes the lovelorn Mustafa an oddly touching figure…Best of all is the utterly dependable Alan Opie who turns tiresome Taddeo into much more than Isabella’s lapdog."

BBC Music Magazine

"Jennifer Larmore, headliner of Chandos’ English-language highlights disc, has always had the tonal warmth, technical panache, authoritative style and infectious vitality for this role. In her, one consistently hears a character taking charge of the situation, as any Isabella must. After more than 20 years on major international stages, Larmore can still astonish with moments like her downward leap of one-and-a-half octaves in the cadenza of ‘Cruda sorte’, or her darting staccati in the duet with Mustafa…. She also deserves bravas not just for learning the role’s major highlights anew in English, but for digging into the text with such relish."

International Record Review

"This splendid release takes me back to the 1960s when operas were generally available in highlight form and when Sadler’s Wells offered bespoke highlights discs in English…. Rossini’s The Italian Girl distils readily onto a single CD… With opera in English, Translation is the key… David Parry’s brilliant new version… Jennifer Larmore has recorded the opera in Italian but her English Isabella, superbly articulated and projected is both formidable and funny… Brad Cohen conducts superbly, bringing out the strength and expressive range of music that revels in the thrill of sexual confrontation and the speed and power of the vortex into which so-called civilised society can all too rapidly vanish. Back in the 1920s, English audiences were entertained by The Italian Girl and vaguely frightened by it. This remarkable performance tells you why."

Gramophone

 

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