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Cat. No. CHAN 3162(3) Price: £18 No. of discs: 3
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CHAN 3162 - Verdi: Don Carlos
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Available From: 01 December 2009
The Observer thought ‘The work came alive as never before, its passionate exchanges between king, son, stepmother and loyal friend all the more incandescent, an endorsement for the Peter Moores Foundation “Opera in English” series on Chandos, who record this Don Carlos for future release.’ York Press wrote ‘This is a drama torrid enough to satisfy the senses on many levels,’ whilst The Spectator declared Richard Farnes, ‘the best Verdian of our time.’

Tenor Julian Gavin takes the lead of Don Carlos and is ably assisted by William Dazeley as Rodrigo, Janice Watson as Elizabeth, and Alistair Miles as Philip II and Sir John Tomlinson as the Grand Inquisitor.

“… Don Carlos has never seemed so grand a tragedy as it does on this set.”
Fred Cohn

Opera News (USA) - July 2010

“…The cast is a strong one… Ensemble work is a consistent high point in its tight-knit vocal interplay… The conductor, Richard Farnes, is a truly exciting discovery, directing his forces to the manner born… Choral work is excellent and the orchestra superbly responsive to everything he asks for…”
Boyd Pomeroy

Fanfare - May/June 2010

"The performance, especially from an orchestral perspective, provides an absorbing listen and will certainly find favour from those getting to know the work. Richard Farnes elicits a response from the Orchestra of Opera North that is strong in theatrical terms and is spaciously and atmospherically recorded ..." "The orchestra is on fine form, at times superb."
 Alastair Miles’s Philip II is a more fiery interpretation of the King than many others in recorded terms, and he really sings off the words and brings the character to theatrical life – he’s certainly helped by Farnes’s fluid and generally fast tempos. "...the encounter with John Tomlinson’s terrifyingly implacable and vocally imposing Grand Inquisitor is the highlight ..."
 "Clive Bayley also provides an ideal vocal contrast as the mysterious monk, recorded in an acoustic that sounds just like a church cloister."

"Janice Watson is a strong Elisabeth, with attractive and creamy tone, and she delivers set-piece arias with considerable aplomb. She has a ’sad’ quality to her tone that makes her effective as the unhappy but regal  Queen ..."
"Jane Dutton’s fiery and forceful Eboli is satisfying, best in the more dramatic and declamatory moments ..."  "this is an exciting issue, most remarkable for the compelling contributions of Alastair Miles and for Richard Farnes’s refreshingly non-fussy and non-indulgent reading of the score. The excellent packaging and booklet is all one would from expect from Chandos."
Alexander Campbell


“...Opera North have much of which they can be proud. Under Richard Farnes, the orchestral playing will stand comparison with the acknowledged best. The strings achieve admirable precision and beauty of tone …The style also impresses as bearing the imprint of a genuine Verdi conductor with playing where, at times, one feels as though the instruments are contributing their own apt dialogue to the drama …”
John Steane 


Gramophone - April 2010

“The opera is thrillingly conducted by Richard Farnes, for whom the orchestra and chorus play and sing their hearts out, and the recording – in Leeds Town Hall – captures the grandeur and intimacy. Julian Gavin’s Carlos grows in stature. William Dazeley’s Posa has a heroic ring and Janice Watson’s Elisabeth is one of her best performances. As King Philip, Alastair Miles is regal and human against John Tomlinson’s sinister Grand Inquisitor.”

The Sunday Telegraph - 21 February 2010

“…this is a significant release, as we have never had a version sung in English. This is especially welcome, particularly as it is in Andrew Porter’s excellent translation, which strikes me as one of the most successful I have heard of a Verdi opera.
A further real strength of this recording lies in the superb conducting of Richard Farnes and the playing of the Orchestra of Opera North. It plays with real punch …
This is a Don Carlos well worth exploring for its translation, its singing and excellent conducting…”
Mark Pullinger

International Record Review - December 2009

“The central relationships are full of passion, the conducting is full-blooded, and the huge auto-da-fé scene feels terrifyingly spectacular.”

 Warwick Thompson

Classic FM Magazine - January 2010

“… this is a well-integrated, cleanly delineated performance of Don Carlos in its truncated four-act version, based on performances given last year by Opera North. The cast is good overall, but the outstanding element is Richard Farness’s forceful and vivid conducting of a finely responsive orchestra.”
 Rupert Christiansen

The Telegraph - 28 November 2009

“Best of the principles are Alastair Mile’s distinctive King Philip; John Tomlinson’s terrifying Grand Inquisitor and Clive Bayley’s Monk. Opera North’s choral and orchestral forces are both splendid, and conductor Richard Farnes process a superb interpreter of the score. The scale  and perspective of the recording are beautifully managed.”   
Performance ****/Recording ****

George Hall

BBC Music Magazine - Christmas Edition 2009


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