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Posted October 1, 2010
Tnis a good recording for first-time opera buffs as well as those who
are already familiar with the operas in question and just want a CD of favorite operatic choruses to supplement their collection.
The performances are vintage Shaw/Atlanta - musically impeccable with
clear diction and a sense of drama which is needed for this type of
program to succeed. One senses from hearing the performances that Shaw is familiar with the complete operas from where these choruses appear.
There is a wide-ranging selection of music and styles from Handel and Purcell to Bizet, Mussorgsky, Verdi and much in between that is guaran-
teed to be enjoyable listening.
My only complaint with this release is unfrtunately a big one - the sung
texts are not included, not even a translation. True, the liner notes
contain synopses of each opera and the action relevant to each chorus,
but the texts could have been included and would have helped everyone
enjoy the selections completely. Shame on Telarc for being so stingy
with an otherwise excellent product.
One other note - the recorded sound is superlative and is such that
the loud choruses are guaranteed to blow the roof off! - so adjust the volume accordingly and enjoy (above caveat aside). So add this CD to
your collection no matter how much opera you may own - you may wind up
singing along even without the texts.