Verdi: Falstaff

Verdi: Falstaff

by Bryn Terfel

CD

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Product Details

Release Date: 08/14/2001
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
UPC: 0028947119425
catalogNumber: 471194
Rank: 129779

Tracks

  1. Falstaff, opera

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bryn Terfel was born to play Sir John Falstaff. His portrayal of the fat knight is the best on record in recent memory, preferable both in beauty and interpretation to Gobbi's reading for Karajan in the 50s. Terfel's magnificent voice fully encompasses what is perhaps the most challenging role in the baritone repertoire, second to Rigoletto, bringing humor, texture and even one or two high Gs to Sir John. Oftentimes, the record companies--especially with full-length opera recordings--will only opt to pay for one or two big name stars and then fill the supporting roles with those singers of lesser talent. Such is certainly not the case here. Nearly every role is cast perfectly, particularly newcomer Adrianne Pieczonka who sings with much beauty and vocal humor as Alice. She is complemented nicely by Thomas Hampson heard here as her husband, Ford. Not all will like his extremely lyrical approach to the role, perhaps feeling the role requires a more dramatic voice similar to Leonard Warren's famous account. I disagree. The dramatic baritone role is that of Falstaff. Ford's music (other than his soliloquy) demands a lighter, quicker voice to handle the complex ensemble writing. Hampson fits the bill perfectly and it is refreshing to hear "E sogno" truly sung rather than barked. Larissa Diadkova has the requisite weight of tone of Mistress Quickly, though she is guided through the comedy of her duet with Falstaff by Terfel. As Ford's daughter, Nanetta, Dorothea Roschman is absolutely glorious. Her light, pure soprano perfectly suited to the soubrette role (one of the few in Verdi). Daniil Shtoda isn't horrible as her counterpart, Fenton, but he's not that great either. His top notes sound strained and his emotion forced. For a truly great rendition of "dal labbro" listen to Ramon Vargas' album of Verdi arias..wonderful. Claudio Abbado leads the Berlin Phil through Verdi's wild comedic romp with a kind of controlled abandon. The tempos are very fast, yet one never gets the sense the opera is getting away from the conductor. The recorded sound is top drawer and the balance between singers and orchestra is perfect. This recording is quite an achievement and we should feel fortunate to have such a record of Bryn Terfel's fantastic interpretation.