Top positive review
A wonderful recording of Il Barbiere di Sviglia!
on February 28, 2000
The biggest reason I can give for puchasing this set of Barber of Seville is the Almaviva of Ugo Benelli. Benelli handles this, one of the most challenging roles in the Tenor di grazia repertoire, with great ease and elan. His "Ecco ridente" is one of the best I've ever heard, rivaling Schipa and Valletti. Plus Benelli also sings the oft cut "Cessa Di Piu Resistere" masterfully, handling the vocal pyro-techniques flawlessly. If one wants to hear the original concept Rossini had for the role of Rossina (to be sung by a Mezzo-soprano), then one need go no further than Teresa Berganza. Berganza handles her role with a lyricism and ease, and yet a richness to the voice, one rarely hears from Mezzos these days. Her "Una Voce poco Fa" is simply flawless. This set also brags the Don Basilio of the great Bulgarian Basso Nicolai Ghiaurov in his glorious prime (his "La Calunnia E Un Venticello" is a real show stopper)and the Dottore Bartolo of Ferrando Corena is a real joy to listen to. Manuel Ausensi performs the lead role of Figaro with the appropriate amount of abandon. The tempos Silvio Varviso uses here are excellent! All the ensemble pieces are done very well. The recorded sound is excellent. Even if one already owns a good recording of "Barbiere", they should also have this one. This recording has all the elements going for it. This performance is everything a recording of Barber of Seville should be! It really seems as though all the performers are enjoying themselves here and if there is one thing a performance of Barber of Seville should be, it should be FUN! And this performance really has that going for it. Treat yourself and buy this recording of Barbiere di Sviglia! You won't regret it and at this bargain price, how can you lose? . A pure delight from the Overture to the finale!