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CD Review

Robert Schumann

Das Paradise und die Peri

Oratorio for Soloists, Choir & Orchestra, Op. 50
Margaret Price
Oliviera Miljakovic
Anne Howells
Werner Hollweg
Coro Sinfonica RAI di Roma
Orchestra Sinfonica RAI di Roma/Carlo Maria Giulini
Arts Archives 43076-2 2CDs 98m ADD Rec. 1974
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This gem of a recording reveals the late Giulini's penchant for conducting Schumann, a composer who was evidently much to his heart. This oratorio is rarely heard today but apart from some taxing roles for the soloist and some fine choral numbers, it does not deserve its neglect.

Giulini brings together an impressive group of soloists under the tutelage of Margaret Price who interprets her leading role as 'Die Peri' with exemplary distinction. Other notable contributions come from mezzo soprano Marjorie Wright and baritone Wolfgang Brendel but the whole cast is commendable.

Arts' recording derives from an Italian radio archive but the sound is quite excellent apart from the occasional audience noise which does at times disrupt proceedings, although not untowardly. A full libretto is provided, although this is only in German but apart from that minor quirk and some rather badly translated English notes, this set is a must for followers of Giulini and lovers of fine choral recordings.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech