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Warner Opera Collection

Warner 68800-4

Vincenzo Bellini

I Capuletti e I Montecchi
  • Jennifer Larmore
  • Hei-Kyung Hong
  • Paul Groves
  • Raymond Aceto
  • Robert Lloyd
Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Chorus/Donald Runnicles
Warner Teldec Opera Collection 2564-68800-4 2CDs 124m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon Japan
Also available on Teldec 3984-21472-2
Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic
Warner 68748-7

Gabriel Fauré

Pénélope
  • Jessye Norman
  • Jocelyne Taillon
  • Alain Vanzo
  • Norma Lerer
  • Michèle Command
Ensemble Vocal Jean Laforge
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo/Charles Dutoit
Warner Erato Opera Collection 2564-68748-7 2CDs 126m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon Japan
Also available on Erato 2292-45405-2
Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic

Bellini's "Capuletti" is perhaps his most famous opera after "Norma" although it has not received frequent recordings apart from a handful of mostly Italianate provenance. This rather obscure version dates from 1999 and has Larmore in a stellar performance as Roméo as well as a fine Robert Lloyd. Runnicles conducts an emotional and impassioned performance bringing great clarity to the orchestral passages with the Scottish orchestra performing to the manner born. A good bargain if there ever was any.

The Fauré opera is another rather rare work although this version is perhaps the best known having been around since 1982. Jordan is a sympathetic conductor to Fauré's cause although the somewhat cavernous Monte Carlo sounds tend to muddy proceedings somewhat. Jessye Norman leads the considerable cast with a somewhat distant performance although other up and coming artists in those days such as Alain Vanzo, Michèle Command and Philippe Huttenlocher also give creditable performances. Obviously the slim pack has lost its sizeable libretto and programme notes but otherwise this looks like the best you can get for this opera even almost 30 years after.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.

Trumpet