The latest offerings from the Warner/Erato Opera collection give us two grand operas in the form of Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" and Wagner's "Parsifal" both with French orchestras and choirs but with a varied cast of soloists. "Iolanta" is a bit of a mixed bag but it certainly has its moments as Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich are both keen to remind us, the latter conducting the score with inimitable prowess throughout.
Armin Jordan's "Parsifal" is a bit of a letdown with some murky orchestral sounds and generally off-form soloists – unfortunately some great names such as Robert Lloyd and Aage Haugland could certainly have done much better. The early digital recording is also quite blurred although at the end the music picks up considerable momentum. However there are a host of excellent recordings of this particular version of the opera both on DVD and CD so this is not wholeheartedly recommended.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech