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Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Sung in English (translation by David Pountney)


Rebecca Evans (Gretel), Jennifer Larmore (Hansel), Jane Henschel (The Witch), Rosalind Plowright (Gertrude), Robert Hayward (Peter), Sarah Tynan (Dew Fairy), Diana Montague (Sandman), Sarah Coppen (Cuckoo)

Philharmonia Orchestra & New London Children’s Choir, Sir Charles Mackerras

“It was Rebecca Evans’s Gretel, who took the honours. Spinning out radiant lines of delicious purity, she made it hard to see how the role could be sung better” The Times

“What distinguishes this version is primarily the vigorous and large-scale conducting of Sir Charles Mackerras.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2007 ****

“All told, this set will clearly stand the test of time as an English version, rivalling even the best of versions in the original German. The exhilaration of the final scene in particular is irresistible, with Mackerras drawing a genuinely Viennese-sounding lilt in the waltz rhythms of the "Witch is dead" duet, the destruction of the Witch's House powerfully conveyed and the revival of the gingerbread children movingly done. ” Gramophone Magazine, September 2007

“When a perfectly serviceable version of Hanseland Gretel in English already exists on CfP, it is generous as well as bold for the Peter Moores Foundation to sponsor this new one. In every way it replaces the old. That was an EMI effort in 1964 using multichannels – the result: unnecessarily close voices and a dim orchestra. On Chandos the recording is clear and beautifully separated yet with an agreeable bloom on voices and instruments.
The Canadian Mario Bernadi, then briefly the Sadler's Wells company's music director, conducts a lively performance but Sir Charles Mackerras is altogether more inspired and imaginative, with pointing and phrasing that readily match Karajan's masterly conducting on the classic mono EMI set.
Though the CfP singers, from the old Sadler's Wells company, are good with clear, firm voices, their 'prunes and prisms' enunciation of words harks back to a pre-war tradition, dating the performance. This time, following the practice at English National Opera, the David Pountney Opera Humperdinck 602 translation is used, fresher and more idiomatic, helping the starry cast of soloists, led by Jennifer Larmore and Rebecca Evans, both superb in the title-roles, nicely contrasted while blending well together.
There is strong casting, too, for the Witch, with Jane Henschel refusing to caricature the role in 'funny-voice' singing; Rosalind Plowright, gravitating down to mature mezzo, as the Mother, and Robert Hayward as the Father, don't guy their characterisations, either; while there are good contrasts between the bright Dew Fairy of Sarah Tynan and the warm Sandman of Diana Montague.
All told, this set will clearly stand the test of time as an English version, rivalling even the best of versions in the original German. The exhilaration of the final scene in particular is irresistible, with Mackerras drawing a genuinely Viennese-sounding lilt in the waltz rhythms of the 'Witch is dead' duet, the destruction of the Witch's House powerfully conveyed and the revival of the gingerbread children movingly done. The fresh young voices of the New London Children's Choir are beautifully caught.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2007

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - August 2007

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN31432

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Mozart: The Magic Flute

Mozart: The Magic Flute


Mozart:

Die Zauberflöte, K620

Sung in English (translation by Jeremy Sams)


Barry Banks (Tamino), Rebecca Evans (Pamina), Elizabeth Vidal (Queen of the Night), Simon Keenlyside (Papageno), John Tomlinson (Sarastro), Majella Cullagh (First Lady), Sarah Fox (Second Lady), Diana Montague (Third Lady), Lesley Garrett (Papagena), John Graham-Hall (Monostatos)

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, New London Children’s Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

“No work makes better sense in the vernacular than Mozart's concluding masterpiece. The composer and, assuredly, Schikaneder would have approved of giving the work in the language of the listeners, and when you have to hand such a witty, well-worded translation as that of Jeremy Sams, it makes even better sense. Sir Charles Mackerras has always been an advocate of opera in English when the circumstances are right.
As ever, he proves himself a loving and perceptive Mozartian. Throughout he wonderfully contrasts the warmth and sensuousness of the music for the good characters with the fire and fury of the baddies, and he persuades the LPO to play with a lightness and promptness that's wholly enchanting, quite the equal of most bands on the other available versions.
In no way is his interpretation here inferior to his German one on Telarc; indeed, in the central roles of Tamino and Pamina the casting for Chandos is an improvement, and Keenlyside is fully the equal of Thomas Allen on the Telarc set. Keenlyside's loveable, slightly sad, very human and perfectly sung Papageno is at the centre of things. Rebecca Evans's voice has taken on a new richness without losing any of its focus or delicacy of utterance. Everything she does has sincerity and poise, although her diction might, with advantage, be clearer.
The recording is fine apart from an over-use of thunder and lightning as sound effects. Anyone wanting the work in English needn't hesitate to acquire this set, the first-ever on CD.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Of all repertoire operas, none gains more than The Magic Flute from performance in the language of the audience. Musically, the performance is hard to fault. Articulation is light and buoyant, tempos mobile yet never driven or inflexible, textures sharp and transparent. Rebecca Evans, a richer-toned Pamina than usual, movingly portrays her development from ingénue to woman 'worthy to attain the light'. ...Simon Keenlyside is a marvellous Papageno, innocent, vulnerable and funny without clownishness. Barry Banks... sings a positive, un-wimpish Tamino. With his rugged, rolling bass John Tomlinson creates a formidably imposing yet humane Sarastro, while Elizabeth Vidal atones for some cloudy diction with fiery, bang in-tune performances of the Queen of the Night's arias. ...this new performance, beautifully recorded, with a modicum of well-judged sound effects, catches the work's fairytale wonder, solemnity and fun as fully and delightfully as any, irrespective of language.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2005 *****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - June 2005

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - June 2005

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3121

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Janacek & Kodaly: Choral Works

Janacek & Kodaly: Choral Works


Janacek:

Glagolitic Mass

(original version)

Kodály:

Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13


Tina Kiberg (soprano), Randi Stene (contralto), Peter Svensson (tenor), Ulrik Cold (bass), Per Salo (organ)

Copenhagen Boys` Choir, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, Sir Charles Mackerras

“The added rhythmic complexities of this original version as interpreted idiomatically by Mackerras encourage an apt wildness which brings an exuberant, carefree quality” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Chandos - CHAN9310

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Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Libretto by Nicola Haym. English translation by Brian Trowell. Edition prepared by Noel Davies and Sir Charles Mackerras


Dame Janet Baker (Julius Caesar), Valerie Masterson (Cleopatra), Della Jones (Sextus), Sarah Walker (Cornelia), James Bowman (Ptolemy), John Tomlinson (Achillas), Christopher Booth-Jones (Curio), David James (Nirenus)

English National Opera Orchestra, English National Opera Chorus, Sir Charles Mackerras

“This opera was a personal triumph for Dame Janet. As Caesar, she arms the voice with an impregnable firmness, outgoing and adventurous.
Valerie Masterson shares the honours with Dame Janet, a Cleopatra whose bright voice gains humanity through ordeal. The tinkle of surface- wear clears delightfully in her later arias, sung with a pure tone and high accomplishment.
As a total production, Julius Caesar was an outstanding achievement in ENO's history.
Strongly cast, it had a noble Cornelia in Sarah Walker, a high-spirited Sesto in Della Jones, and in James Bowman a Ptolemy whose only fault was that his voice lacked meanness of timbre appropriate to the odious character. John Tomlinson's massive bass also commands attention.
Mackerras's conducting is impeccable and the opera is given in clear, creditable English.
(See next review for the video equivalent.)”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“the ravishing accompaniments to the two big Cleopatra arias amply justify the use by the excellent ENO orchestra of modern rather than period instruments...The full, vivid studio sound makes this one of the very finest of the invaluable series of ENO opera recordings in English.” Penguin Guide, 2010

“Even if opera in English translation (or baroque opera on modern instruments) doesn't usually grab you, Charles Mackerras's legendary 1979 remains unmissable, not least for Dame Janet Baker's supremely authoritative Caesar, Sarah Walker's stately Cornelia and John Tomlinson's blustery Achilla.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, August 2014

Building a Library

First Choice (CD) - December 2011

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3019

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Dvorak: Cello Concerto

Dvorak: Cello Concerto


Dohnányi:

Konzertstück in D major for Cello and Orchestra Op. 12

Dvorak:

Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104


This month, on the Chandos Classics label, we are re-releasing our recording of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor and the Konzertstück for Cello and Orchestra by Dohnányi (CHAN8662), performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras, with Raphael Wallfisch the featured soloist.

The Cello Concerto in B minor by Dvořák has become one of his most popular works, and perhaps the most popular concerto ever written for the instrument. He was asked to write this piece by a friend of Wagner, the cellist Hanuš Wihan. Initially reluctant, Dvořák stated that the cello was indeed a fine orchestral instrument but totally insufficient for a solo concerto. Fortunately, he changed his mind upon hearing Victor Herbert’s Second Cello Concerto performed in concert, in 1894. The resulting Cello Concerto is richly inventive, full of deep feeling, and perfectly fitted to the cello. Dvořák combined his experience as an orchestral player with an understanding of the cello’s distinct textural qualities to produce a grand and emotionally intense work, one of his finest achievements.

Ernst von Dohnányi was highly acclaimed as a pianist-composer, and widely regarded during his lifetime as a successor to Liszt. As a composer, however, he had more in common with Brahms than with Liszt, despite his Hungarian heritage, and his creative output was not limited to the piano. His Konzertstück in D major is in fact a full-scale cello concerto, in three interconnected parts. A lyrical rhapsody, it begins quietly, the cello emerging out of the orchestra and seeming to sing, until parting with a sense of regret at the end.

“Expectations run high for any disc of Charles Mackerras conducting Dvořák, and this one doesn't disappoint. He is at the top of his game here, and with an orchestra and soloist to match...Wallfisch's reading of the Dvořák brings Rostropovich to mind. Like Rostropovich, he has a glowing, bronzed tone” MusicWeb International, May 2012

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Recommendation available on single CD - June 2012

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Chandos Classics - CHAN10715X

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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

Sung in English (translation by David Lloyd-Jones)


Thomas Hampson (Onegin), Kiri Te Kanawa (Tatyana), Neil Rosenshein (Lensky), Patricia Bardon (Olga), John Connell (Gremin), Nicolai Gedda (Triquet)

Chorus of Welsh National Opera, Chorus of Welsh National Opera, Sir Charles Mackerras

“Mackerras conducts a loving, well-contoured reading with what were then his Welsh National forces. Above all, Sir Charles is aware of the sheer beauty of the composer's orchestral writing… The recording is excellent, as are the accompanying notes. If you want the piece in the vernacular this version will give pleasure.” Gramophone Magazine

“The recording is sung in English, which is preferable to the Russian-on-autopilot approach that has marred many versions of the work” The Guardian

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3042

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Strauss, R: Salome

Strauss, R: Salome

Sung in English (translation by Tom Hammond)


Susan Bullock (Salome), John Wegner (Jokanaan), Sally Burgess (Herodias), John Graham Hall (Herod Antipas), Andrew Rees (Narraboth), Rebecca de Pont Davies (Page)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

Sir Charles Mackerras’s recordings are well-established collectors’ items. His consistently brilliant reviews confirm that his music-making belies his years, and his new opera recordings have become benchmarks for the Chandos Opera in English series.

Chandos’s disc of the month sees Sir Charles pick up his baton to conduct leading dramatic soprano, Susan Bullock and the Philharmonia Orchestra in his first ever recording of Richard Strauss’s Salome. This is also the premiere recording in English and follows the Grammy win for Hansel and Gretel earlier this year.

Richard Strauss is a composer for whom Sir Charles holds in deep affection. He explains “I’m just amazed that he could have written it [Salome]. Every page has something that hadn’t been done before, not even by Wagner. Bitonality, whole tone scales, everything! Endlessly varying the leitmotifs so that they take on different meaning… remarkable, and such a lesson in the use of the orchestra… it’s just superb… even if you have not heard a note of Strauss before you will be swept along by the power of the music.”

Susan Bullock has previously performed Salome in the concert format and her performances in the role of Strauss’s Elektra have brought her international acclaim. MusicWeb International wrote of her Salome “we were treated to a show-stealing dramatic performance in which her character’s complicated and confused emotions were plainly visible.” She performed the role of Elektra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November 2008

“…Bullock underlines the increasing insistence of Salome's demand for John's head… and keeps the meaning clear even when riding the orchestra in her love-death. If it were only for the orchestra alone, this would now be the Salome of choice… ineffably paced towards shocking climaxes, diaphanously clear, full of expressive orchestral solos (first violin especially) and naturally balanced...” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ****

“Language apart, the distinction of this recording lies in the superb playing of the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

“Mackerras is not usually mentioned when outstanding Strauss conductors are considered. But as this latest addition to Chandos's Opera in English series shows, he is an outstanding Straussian, and it's his account of a score that, in the past, has been characterised as a tone poem with voices, together with the Philharmonia's gorgeously vivid playing of it, that makes this so memorable.” The Guardian, 7th November 2008 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

20th October 2008

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3157(2)

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Mozart: Così fan tutte, K588

Mozart: Così fan tutte, K588

Sung in English (translation by Marmaduke Browne, adapted by John Cox)


Janice Watson (Fiordiligi), Diana Montague (Dorabella), Lesley Garrett (Despina), Toby Spence (Ferrando), Christopher Maltman (Guglielmo), Sir Thomas Allen (Don Alfonso), David Watkin (cello), John Cohen (cello) & Ronald Schneider (fortepiano)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Sir Charles Mackerras

Così fan tutte is Mozart’s third opera to a Da Ponte libretto. It is in opera buffa style and has only six characters, two couples and an elderly philosopher and a trusted maid. In this recording Lesley Garrett sings the part of the maid, Despina, and the celebrated veteran Sir Thomas Allen the philosopher, Don Alfonso. Despite the somewhat cynical storyline this opera contains some of Mozart’s most memorable and sublime music.

The conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, has spent many years researching performance practice of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is a noted authority on Mozart’s operas. He writes of this recording, ‘it is indeed a

pleasure having the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment lending its expertise in tonal colour, phrasing and rhythmic impulse to Mozart’s wonderful score… I have chosen to record this English version of Così fan tutte with

the traditional cuts, thus making it closer to a staged performance’. The English translation, by the Rev. Browne, was first used in London at a performance conducted by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford in 1890.

“M is for Mozart, Mackerras and magic. The Australian conductor - surely the world’s most illuminating and rewarding Mozartian - conjures sounds of mercurial brilliance and heart-stopping beauty from the OAE and his all-British cast in this vernacular version of Mozart’s most enigmatic comedy.” Sunday Times, 4th May 2008 ****

“Charles Mackerras, always a rewarding Mozart conductor, directs a taut, urgent account of the opera. Recitatives tumble inevitably into arias. Yet, despite his penchant for mobile tempos, Mackerras is fully alive to Così 's uniquely voluptuous, nostalgic tinta. Crucially in an opera of ensembles, the cast works well as a close-knit team, whether in the concerted numbers or in the recitatives, taken at a natural, conversational pace.” The Telegraph, 3rd May 2008

“This recording lacks an underlying dramatic conviction, despite punchy playing from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Mackerras. It's a shame, because Toby Spence, Christopher Maltman, Janice Watson and Diana Montague are nicely matched fair-weather lovers. But the direction seems moot. Lesley Garrett's devilsome maid Despina hams too much to the absent crowd, tonally rather too music-hall for the rest of the recording.” The Times, 12th April 2008 ***

“This is an account of Così which seems to put momentum first. The opening chord, more ferocious than one would expect, gives way to a rattling overture, and tension and pace never let up.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2008 ***

“…the pacing, ebb and flow of the music is near-perfect. In particular, the OAE's woodwind are on ravishing form. Sir Thomas Allen is, a renowned Don Alfonso of authority and warmth… Toby Spence delivers some of the best Mozart tenor-singing I have heard in a long time.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008

“Sir Peter Moores comments that the phrase 'Così fan tutte' is 'almost impossible to translate' into English. Thus it is that the delivery of Ferrando and Guglielmo's pronouncement, under the cynical tutorship of Don Alfonso, is one of the few lines that have not been translated in this volume of the Opera in English series (Alfonso's exclamation 'Misericordia!' is the other one left intact, and rightly so). Sometimes opera in English sounds too close to Gilbert and Sullivan at their cheesiest, but in a sparkling comedy such as Così fan tutte that is not necessarily a bad thing: in fact this is tremendously enjoyable because it allows Anglophones to concentrate on exactly what the characters are saying. So if Opera in English brings a wider audience closer to the heart of Mozart's and da Ponte's masterpiece, then it can only be a wonderful thing.
Of course, it helps that the music has seldom sounded as glorious as it does in the hands of Sir Charles Mackerras and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Both are consummate Mozartians, and the pacing, ebb and flow of the music is near-perfect. In particular, the OAE's woodwind are on ravishing form. In terms of stylishness, orchestral sound and the sentimen- tal strength of the playing, this Così is on a par with the finest period-instrument versions (Östman and Gardiner), and arguably has more heart than the OAE's previous recording under Sir Simon Rattle (EMI). The three ladies are animated (but not consistently pleasing on the ear), so the three men steal the show vocally: Sir Thomas Allen is, of course, a renowned Don Alfonso of authority and warmth, Christopher Maltman is a suave Guglielmo, and Toby Spence delivers some of the best Mozart tenorsinging in a long time. Although he falls short in softer music, he brings ringing clarity and declamatory emotion to “Tradito! Schernito!” (here “Her ter-reason is poison”).”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Mackerras's sparkling account of this delightful opera comes over surprisingly well in English, for the change of language does not impair the vocal lines...Vocally, Toby Spence, as an attractively ardent Ferrando, is the star of the show, and Christopher Maltman partners him well as Guglielmo.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3152

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Janacek: The Makropulos Case

Janacek: The Makropulos Case

Sung in English (translation by Norman Tucker)


Cheryl Barker (Emilia Marty - 'E.M.'), Robert Brubaker (Albert Gregor), John Graham-Hall (Vítek), Elena Xanthoudakis (Kristina), John Wegner (Baron Jaroslav Prus), Thomas Walker (Janek Prus), Neal Davies (Dr Kolenaty), Graeme Danby (Stage Hand), Graham Clark (Count Hauk-Šendorf)

English National Opera Chorus & English National Opera Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

"Sir Charles Mackerras conducts with the energy of a man possessed, confirming his status as the world’s preeminent Janácek interpreter and producing a blistering performance from the ENO orchestra… It’s the humanity

of Janácek’s music that finally triumphs in this magnificent, insightful production." The Guardian (review from the performance)

Live recording from the Coliseum

“Mackerras's reading, recorded in live performance, is slightly more expansive than his benchmark Vienna version… but the passionately lyrical urgency and sense of mystery drive it along just as compellingly. Cheryl Barker has the right kind of imperious soprano for Emilia Marty... This doesn't outclass Mackerras's Viennese set... But this is more vivid and dramatic, and its immediacy also offers English-speaking listeners easier access to this strange but rewarding masterpiece.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2007 ****

“This is Mackerras's second recording. The first, in 1979, in his series of groundbreaking Janácek recordings for Decca (above), had the Vienna Philharmonic in radiant form accompanied a fine cast singing in Czech. It says much for the quality of the ENO Orchestra that for this new version in English the playing is equally polished, and often outshines that of the Viennese in its extra dramatic bite.
The recording brings an advantage, too – not as plushy as the Viennese version and with extra separation and clarity in a clearly focused acoustic.
Those qualities suit the work better, which, as Sir Charles points out, is 'a different kind of music': Janácek emphatically did not want to sound like Strauss or Puccini. That extra clarity and separation means the words are astonishingly clear.
Cheryl Barker rivals Elisabeth Söderström on Decca in dramatic bite and when in Act 3 Emilia is at last given a sustained solo, Barker is even more powerful, aptly abrasive and less moulded.
Though the American Robert Brubaker cannot quite match Peter Dvorsky on Decca, it is a focused, compelling performance. In some of the smaller roles the Czech singers had an advantage but their counterparts here run them close. On any count both versions have one marvelling at the score's emotional thrust and dramatic compulsion, original in every way and one of Janácek's supreme masterpieces.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Mackerras’s insight and grip are as powerful as ever, and the ENO Orchestra’s playing is remarkable...Cheryl Barker captures Emilia’s essential coldness, and the way she handles the final scenes is superb – you feel her desperation, and her imperious disdain...this performance certainly doesn’t suffer for being in English, and that in itself is quite an achievement.” Andrew McGregor, bbc.co.uk, 16th March 2007

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2007

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3138

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Smetana: The Bartered Bride

Smetana: The Bartered Bride

Sung in English (translation by Kit Hesketh-Harvey)


Susan Gritton (Ma¡renka), Yvette Bonner (Esmeralda), Yvonne Howard (Ludmila), Diana Montague (Háta), Paul Charles Clarke (Jeník), Robin Leggate (Ringmaster), Timothy Robinson (Va¡sek), Neal Davies (Kru¡sina), Geoffrey Moses (Mícha), Peter Rose (Kecal) & Kit Hesketh-Harvey (Indian)

Philharmonia Orchestra & The Royal Opera Chorus, Sir Charles Mackerras

“By almost any reckoning, this is the most popular of Czech operas, in the repertory of almost every opera house, so it is astonishing how few recordings have appeared in recent years; Košler's Supraphon set of 1981 is the only other digital recording. That well-cast version is in the original Czech; this one comes in a crisp translation by Kit Hesketh-Harvey of cabaret duo Kit and the Widow. Hesketh-Harvey, sporting a cheeky cockney accent, also takes the tiny role of the Indian in the Act 3 Circus scene.
What makes this version so successful? The brilliant conducting of Sir Charles Mackerras, of course, plus the scintillating playing of the Philharmonia; an exceptionally strong team of soloists, too. But it's the extra impact of having the comedy delivered in the vernacular that makes this stand out. Echoes of Gilbert and Sullivan can often be distracting when Donizetti or early Verdi are sung in English, but no so here.
Kecal, the marriage-broker, for example, has many patter numbers, and Peter Rose is agile and crystal clear, establishing himself as the key character in the story. Hesketh-Harvey gives the chorus some rapid tongue-twisters to cope with: the Covent Garden Chorus does so admirably.
The sparkling mood is set at the start, with Mackerras taking the Overture at headlong speed and the Philharmonia strings respond- ing with perfect clarity and precision, vividly caught in the warm, clear, well-balanced Chandos recording.
The chorus reinforces the mood, and the duet between the heroine MaSenka and her beloved Jeník instantly has you involved in the complicated story.
Susan Gritton is radiant, producing golden tone and rising superbly to the challenge of the poignant numbers when it seems that Jeník has betrayed her. Paul Charles Clarke as her suitor is less successful: the voice becomes strangulated and uneven under pressure though the characterisation is first-rate. Timothy Robinson as the stuttering simpleton Vašek and Robin Leggate as the Circus Master are superb. Peter Rose as Kecal is wonderfully fluent, matched by the excellent Esmeralda of Yvette Bonner, both defying the tradition of having actors in the roles of the circus artists. Strong casting, too, means the two sets of parents make a considerable impact.
Above all, thanks are due to Mackerras for the emotional warmth as well as highlighting the colour and energy of Smetana's masterpiece.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Chandos Opera in English - CHAN3128

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