Terrific, Live Cenerentola from Glyndebourne

Review by: Robert Levine

Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 8

This 2007 performance, recorded live at Glyndebourne, is up there with the best available: the one starring Jennifer Larmore on Warner, the old Decca set with Teresa Berganza, etc. It has no casting weaknesses. Vladimir Jurowski leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a very non-HIP performance; of course the instruments are period, but there’s vibrato when needed and Rossini’s magnificent score never sounds thin. His tempos are quick—whose aren’t in this music?—but his cast is so good that no notes are dropped. I seem to recall that this production, by Peter Hall, was a problem: it brought out the dark side of the story, with the sisters and Don Magnifico truly villainous and nasty toward poor Cenerentola. The only evidence we can hear of such attitude is that Magnifico, spectacularly sung here by Alessandro Corbelli (at one time, and on CDs, a great Dandini), spits out his text, seemingly singing either to or about Cenerentola with teeth clenched. But now that we know that, we can forget it.

Ruxandra Donose has just the right size and texture mezzo for the part; she sings gently and with a nice melancholy to her tone when needed. Her coloratura is fluent and utterly unaspirated, her delivery has a warmth and intimacy that tells us much about the character. Maxim Mironov is a bright-toned, agile Ramiro with no fear of the wicked coloratura or high notes Rossini has written for him—indeed, the high-Cs don’t seem to be quite enough for him and he interpolates a couple of Ds as well. Pietro Spagnoli’s Dandini is a rollicking joy, in the Sesto Bruscantini mold, and Umberto Chummo is a sincere Alidoro. Despite stage noises and the occasional singer losing balance with the rest of the cast, the sound is excellent. If you don’t own a Cenerentola, why not this one?



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This one; Larmore (Warner)


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