, June 2013
This new recording, with Ulf Schirmer conducting the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks and an accomplished cast composed primarily of opera singers, is a mostly very good demonstration of how well the piece can work when approached this way.
Baritone Gregg Baker is elegant and darkly opulent as Anthony; he sounds wonderful…Canadian tenor Pascal Charbonneau…is a marvelously vibrant, clarion-voiced Tobias. Australian tenor Adrian Dwyer as Beadle Bamford is right on the money in “Ladies in Their Sensitivities,” with a winning combination of vocal bloom in his very solid top range and obsequiousness in his characterization. The powerful Trinidadian tenor Ronald Samm, who sings with gleaming tone and ruddy baritonal colorings, is a suitably entertaining Pirelli…
…Rebecca Bottone as Johanna gives a remarkably rich and appealing rendition of “Green Finch and Linnet Bird”…Diana DiMarzio, the Beggar Woman…does impressive, instantaneous transitions between vulgar and soulful, and she widens her vibrato to great effect as the character’s insanity increases over the course of the show.
The Münchner Rundfunkorchester—conducted with sweep, vigor and loving care by Schirmer—plays a major role in the success of this recording; it’s glorious to hear Jonathan Tunick’s landmark orchestrations with a full orchestra, and numerous sequences are downright thrilling because of it. The chorus, too, is in fine shape, and the German accents seem to enhance the drama of the ensemble passages. © 2013 Opera News Read complete review