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Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, November 2012

…a consistent delight, especially in this delicious performance, with two of our best young Mozartians—Miah Persson and Topi Lehtipuu—as Anne and Tom. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review



Charles H Parsons
American Record Guide, May 2012

It’s even better than the earlier performance! Lehtipuu is strikingly handsome and sympathetic as the doomed Tom Rakewell. His voice is liquid gold, his acting detailed. Rose is a sneeringly ferocious Nick Shadow, rotund of voice. The wild wailing of Baba the Turk finds a comfortable interpreter in Manistina. Persson is a delicate young flower as Anne, singing with sweet simplicity and power. Gorton and Bayley are rock solid and right on as Mother Goose and Father Trulove. Jurowski brings out the finest of details with a calm, cool neo-classical touch. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online



William R. Braun
Opera News, May 2012

STRAVINSKY, I.: Rake’s Progress (The) (Glyndebourne, 2010) (NTSC) OA1062D
STRAVINSKY, I.: Rake’s Progress (The) (Glyndebourne, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7094D

When artist David Hockney (in his first designs for the opera stage) and director John Cox mounted a production of The Rake’s Progress for Glyndebourne, in 1975, the result was one of the most famous creations in the history of the art form. Hockney and Cox returned to the company for this 2010 revival, which has been astutely filmed by François Roussillon, and even for the home viewer, the wit, inventiveness and beauty of the production remain intact. 

Hockney’s Rake designs were seen in other houses, but they were not always so attentively lit as they are in this performance.

The longest principal role is taken by harpsichordist Helen Collyer, who plays with real wit and character. She is given pride of place in this review, because nowhere on the packaging or in the twenty-page booklet can her name be found. As Tom, Topi Lehtipuu gives an unusual reading of his role.

Miah Persson’s Anne also has a transformation. In her aria, she sings incisively, with clarity and bright tones, her choppy music completely under control. By the final scene, shocked at Tom’s irretrievable madness, she is singing with beauty and great reserves of breath. Matthew Rose must be one of the youngest Shadows in history. He and Cox clearly are interested in the “progress” part of the opera’s title, with Shadow continually monitoring everything Tom does. Cox gives Shadow a little gesture at the end of each scene, reminding us that he pulls the strings. 

As a whole, the production does great honor to the spirit of Stravinsky’s masterpiece. This includes the conducting of Vladimir Jurowski, whose orchestral contribution is light and fleet… © 2012 Opera News Read complete review




Jeffrey Kauffman
Blu-ray.com, April 2012

In 1975, director John Cox enlisted designer David Hockney to go back to…original Hogarth depictions to derive yet more inspiration for a new production of The Rake’s Progress, and the result was one of the most acclaimed collaborations in modern operatic history. Hockney reinvented the Hogarth illustrations as living, breathing cartoons…

The two real scene stealers here…are Matthew Rose, giving a lugubriously menacing performance as Nick Shaeow, and Elena Manistana, who simply takes over the opera as Baba the Turk. Hockney pulls out all the stops, with one virtuoso element after another…so that there is visual splendor galore to entrance the eye as much as Stravinsky’s bi-temporal music enchants the ear.

Bringing the Hogarth series alive was a brilliant tour de force on the part of Cox and Hockney, and this presentation of The Rake’s Progress has become justifiably famous as the benchmark by which all subsequent productions of the opera have been judged.

The Rake’s Progress is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Opus Arte…The wonder here is not that there’s occasional moiré and aliasing, but that there is so amazingly little of it, considering the incredible cross-hatched, close-cropped patterns that are on display in virtually every moment of this production. Hockney’s backgrounds are full of cross-hatched lines and parallel lines, as are his costumes, and it’s rather astonishing that these elements present few if any problems in resolving correctly, and instead remain steadfast, stable and brilliantly sharp and clear. This is overall a brilliantly sharp and clear presentation with gorgeously saturated colors and often impeccable fine detail, detail which helps bring out every nuance of Hockney’s astounding production design.

This is one of Stravinsky’s most colorful…scores, and both…lossless tracks present the full panoply of Stravinsky’s elegant orchestration in full sonic splendor, with superb fidelity and some nicely varied dynamic range. Balance between the London Philharmonic Orchestra…and the principal cast is excellent for the most part, and the ensemble singing of The Glyndebourne Chorus is likewise crisp and clear.

The 2009 Blu-ray release of a reimagined The Rake’s Progress was a brilliant…placeholder for lovers of this classic Stravinsky opus, but true aficionados were probably hoping all along for a high definition release of what has become the most iconic presentation of the piece for the last thirty five years or so. Now those ardent wishes have been answered, and the really good news here is the excellence extends far beyond the smart direction of John Cox and the brilliant production design of David Hockney. The cast here is by and large perfectly cast, and the singing is generally marvelous. The London Philharmonic is more than capably directed by Vladimir Jurowski, and the entire production simply bristles with energy and wit. Even those who don’t care one whit for opera…may well want to check out this incredible presentation. With amazingly solid video…and great audio, and with some good…supplements, this release easily comes Highly recommended. © 2012 Blu-ray.com Read complete review



Lawrence Schenbeck
PS Tracks, April 2012

Here comes The Rake’s Progress…Stravinsky’s last large-scale foray into Neoclassicism, and Glyndebourne has delivered it…unrivalled in the way they echo the mordant humor and moralizing in the music and libretto (from W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman). To add to the fun, soprano Miah Persson and tenor Topi Lehtipuu, two of the standout stars of the Glyndebourne Cosí, have returned as an ideal Anne Trulove and Tom Rakewell.

…the aria’s structure and its radiant melodic quality…recall earlier musical eras, the astringent wind writing that opens the scene, and the motoric rhythms of the cabaletta, belong very much to mid-century Stravinsky.

Miah Persson’s vocal acting alone would give us a potent characterization of Anne as a compassionate woman pushing back against the world’s malevolence and indifference. But the sight of her Anne, momentarily stymied, then strengthened by her decision, nails the scene. © 2012 PS Tracks Read complete review



Charles T. Downey
The Classical Review, April 2012

STRAVINSKY, I.: Rake’s Progress (The) (Glyndebourne, 2010) (NTSC) OA1062D
STRAVINSKY, I.: Rake’s Progress (The) (Glyndebourne, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7094D

this performance boasts excellent singing from the three leads. Miah Persson is a lovely, Swedish-blond Anne Trulove, with angelic high notes and sure intonation to handle the dissonances.

Persson is matched by an equally naive, charming performance from the Australian-born Finnish tenor Topi Lehtipuu. Lehtipuu gets all of Tom’s wide-eyed innocence, vocally and physically, and is matched by the snarling, snide Shadow of Matthew Rose.

Vladimir Jurowski gives a fierce edge of precision and bite in the way he leads the players of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the pit. © 2012 The Classical Review Read complete review




Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, February 2012

The performances in this production are terrific. All principals in this fairly small cast are great but special kudos go to the young Finnish tenor, Topi Lehtipuu, as a nearly idiomatic Tom Rakewell and to Matthew Rose as the slimy and convincing Nick Shadow. The forces of the London Philharmonic (downsized) and the Glyndebourne Chorus play wonderfully under the young Russian and LPO music director Vladimir Jurowski. Juroswki’s conducting is captivating unto itself with an angularity but crisp clarity that befit this music perfectly.

The production by renowned artist David Hockney is another reason to check out this production. This is a wholly different view than that work but equally amazing in my view. © 2012 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




Lawrence Devoe
Blu-rayDefinition.com, January 2012

the resounding success of this performance must have resulted from serious rehearsal time and artistic guidance. In terms of 20th century opera, Stravinsky’s decision to go retro makes The Rake’s Progress much more accessible than some of the modern fare to which operagoers are frequently exposed. The cast chemistry is outstanding and maestro Jurowski keeps a knowing finger on the musical pulse. David Hockney’s sets and John Cox’s direction have held up well despite their respective age.

…the current Blu-ray is an endless delight that will go along way to getting this under-rated opera in many homes. © 2012 Blu-RayDefinition.com Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, January 2012

STRAVINSKY, I.: Rake’s Progress (The) (Glyndebourne, 2010) (NTSC) OA1062D
STRAVINSKY, I.: Rake’s Progress (The) (Glyndebourne, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7094D

Glyndebourne…is a brilliant success, a spectacular performance with stunning sets and lighting…it is a visual knock-out, with effective surround sound. This is a terrific recording in every way. © 2012 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review






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