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V. Vasan, April 2012

Conductor Michael Hofstetter does a beautiful job bringing out the nuances from the Orchestra of Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele in Il Trovatore. This is evident from the thunderous roll of the timpani at the beginning of the opera, and the careful phrasing throughout the album. Every dynamic is observed, and the result is the high drama crucial to Verdi. The famous “Anvil Chorus” is another example of the orchestra’s power to rouse the listener, as are the dark brass chords in the “Finale ultimo.” The chorus, under the direction of Jan Hoffman, deserves equal praise. Expressive, powerful, and synchronized, it performs some of the most memorable parts of the opera; the nuns’ chorus is evidence of the style and excellent vocal technique of the singers. The cast of leads is well-matched in terms of timbre, and all of them are strong musicians, not just good voices. …this recording is so honest and sensitive that the listener comes away with the feeling of connection to the performance. © 2012 Read complete review

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