Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Penguin Guide, January 2009

A Night in Venice, in Erich Korngold’s revision, is a superb example of Walter Legge’s Philharmonia production, honeyed and atmospheric. As a sampler, try the jaunty little waltz duet in Act I between Schwarzkopf as the heroine, Annina, and the baritone Erich Kunz as Caramello, normally a tenor role. Nicolai Gedda as the Duke then appropriates the most famous waltz song of all, the Gondola Song, but with a frothy production, purism would be out of place. This Naxos remastering of EMI’s Kingsway Hall recording by Mark Obert-Thorn sounds remarkably good. The Overture is noticeably lacking in range, but the voices are smoothly vivid and the sound overall has the kind of atmospheric warmth one normally associates with stereo, with no central image. The set comes with a cued synopsis. Recommended.

Em Marshall
MusicWeb International, February 2008

"The music is pleasant and ebullient... there are some meltingly tender and beautiful moments... A charming operetta, and excellent cast. Worth a listen".

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2007

After everyone has tried to improve Johann Strauss's operetta, Eine Nacht in Venedig, there is not a great deal of the original 1883 score left. It had not been a rip-roaring success when it was first performed in Berlin, and Strauss hastily made many changes before its Vienna premier. It was a minor success, but when in 1923 it was due for a return to Berlin, Ernst Marischka and Erich Korngold set about wholesale changes modelling it on an Offenbach’s French farce. It has been in that version the work has continued to hold a place on the fringe of the repertoire. Not content, this recording goes further by changing the baritone role of Pappacoda to a tenor, and doing the reverse for the part of Carmello, probably with no better reason than they wished to use the company's star singers. In fact the recording the work seems to be to capture the presence of Elizabeth Schwarzkopf in the leading role of Annina, and with the famous soprano in creamy voice who can resist her. The story surrounds a masked ball, the number of changes of appearance this can bring about creating a highly complex plot, though fortunately everyone seems happy at the close. It is a score with lashings of spoken text, with just sufficient remaining to string together the vocal items. Nice smooth singing from Nicolai Gedda, the Duke at the centre of the intrigues, with the pert Emma Loose as the scheming maid, Ciboletta. Superb playing from the Philharmonia, the 1950's recorded sound perfectly remastered and better than you would expect.

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group