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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, July 2015

…here, thanks to a much leaner orchestra, appropriately fast tempos, and cast members that throws themselves into the fray with both feet, we have a Guillaume Tell that is truly interesting and compelling.

Both [Foster-Williams] and Howarth are exceptionally musical and expressive singers…they give you full value dramatically without sacrificing a good legato or proper phrasing.

…Fogliani reins in the slackness of this opera and imposes structure and continuity on the music. Rossini, who tended to favor fast tempos in all of his operas anyway, would probably approve. I almost feel that Fogliani should be given some kind of award for giving us a Guillaume Tell that excites as much as it pleases the intellect. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Richard Osborne
Gramophone, June 2015

This 2013 ‘Rossini in Wildbad’ production of Guillaume Tell is probably as fine an achievement as any in the festival’s 25-year history.

…Foster-Williams marries an appropriately sympathetic theatrical presence with vocal production that is both focused and refined.

…Antonino Fogliani’s conducting is very fine. Each act is astutely paced and shaped, as indeed is the entire opera. The intrinsically peaceful gathering of the cantons at the end of the great second act is finely handled, not least by Poznań’s Camerata Bach Choir, whose choral work is first-rate throughout. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Didier Van Moere
Diapason, May 2015

An excellent surprise, captured on the spot at the Rossini in Wildbad festival. © 2015 Diapason




Robert Hugill
Planet Hugill, April 2015

…the essence of [the Guillaume] role is the recitative, and it is here that Andrew Foster-Williams impresses with his beautiful flexible line and highly believable impact.

Throughout the orchestra is in strong form too, ably guided by Antonino Fogliani and we have to bear in mind that the length of the piece is as much as marathon for them.

Thanks to the version used, this will be essential listening for anyone who is interested in this fascinating opera, but more than that it is a finely engrossing account of the opera in its own right. © 2015 Planet Hugill Read complete review



Infodad.com, April 2015

Conductor Antonino Fogliani holds things together from start to finish and keeps the work moving at a deliberate, carefully chosen pace that allows the material to unfold naturally without seeming rushed or held back. …this is an important release, allowing opera lovers to hear for the first time just what all the fuss was about when Rossini presented his sprawling, intense, sometimes overdone, highly patriotic final opera… © 2015 Infodad.com Read complete review



Simon Thompson
MusicWeb International, April 2015

…this is a performance that lives and breathes the air of the opera house. [Antonio Fogliani]…manages the whole thing with great skill and enervated pacing, clearly feeding off the energy of a live audience.

The singers range from good to very good… Andrew Foster-Williams is a very good Tell. Michael Spyres is perfectly fine as Arnold…

Even better…are the chorus, who have a lot to do and make the most of it. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, March 2015

With singers of the calibre of Andrew Foster-Williams, Michael Spyres, and Judith Howarth performing as they do on this recording, Rossini would almost certainly have been delighted by this traversal of Guillaume Tell… © 2015 Voix des Arts Read complete review




Andrew Clements
The Guardian, March 2015

…there’s some stylish, lively conducting from Antonino Fogliani, who certainly galvanises the orchestra and chorus. © 2015 The Guardian Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2015

As extended as any of Wagner’s epic operas, Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has remained in the public’s mind only by virtue of its immensely popular overture. Why in the last five years it has suddenly reappeared in so many of the world’s opera houses has been something of a surprise. The problem for audiences is knowing which of the many versions they are about to see, one performance I recently attended lasting little over three hours, whereas this ‘First Recording of the Complete Opera’ extends to well over four hours. Maybe that banner headline is misleading and should have read  ‘The First Recording of the Original Composition’, as Rossini was more than happy to truncate that score before and after its first performance, and it would have been at that point he would have considered it ‘complete’. He then even condoned—with some persuasion—that others should bring it down to a length that was more commercially viable. From the outset he had worked with a sprawling libretto intended to make clear the importance of Tell’s role in the liberation of the Swiss people from a tyrannical Austrian rule. At the same time he had to combine a subsidiary love story. Musically it emerged as a potent score with powerful arias for the main protagonists, and a major role for the chorus, though I am not quite sure how the inclusion of the original version of the Tyrolien chorus, as an addendum, squares-up to the ‘complete opera’ concept. The role of Tell is so taxing as to require the full and impressive vocal stamina of the British baritone, Andrew Foster-Williams. He also has the requisite heroic quality, while the soprano, Judith Howarth, also from the UK, has a fulsome voice for the other major part of Mathilde, the two becoming the performance’s major attributes. Certainly Rossini was unkind to the principal tenor in the role of Arnold, the American, Michael Spyres, at times hard pressed when so often taken into the outer stratospheres. The Camerata Bach Choir from Poznan forms the large and very virile chorus, and the orchestra, no doubt tailored to the size of the venue in Bad Wildbad, play with much enthusiasm for conductor, Antonino Fogliani. Historically this is a very important recording… © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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