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See latest reviews of other albums..., November 2016

This 3-CD box set features a performance recorded live at the 2009 Rossini in Wildbad Festival by the Brno Classica Chamber Choir and Virtuoso Brunensis, briskly conducted by the vastly experienced Alberto Zedda, who made his debut in 1956. …With its outstanding dramatic and musical qualities La Gazza Ladra remains one of Rossini’s greatest and most successful operas, a constant presence in the repertoire since its triumphant 1817 première in Milan. © 2016 Read complete review

James Forrest
Fanfare, November 2015

I doubt there will be much controversy over Rossini’s La gazza ladra as conducted by Alberto Zedda and sung by a nearly flawless cast in Naxos’s new release (co-partnered with SWR). © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

James Forrest
Fanfare, November 2015

To my taste, the new Naxos release is unequalled and not likely to be, much less surpassed. …Much of the listening pleasure comes from the splendid engineering, an excellent microphone balance for these live performances seamlessly joined into one by skillful digital editing. …Bravo! © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, November 2015

The orchestra and chorus perform well under Rossini expert Alberto Zedda. This is generally a fine recording. …There is a good synopsis with helpful references to the numbered tracks, as well as an essay and good bios of the singers. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Richard Osborne
Gramophone, October 2015

In this Wildbad performance [Zedda] is very much master of his craft, conducting with a mixture of guile and élan that calls to mind the Rossini conducting of Vittorio Gui. The Czech-based Virtuosi Brunensis…play like born-and-bred Rossinians, endlessly responsive to detail and to those instrumental colours which Zedda’s love of the music makes manifest.

…an important addition to the Rossini discography which should stand La gazza ladra in good stead for some years to come. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Robert Levine, September 2015

Maria José Moreno’s voice has a bit of an edge, but this somehow adds to Ninetta’s predicament, and she sounds suitably young. Lorenzo Regazzo’s Podesta even sounds bullying in his patter song and almost pops through the speakers with character. Tenor Kenneth Tarver executes Giannetto’s florid, high music with aplomb and fine tone, making this character stronger than usual. Bruno Pratico wins the heart as Fernando, and Mariana Rewerski, in the trouser role of Pippo, is both mellifluous and colorful. Stefan Cifolelli’s Isaaco is sung for drama and not laughs, and Lucia, a suspicious, judgmental matriarch, is brought to life by Luisa Islam-Ali-Zade’s mezzo. The rest of the cast is fine. © 2015 Read complete review

Christiana Prerio
Classica, September 2015

As in his previous Rossini recordings, Zedda, who established the critical edition of the work, demonstrates precision and dynamism. All in all, this current version of La gazza ladra is as much recommended for the quality of artists as for the theatrical vision of the conductor. © 2015 Classica

Didier Van Moere
Diapason, September 2015

Here is Rossini’s orchestra, fruity and sparkling, but in line with the gravity of the subject, particularly in the final part as required…Another beautiful Bad Wildbad production, faithfully captured by Naxos. © 2015 Diapason

Janos Gardonyi
The WholeNote, September 2015

From the ominous rattle of the kettle drums of the famous Overture, conducted with a delightful lilt by the 84-year-old Rossini authority, Alberto Zedda, he makes the whole opera throb with life in beautifully pointed rhythms, skilful pacing, breathtaking suspense (in the Trial scene) and exhilaration in the finale when the silver spoon is finally found at the top of the belfry in the magpie’s nest. © 2015 The WholeNote Read complete review

Robert Hugill
Planet Hugill, July 2015

The Spanish soprano María José Moreno as Ninetta makes a delightfully girlish heroine and she manages the complex vocal line with ease… She has a highly characterful voice with a slight edge to it which gives Ninetta a sense of spirit, and which María José Moreno uses with intelligence.

Alberto Zedda in the pit is entirely tireless, and gets a lively and attractive performance from Classical Chamber Choir, Brno and Virtuosi Brunensis. He makes everything zip along nicely, and everyone brings a nice sparkle and sense of verve to the score.

The real sense of theatricality, and a strong ensemble cast make this a highly desirable set… © 2015 Planet Hugill Read complete review

Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, May 2015

With a recording of the quality of this Naxos set, skillfully engineered…to render the ‘live’ circumstances of the recording sessions utterly unobtrusive, making the opera’s case with the public, the future of La gazza ladra suddenly seems far more propitious, too.

This recording is distinguished by a cast with no weak links…

…a recording of La gazza ladra that can be enjoyed without reservation. © 2015 Voix des Arts Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2015

Gioachino Rossini was at the crossroads that marked his move from comedy to dramatic opera, this true story changed so that the girl accused of theft is freed. It was, of course, the magpie who was found to be the thief, her exoneration not achieved until the story goes through many twists and turns in a quite lengthy score. Rossini’s two previous works for Milan’s La Scala had drawn mixed receptions, a fact that persuaded him to offer the audience virtuoso coloratura arias for the soprano (Ninetta), and some thrilling high passages for the tenor in the role of her lover (Giannetto). The bad man is, as usual, given to a sonorous bass (Gottardo). They are surrounded by a large cast that has not endeared the score to opera companies, performances nowadays more rare than frequent. So the work lives on in our memory by virtue of the frequent appearance of the sparkling overture in concert programmes, and here, conducted by the octogenarian, Alberto Zedda, it emerges as a sparkling glass of champagne. The silvery voice of María José Moreno as Ninetta sounds more at home in moments of happiness than in drama, her voice performing all the acrobatics called for with consummate skill. I admire Kenneth Tarver’s fortitude as he takes on those high flying moments; Giulio Mastrototaro is excellent as his father, Fabrizio, while Bruno Praticò makes the most of the ‘cardboard cutout’ character of Fernando, Ninetta’s father who causes all of her troubles. There is a very attractive contribution from the alto, Mariana Rewerski as Pippo, particularly in the second act duet with Ninetta, and the minor characters are reliably sung. The chorus from Brno are obviously enjoying their role, while the orchestra, also created in Brno, is a cut above most European provincial opera houses. Recorded in 2009 at the Rossini Festival at Bad Wildbad, it has applause interruptions, but is well balanced on stage and between orchestra and singers. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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