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Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, December 2016

The recording is excellent with the chorus and orchestra fully up to their task and Antonio Fogliani leading an idiomatic and well-paced account. The soloists are not quite in the class of the Abbado line-up but several are very good. Marianna Pizzolato and Maxim Mironov as Marchesa Melibea and Il Conte di Libenskof are really classy singers and their duet near the end of the opera (CD 3 tr. 2-3) is a real high-spot. The other tenor, Bogdan Mihai as Il Cavalier Belfiore, is also excellent and both Bruno Praticò (Il Barone di Trombonok) and Bruno De Simone (Don Profondo) are expressive basses though not always so sonorous. This is, however, very much an ensemble opera and together these singers make this a very attractive evening for home-listening in the armchair. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Roger Pines
Opera News, December 2016

Top vocal honors go to the leggero tenors, Maxim Mironov (Count Libenskof, a Russian general) and Bogdan Mihai (Cavalier Belfiore, a French officer), thanks to their dulcet timbres, exceptional flexibility and instinctive, enchantingly graceful phrasing. Mihai also shows a lovely musical rapport with mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato (a Pole, Marquise Melibea). Hers isn’t quite the unforgettably distinctive timbre one remembers from the late Lucia Valentini-Terrani (Claudio Abbado’s choice for this role at Pesaro), but Pizzolato’s florid singing—especially in the banquet-scene polacca—is impressively dexterous.

Antonino Fogliani draws a spirited, stylistically astute performance from his players, and the concluding ensemble ends the opera on a note of notable exhilaration. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review




Robert Farr
MusicWeb International, December 2016

Recorded live during the 26th Bad Wildbad Festival this performance fizzes with vitality. © 2016 MusicWeb International



new-classics.co.uk, November 2016

With a cast of ten principal and eight smaller roles, this sparkling work is heard complete on this 3-CD box set for the first time… Spiritedly conducted by Antonino Fogliani… © 2016 new-classics.co.uk Read complete review



Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, November 2016

…I was impressed by the soprano Alessandra Marianelli and the tenor Bogdan Mihai. Bruno De Simone shows himself to be a master of Rossini’s fast-talking patter songs. Best of all are the excellent tenor Maxim Mironov and the gorgeous-voiced contralto Marianna Pizzolato, both as good as any singers in this repertoire today. I only wish they had more to sing.

The conductor Antonino Fogliani leads all with authority, proving that this opera is indeed a great celebration of Rossini’s ability to produce endless and inventive melody. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, November 2016

Whilst I greatly enjoy the DG recording and its all-star cast, I was pleasantly surprised at how much enjoyment I had in playing this Bad Wildbad version. Taken from live performances, there are intrusions of applause, but these are not excessive whilst the overall recording quality has clarity with only rare loss of vocal focus. It is invidious to pick out individuals in what is a first class team effort. However, I was pleased to realise that when Ewa Podles eventually hangs up her vocal chords the Italian contralto fach will be blessed by the presence of Marianna Pizzolato. Likewise, not all will be lost when tenors Juan Diego Florez and Michael Spyres move on. The light and flexible-voiced tenors included here are idiomatic and pleasant and easy on the ear without strain or reediness of tone. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Stephen Hastings
Opera, October 2016

Some of the voices are a pleasure to hear, especially Marianna Pizzolato’s contralto (polished and insinuating in Melibea’s second act duet with Libenskof) and Sofia Mchedlishvili’s Contessa di Folleville, a sometimes breathtaking performance featuring a fine trill and full-bodied interpolations above top C. And one appreciates the handsome-toned Don Prudenzio from Baurzhan Anderzhanov, the elegant legato of Maxim Mironov’s Libenskof and the distilled musicality of Laura Giordano’s Corinna… © 2016 Opera




Manuel Ribeiro
Pizzicato, September 2016

This complete recording of Rossini’s ‘Il viaggio a Reims’ is entirely convincing: the ensemble is brilliant, as are the choir and the orchestra, energetically led by Antonino Fogliani. © 2016 Pizzicato



Richard Osborne
Gramophone, August 2016

Wildbad’s Antonino Fogliani leads a staging that doesn’t hang fire for a moment. The piano-accompanied recitatives are vividly delivered; the performance has a vividness and theatrical ‘carry’ that confirm that Il viaggio is indeed ‘a feast’. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2016

For Rossini, his opera, Il viaggio a Reims, had a shelf-life of just four performances having by then served its purpose of honouring the coronation of Charles the Fifth. Its quasi serious purpose was wrapped around the frothy fun of a scene at the inn where those who had travelled from far and wide to enjoy the festivities found themselves without onward transport to Rheims. So they decide to create their own celebration for the coronation of the new French King, each providing a musical tribute fashioned in their various nationalities. For Rossini, there may well have been a very different hidden agenda, for he was to use a substantial quantity of the music three years later in one of his greatest successes, Le Comte Ory. So it was that Il viaggio was thought to be dead and buried only to resurface in the Library of the Conservatory Santa Cecilia in Rome in the mid-1970’s followed by further discoveries in Paris and Vienna. Added together to form a new performing edition, it was presented in 1984 at the Auditorium Pedrotti in Pesaro. Even then, it seemed an unlikely candidate for the interest it has subsequently received, including a star-studded recording conducted by Claudio Abbado in 1985. Now along comes a version taken from performances staged at Bad Wildbad in 2014 that, so we are told, corrected details in Abbado’s version so as to form the ‘First Recording of the Complete Opera’. It would have been good fun to have assembled a cast from the countries each character is supposed to represent, but in the event we have singers largely drawn from Eastern Europe and Italy, headed by the three sopranos, Alessandra Marianelli, Sofia Mchedlishvili and Laura Giordano, all of whom are called upon to perform some thrilling vocal acrobatics, the work’s second Recitative and Aria giving Mchedlishvili are brilliant display piece. The two tenors, Bogdan Mihai and Maxim Mironov, are reliable, the audience applause being reserved for the much-travelled bass, Bruno De Simone, in his long aria as the Scholar. For sheer stamina through this long opera, the soloists cannot be faulted. The Virtuosi Brunensis provide an enthusiastic backdrop for the conductor, Antonino Fogliani, while the South West German Radio offer an unfussy recording that has given the singers preference over the orchestra. All good fun to be enjoyed as such, the audience applause within the opera having to be retained, but the tepid applause at the end should have been omitted. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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