Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Justine Nguyen
Limelight, January 2020

Forgotten Dane gets an Italian job with a Viennese orchestra.

This CD captures those Bregenz performances and shows it to be a work worthy of the fuss. The vocal writing is very fine, with music for the chorus engaging and formally intriguing.

Paolo Carignani and the Wiener Symphoniker make a good case for it, as do the strong cast headed by tenor Pavel Černoch in the title role. He’s eloquent, mercurial and impassioned, matched in conviction by Iulia Maria Dan’s vivid Ophelia. Dshamilja Kaiser brings warmth and gravitas to Gertrude, while Claudio Sgura is suitably devious as the King. © 2020 Limelight Read complete review

Mike Parr
MusicWeb International, October 2019

The excellent Prague Philharmonic Chorus does some really impressive work. The Wiener Symphoniker play their music crisply, with style and accomplishment. Conductor Paolo Carignani brings exactly the right sense of verve and drama to the score, providing the best argument possible for reviving this opera. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, September 2019

Franco Faccio’s Hamlet is a most convincing setting of this subject matter, and if the opera was long ignored, the production of the Bregenz Festival is highly valuable. Conductor Paolo Carigniani, the soloists, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic Choir perform with great commitment. In such a successful performance this opera proves a strong enrichment of the repertoire © 2019 Pizzicato

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2019

For an opera fanatic, like myself, to discover an opera I did know even existed was a revelation until I read the booklet’s sad history with this world premiere recording.

Yet, at least, I should have recognised his name as one of the duo of librettists responsible for Verdi’s Otello—the other being the famous Arrigo Boito—and it was to Boito that Franco Faccio turned for a libretto based on Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. That Boito found problems in fashioning a satisfactory scenario, were, on his own admission, a problem. Still, it was eventually completed and set to music by Faccio, then a twenty-five year old composer, and first performed in 1865 in Genoa, making its long-overdue premiere at Milan’s La Scala in 1871. The dreadful fiasco that surrounded that evening is detailed in the booklet with this world premiere recording, and it sank the opera without trace until its third performance in 2014, followed by this one at the Breganz Festival in 2016. For Faccio, in his short life, he became a hugely successful opera conductor. So what do we have in Amleto? A score fashioned in the style of Verdi, with plenty of influence from Otello, and an occasional look back to the music of Donizetti. For the part of Amleto you need a tenor with an imposing voice, somewhat different to the character of Hamlet we see in Shakespeare’s play. Born in Brno, and now a familiar in Italian opera houses, Pavel Carnoch has a fulsome voice, and it is he, vocally, who carries this performance, the many faces of Amleto overtaking a character who becomes close to a latter-day Otello. The part of the King is given to a baritone, here admirably taken by Claudio Sgura, with the rounded bass voice of Eduard Tsanga as his advisor, Polonius. Female presence is limited, and Faccio does erroneously see the young maiden, Ophelia—here taken here by Romanian soprano, Iulia Maria Dan—as much akin to Desdemona in Otello. Bring them all together with the Prague Philharmonic Choir, and we have a thrilling conclusion to Act 2 which Verdi would have been exceedingly proud. Dshamilja Kaiser, as Queen Gertrude, at last has a part of the opera in the second act that gives full vent to her big and dramatic voice when confronted by her son, accusing her in the conspiracy of killing his father. The Vienna Symphony, conducted by Paolo Carignani, play as if their lives depended on it, and I hope that lurking somewhere there will be a video of the excellent staging. First of all make absolutely sure you do not miss this superbly recorded performance, it is nothing short of a revelation. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, July 2019

…Pavel Černoch, our intrepid Melancholy Dane, he has a generally fine voice without too much flutter and a generally good timbre, somewhat similar to one of the most underrated tenors of the 1960s, Robert Ilosfalvy (now there’s a name from the past for you!) and he, too, sings with commitment and drama. Dshamilja Kaiser, as Gertrude, also has a somewhat fluttery Eastern European voice, but her tone is more solid from top to bottom and her high notes are not overparted. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group