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Tim Pfaff
Bay Area Reporter, February 2016

I wouldn’t have thought Franz Welser-Most the ideal Puccini conductor, but from the pit he leads a performance that seethes, and his cast sings its collective heart out. …[Kaufmann] sings the role heroically, with abandon. Stemme’s feisty Minnie melds authority with warmth, personality to burn infusing her voice at its most magnificent. Tomasz Konieczny’s Sherriff Jack Rance strides right between them, eyes flashing, and his singing is, well, arresting, blazing more fearsomely than his gun, as he acts circles around the jittery lovers. © 2016 Bay Area Reporter Read complete review




Eric Myers
Opera News, February 2016

Stig Fogh Andersen’s Leonard, drawn with skill, now commands a timbre more appropriate for Mime than the heroic tenor with which he sang Siegfried internationally. For the nimble, clever Henrik, the fine bass-baritone Johan Reuter musters a fine sound, a tad muscle-bound for the youthful part. …Anne Margrethe Dahl, one of Copenhagen’s veteran leading sopranos, takes on Magdelone with spirit. In the younger roles, Dénise Beck (Leonora) and Ditte Højgaard Andersen (Pernille) give fresh, musical, invested performances. A pleasant discovery awaits many listeners. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review



Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, January 2016

…[Venera Gimadieva’s] musical and dramatic portrayal from Act II is excellent. …American tenor Michael Fabiano looks and acts a perfect Alfredo. While his voice is not the most beautiful around, it is a good strong voice, and he sings with great musicianship and taste. Both Fabiano and Gimadieva produce some exquisite soft singing. The baritone Tassis Christoyannis acts well and has total command of Germont’s music.

The London Philharmonic plays well, as one would expect, and the chorus and minor characters live up to the Glyndebourne tradition of excellence. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Mike Ashman
Gramophone, October 2015

VERDI, G.: Traviata (La) (Glyndebourne, 2014) (NTSC) OA1171D
VERDI, G.: Traviata (La) (Glyndebourne, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7169D

The Russian soprano (Venera Gimadieva) has, and shows skilfully, a grasp of the situations in which the character finds herself that is not only telegraphically clear but most un-prima donna-ish. She is backed up at every stage by Sir Mark Elder’s fresh beating, pacing and balancing of the score.

Gimadieva (whose coloratura is as consistently immaculate as the rest of her performance) is well supported by her fluently voiced…American Alfredo and the smaller roles (especially Molendowska’s there-all-the-time Annina). © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Robert Levine
ClassicsToday.com, August 2015

Young Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva is a real find: attractive and a good actress with an agile voice absolutely even and appealing, of good size and capable of expressing grand emotion. …her pianissimos are lovely, well-judged, and always in tune.

…Mark Elder leads a wonderful, forwardly propelled performance, handsomely played. It’s one of the few performances of this opera I’ve heard in which the rhythmic pulse is not only just right, but in which there is never a mismatch between stage and pit. © 2015 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Richard Landau
Classicalsource.com, August 2015

For this production of Verdi’s La traviata, insightfully directed in the theatre by Tom Cairns, Glyndebourne chose three relatively unknown singers for the main roles—a Russian soprano, an American tenor, and a Greek baritone—and so impressive were they, and so convincing were many other features of the staging, that this quickly became the hot ticket of the 2014 season.

All the many excellences of this production have been very successfully captured on this Opus Arte DVD, not only because the audio is very good—singers and orchestra immediate and finely balanced—but also because it has been has filmed with integrity by François Roussillon, whether it be the opera’s more intimate moments (with many apposite close-ups) or the more-populated scenes.

All in all this is a terrific piece of ensemble work. If you saw this production at Glyndebourne, then this release will be a reminder of an excellent occasion; and if not then it will surely make you wish you had been there. © 2015 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2015

VERDI, G.: Traviata (La) (Glyndebourne, 2014) (NTSC) OA1171D
VERDI, G.: Traviata (La) (Glyndebourne, 2014) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7169D

Moving the time forward to the mid-point of the 20th century, Glyndebourne’s 2014 staging of La Traviata from Tim Cairns is a vivid recreation of Dumas’s tragic story. He has Verdi’s posthumous approval, as the composer wanted the original production to be set in his ‘present day’, though he was overruled and the premiere took place dressed in the previous century so as not to ruffle contemporary society sensibilities. Here we have highly fashionable dresses for the females, and sharply cut suits for the men who are buzzing around the delectable Violetta, mistress to Baron Douphol. Into her life comes the highly personable young Alfredo with whom she elopes to the countryside to live a quiet life with him. Everything is fine until his father catches up with him, Violetta eventually dying—as was fashionable in 19th century opera—from consumption. …the cast do resemble the persona involved, and the singing is very good, with a firm and resolute voice of Tassis Christoyannis, as Alfredo’s father, rather stealing the opera from the two major protagonists. Maybe Gimadieva is rather too predictable and one dimensional for those brought up on Maria Callas’s inspired characterisation, but she is vocally powerful and deals admirable with Verdi’s vocal acrobatics. With a typical Italian tenor voice of yesteryear, Michael Fabiano, is an Alfredo of real quality who really gets worked-up in the third act denunciation scene. Eddie Wade as the Baron is vocally and visually an Italian smoothy, with the remainder of the cast doing all that is necessary. The sets from Hildegarde Bechter just about do enough to suggest the time and place… The chorus are energetic, and the orchestra, conducted by Mark Elder, offer routine support. Technically the filming is excellent, the colours vivid and sharply focussed, with the close-up and distance shots nicely balanced. © 2015 David’s Review Corner



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, August 2015

The young Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva…is in top form, and her beauty is appropriate for the role. Michael Fabiano is a convincing Alfredo. This surely is an impressive account of Verdi’s masterpiece… © 2015 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review





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