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Opera Now, April 2020

Iurii Samoilov and Martin Mitterrutzner make an elegantly-sung Danilo and Camille… Kateryna Kaspar’s Vaencienne takes the honours. © 2020 Opera Now

Elliot Fisch
American Record Guide, January 2020

This 2018 performance from Frankfurt Opera is a good presentation of Lehar’s most famous score. The singing by all the leads is very good and idiomatic, if somewhat tame. This is complete with dialog…

This new performance works quite nicely. Oehms includes an interesting essay about the status of operetta in Europe and performer biographies… © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

James Miller
Fanfare, January 2020

…The cast is certainly bigger than the sum of its parts and delivers a lively, well-sung and -acted performance which brings the characters to life. The conductor, Joana Mallwitz, moves things along smartly…The orchestra’s contribution is clearly recorded—in fact, I think the balance is nearly ideal… even superior to many studio recordings. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review

Opera Now, December 2019

The cast sing with delicious smoothness© 2019 Opera Now

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2019

The two leads, German soprano Marlis Petersen and Ukrainian baritone Iurii Samoilov, are well matched vocally. Petersen is a coloratura soprano whose natural territory is Handel and Donizetti; hers is a vocal type usually associated with the second and lighter role of Valencienne. Petersen presents no difficulty having a strong presence, however, and it’s lovely to hear how easily she handles the “Vilja-Lied” and various passing ornamentation.

Women have many breakthroughs to make on the podium, and Joana Mallwitz makes one here as the first woman conductor to record The Merry Widow. She is Music Director in Nuremburg and acquits herself beautifully in a buoyant, sparkling reading of the score. Chorus and orchestra perform equally well. The real high point, however, is the waltz scene, where Samoilov is the perfect romantic lead and Petersen melts at his touch… © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Richard Bratby
Gramophone, September 2019

…this is a perfectly enjoyable account, possibly closer in spirit to the piece’s light-footed, popular theatre roots than the more sumptuous classic recordings. It certainly conveys the atmosphere of a live performance, complete with audience laughter, applause, onstage thuds, a recessed and sometimes splashy chorus and some of the most raucous grisettes I’ve heard on disc. © 2019 Gramophone

Christopher Webber
Opera, September 2019

…the music’s the thing: it has been 12 years since we had a brand-new Lustige Witwe on CD, and this beguiling ball deserves the warmest welcome. © 2019 Opera, August 2019

Iurii Samoilov as Danilo and Marlis Petersen as Hanna are vocally well-matched and handle their arias with skill. Barnaby Rea makes a suitably blustery Baron Mirko Zeta, while Kateryna Kasper is a tender Valencienne and Martin Mitterrutzner a reasonably effective Camille

Joana Mallwitz is a conductor to watch, and hear, in this repertoire: from the first bars of Die lustige Witwe, she leads the production with heady, headlong pacing and superb attention to orchestral detail, bringing out the richness of Lehár’s scoring to a greater extent than most conductors do. © 2019 Read complete review

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, August 2019

Joana Mallwitz is a conductor who wants things to move—no dragging here. But is she too hot-tempered? She is decisively not. But she is very flexible and excels in heavy rubatos, giving the soloists opportunities to mould phrases in a personal way.

The two sopranos, Marlis Petersen (Hanna Glawari) and Kateryna Kasper (Valencienne) are superb. A couple of times I thought that maybe they should have changed roles.

This newcomer doesn’t make the already existing recordings redundant, but it joins them on the Parnassus of operetta. Lovers of Die lustige Witwewill find a lot to admire here—in particular the singing of Danilo and the two ladies. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Lark Reviews, July 2019

Iurii Samoilov and Marlis Petersen are ideally paired as Danilo and Hanna, while there is smouldering intensity from Kateryna Kasper and Martin Mitterrutzner as Valencienne and Camille. Smaller parts are all cast from strength and there is a constant sense of a live performance without it ever hindering the quality of the music. A gem! © 2019 Lark Reviews Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2019

If it weren’t for the conducting of Joana Mallwitz this production would not have any chance facing the great recordings from the past. Yet, under Mallwitz’s conducting, the Frankfurter Opern-und Museumsorchester becomes so incredibly agile and plays so spontaneously, with such a refinement and a richness of lovingly elaborated details that one has probably never heard the orchestral part like this. The singers all sing at a high level, and the leading roles in particular are very well cast. The sound recording is a bit dull and could have been more transparent. © 2019 Pizzicato

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