Friday, September 10, 2010

Haydn - Le pescatrici - Geczy, Lithuanian Opera



"This is the only recording I know of Le pescatrici. Although Hungaroton doesn’t say so on the outside of the package, this is a reissue of a recording once available on the Drive label. A note at the bottom of page 23 reads, “Recorded in 1993 at the Lithuanian Haydn-Schubert Festival.” The apparently all-Lithuanian Franz Joseph Haydnsingers are thorough professionals with pleasing voices, although the tenors push hard. There is very little ornamentation here, and no one is comfortable with the limited coloratura. Nevertheless, the sopranos and contralto are excellent, especially Tumuliauskaité; Lesbina’s “Che vi par?” takes her beyond high C, where she continues to produce full, lustrous tone. The orchestra is a large, modern one; it does sound a bit old fashioned these days, but it is consistently tuned, and everyone plays well, from the sweet strings to the solid horns and trumpets. The performance does not have a particularly Haydn aura, but it has a strong ensemble feel, so credit conductor Géczy. The recorded sound is satisfactory; solo voices are bright and clear, chorus and orchestra less so. While I would welcome a fine period-practice recording of Le pescatrici, this eminently musical one rates a strong recommendation." -- James H. North



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