[ Opera Rara / 4 CD Box Set ]
Release Date: Friday 5 October 2018
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A complete studio recording of Rossini's last and one of his greatest Italian operas, Opera Rara's Semiramide, starring Albina Shagimuratova and Daniela Barcellona, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, includes all of the passages traditionally cut in modern revivals and makes this dramatic masterpiece speak in a new way to today's opera audience.
GRAMOPHONE AWARD NOMINATION 2019 TOP THREE - Opera
"The lavishly gifted Russian coloratura Albina Shagimuratova, she of the shining high E, and Daniela Barcellona, our finest contemporary Arsace, are both superb…This is an intensely theatrical performance, yet there is no rush in the larger shaping of the piece…And what a difference the old instruments make." Gramophone Magazine Recording Of The Month Awards Issue 2018
"Elder's inspired choice of the OAE brings bracing textures and nimble fingerwork to the composer's most ambitious score...Albina Shagimuratova is an appealing and formidable antiheroine, Mirco Palazzi blusters villainously as Assur and Barry Banks's strenuous Idreno offers ringing high notes. The Opera Rara Chorus excels." Sunday Times
"This piece requires serious commitment...It's worth parcelling it out to really appreciate the quality of the dazzling singing from a classy cast that also includes Mirco Palazzi, Barry Banks and David Butt Philip. And there is wonderfully crisp and alert playing from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment." The Observer
"This new recording...reveals Elder's approach to Semiramide to be one of translucence and buoyancy, with clear textures and a refreshing respect for Rossini's inventive orchestration, which exhibits far more than mere support for his soloists. Shagimuratova reveals a bright and mettlesome soprano, undaunted by the role's demands, and firmly outlines Semiramide's emotional decline and fall." Classical Music Five Stars
"Semiramide has more than its share of grandness, and in the trumpet-crowned procession as the Queen of Babylon prepares to announce her choice of king you can't help but hear a pre-echo of Verdi's *Aida*, still nearly 50 years in the future. Elder always has an ear for the lightness in such episodes, and they sound hearty but never bombastic. The Opera Rara Chorus sings some tough music thrillingly well" BBC Music Awards Finalist 2019