[ Pentatone SACD / 2 Hybrid SACD ]
Release Date: Friday 23 June 2023
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Maestro Marek Janowski, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte - Carlo and the Transylvania State Philharmonic Choir present Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (1859), together with a stellar cast consisting of Freddie De Tommaso (Riccardo), Lester Lynch (Renato) and Saioa Hernández (Amelia). Un ballo in maschera is Verdi's tragicomic masterpiece, in which the composer skilfully switches gears between the light and tragic, as well as between his earlier and more mature style. As such, it is both an entertaining and highly sophisticated work.
The three main soloists are all seasoned Verdi interpreters, while Janowski approaches this ingenuous score with his eye for symphonic architecture, resulting in a performance that is lively a nd balanced. Marek Janowski is one of the most celebrated conductors of our time, and has a vast Pentatone discography, mostly consisting of German operas and symphonic works. After Cavalleria rusticana and Il Tabarro (both 2020), this is his third Itali an opera recording for the label. Lester Lynch also has a longstanding relationship to Pentatone, and starred in many opera recordings, including Otello (2017), Cavalleria rusticana and Il Tabarro (both 2020), as well as La Fanciulla del West, Madama Butte rfly (both 2021), and La Traviata (2022). The Transylvania State Philharmonic Choir has featured on several opera recordings, while the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte - Carlo appeared on Arabella Steinbacher's Fantasies, Rhapsodies & Daydreams (2016). Fre ddie De Tommaso and Saioa Hernández make their Pentatone debut.
"De Tommaso turns out to be the real deal, singing with a confidence and ease that seem astonishing for a singer who was only 28 at the time of the recording, His is a real *spinto* tenor: bright yet intensely masculine...There are no weak links in the rest of the cast either." BBC Music Opera Choice (5 Stars) Sept 2023
"Janowski pulls out all the stops in the big concerted numbers, but he is alive to the gentler moments as well...De Tommaso has already sung the part of Riccardo on stage and this is a marvellously well-developed performance." Gramophone