ROSSINI Il viaggio a Reims Abbado 4777435
. . . [in "Il viaggio a Reims" there are two harp-accompanied improvisations] and each is magically sung on the present recording by Cecilia Gasdia . . . Gasdia's presence in the performance is symptomatic of the talent, new or established, which Abbado and DG have been able to attract to the enterprise. The array is stunning . . . The Contessa is sung by Lella Cuberli, Karajan's nominated Norma, and the piece, as she sings it, is a tour de force . . . Samuel Ramey, one of the finest Rossini singers of our day, does full justice to Sidney's big aria. . . Nothing is grander, funnier, or sonically more glorious than the "Gran Pezzo Concertato a 14 Voci" . . . performances have been recorded with great vividness by DG . . . In every way this production seems wonderfully "live" . . . The wind playing is exemplary and the strings of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe wonderfully catch that peculiarly Rossinian sound, fire and ice at the same time. Rhythmically, Abbado is exceptionally brilliant; it is a very alert performance, passionate and precise . . . The set is a triumph of scholarship, musicianship and managerial enterprise. At the price, it is irresistible.
. . . [Rossini:] ses pages de bel canto les plus folles. Abbado et sa formidable troupe leur donnent [une vie trépidante] . . .