Puccini: Tosca

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Tosca
PERFORMER: Jane Eaglen, Dennis O’Neill, Gregory Yurisich; Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra/David Parry
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 3000 (2) Reissue (1995)
Though commercial recordings have been made of Tosca in French, German and even Russian, this was the first to be sung in English. All the performers articulate Edmund Tracey’s translation well, even Eaglen, whose diction in other languages is often weak. O’Neill’s Cavaradossi has a hint of a beat in the voice – a sign of a voice past its best – but apart from the question of maturity his sense of Puccinian style is a considerable bonus. Yurisich’s Scarpia is a properly nasty piece of work, delivered with plenty of dramatic detail. All the smaller parts are strongly taken, with Andrew Shore’s Sacristan a perfect cameo and Peter Rose’s Angelotti firm and trenchant. With the score’s dark and vivid colours marvellously conveyed by the Philharmonia, conductor David Parry presents a reading balancing lyrical and dramatic elements with absolute assurance. George Hall