Puccini: Tosca

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COMPOSERS: Puccini
LABELS: Discover
WORKS: Tosca
PERFORMER: Miriam Gauci, Giacomo Aragall, Vicente Sardinero, Estefano PalatchiCoral Carmina, Coral Polifonica de Puig Reig, Coral Infantil Escola Pia Balmes, Barcelona SO/Alexander Rahbari
CATALOGUE NO: DICD 920360/1
Why label this disc ‘Tosca in Barcelona’? Well, it was recorded there with local choruses and orchestra, and both Giacomo Aragall and Vicente Sardinero are natives of the city. At this stage of his career, Aragall’s attractive tenor voice finds the role of Cavaradossi something of an effort, though he phrases ‘E lucevan le stelle’ sensitively in Act III. Sardinero is a plausible enough Scarpia, but it is left to the Maltese soprano Miriam Gauci to inject real dramatic life into the proceedings, especially in her Act II scene with Scarpia. (After killing Scarpia, she sings ‘E avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma’ instead of declaiming it hammily as too many Toscas do.) This adequately conducted but somewhat routine performance is unlikely to become anyone’s favourite. Charles Osborne

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