Rossini: La Cenerentola

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LABELS: Glyndebourne
ALBUM TITLE: Rossini: La Cenerentola
WORKS: La Cenerentola
PERFORMER: Raquela Sheeran, Ruxandra Donose, Umberto hiummo, Alessandro Corbelli, Maxim Mironov; Glyndebourne Chorus; OAE/Vladimir Jurowski


Glyndebourne has always had a special relationship with La Cenerentola. It was Vittorio Gui, their second music director, who rescued Rossini’s comedy from the operatic doldrums in 1952, and since then there have been three new productions of this modest masterpiece. It fits the house like a well-turned ankle in a glass slipper.

La Cenerentola needs a conductor with an instinct for Rossini’s tempos, and while Vladimir Jurowski often takes things too fast in this live recording from 2007, he knows how to make the score sparkle. He ignores the composer’s dramatic pauses, driving the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment through Rossini’s crescendos with nerves of steel.

What La Cenerentola also demands is a cast of singers who have worked their way deep inside the work, and here Glyndebourne fields one of the most satisfying ensembles on record. As Don Magnifico, Alessandro Corbelli is magnificent, quite simply one of the most consistent buffo baritones of the past decade; and Pietro Spagnoli’s Dandini is almost his match. If Maxim Mironov is a prince among princes as Don Ramiro, his Cinderella Ruxandra Donose is everything that Rossini himself might have hoped for: a mezzo with a top extension for whom that final death-defying aria ‘Nacqui all’affano e al pianto’, littered with coloratura, holds no fears.


Christopher Cook