Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro - Corena, Söderström, Schwarzkopf, Berganza, Blanc, Cuénod, Harper, Cappuccilli; Giulini. London, 1961
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If the cast in this recording seems familiar to many of you it is because this performance was meant as a dry run for Carlo Mario Giulini's Le Figaro di Figaro. Captured in excellent sound, it is almost, if not more valuable than its studio counterpart as it is able to capture the energy from the stage. Fernando Corena shows that he was capable of toning down the buffo to deliver a human and elegant Figaro. Elisabeth Söderström is an adorable Susanna and her voice fits very well. I was never a great fan of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. To me her interpretation always seemed overly thought out. Listening to this recording, however, it is undeniable how ravishing her voice was in its prime not to mention the incredible control she had over it. Newcomer, Teresa Berganza, overflows with boyish charm as Cherubino. In the smaller roles we are spoiled by the likes of Hugues Cuenod, Heather Harper and Piero Cappuccilli as Basilio, Barbarina, and Antonio respectively. As I previously mentioned the sound is outstanding!