Verdi: Macbeth - Paskalis, Barstow, Erwin, Morris; Pritchard. Glyndebourne, 1972
Listen to a Sample:
I love it when I hear English singers who seem to relish destroying the conventional wisdom that they are all left-brained thin-voiced academics. Josephine Barstow is one such singer. She gives more intensity than seems humanly possible and then unflinching lets out a great high notes. Her vocal production, even here in her prime, can seem a little bizarre but it may be perfect for Lady Macbeth. In addition she brings a commitment to the character. The way she colors even a small line like "Nuovo delitto" will give you shivers. Kostas Paskalis plays her husband. His voice is slightly more beautiful and youthful than some of the other great interpreters of this part. This works well as it lends the character a naiveté (more often than not Macbeth can come off as just dopey.) Newcomer James Morris shows that he is well on his way to stardom. He may not be a true bass but his voice is so mellifluous and beautiful that it is easy to forgive. The sound is excellent.