Mozart: Così fan tutte - Stich-Randall, Ganzarolli, Berganza, Sciutti; Maag. Buenos Aries, 1967
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An ensemble piece at heart, Così fan tutte works best not with one spectacular performance but with six. Such is the case here. Peter Maag's heavy tempi are the only deterrent to the full enjoyment of this beautifully-cast Così. Teresa Stich-Randall, in one of her best roles, handles the leaps and hurdles of Per pietà” with aplomb, and Teresa Berganza is fiery, vigorous and all-together charming as her sister. Graziella Sciutti, heard at the tail end of a long career, is starting to sound a little mature for an ingenue, which lends her Despina a certain world-weary charm. The men are no less well cast - Wladimiro Ganzarolli's big, buff sound and specificity of tone make him an ideal Guglielmo, Renzo Castellato is an effortlessly lyrical Ferrando, and Sesto Bruscantini is luxury casting as a cynical, jocular Alfonso. The sound is excellent and the recorded audience clearly enjoyed themselves as much as I did.