Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro - Taddei, Schwarzkopf, Prey, Sciutti, Malagù, Rouleau; Guilini. Holland, 1961
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The cast of this Le Nozze di Figaro pretty much says all that need be said about this recording. Giuseppe Taddei is instantly likeable in the title role. He is joined by the winsome Susanna of Graziella Sciutti. At first it seemed a little incongruous hearing Hermann Prey as the count as he is such a memorable Figaro. The good news is that the tessitura of the count seems to sit in a better spot for his voice than Figaro which is more of a bass-baritone part and he is able to use the natural elegance of his voice to good effect. So many baritones bark through the count as if they were singing Klingsor, forgetting that this was the same person who managed to sweep Rosina off her feet in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf may have been a little past her prime but she is still quite effective as the countess. Prior to this recording I had only known Stefania Malagù in character parts. I have to say that she is a little disappointing as Cherubino. The sound is excellent.