The staging is fascinating. Vast panelled video screens provide the scenic backdrops. Videos of nature in all its glory are projected onto these. It makes for breathtaking effect, and the good news is that one does not tire of it.
Muti conducts with real assurance. Pacing the drama magnificently, it is on performances like these that the controversial Maestro has made his well-deserved musical reputation. Tell emerges as a masterpiece from first to last. Rossini's compositional confidence in his craft is never once in doubt, and there is no trace of any longueur anywhere… (Musicweb International)
Maria Guleghina impresses strongly. To my mind she is Puccini’s ideal ‘tart with a heart for gold’. She has control and sensitivity and she acts everybody off the stage. She’s coy (but with just a hint of being street-wise) in Act I, outrageously flighty and avaricious in Act II, and, at last, contrite in Act IV. Just watch her as she taunts Geronte di Ravoir (a far too gentlemanly Luigi Roni) in Act II and the way she disports herself on the floor of the stage to seduce Des Grieux back to her charms.
Had he lived into the age of recordings instead of dying in 1915, Scriabin would no doubt have relished the idea of listening to a complete cycle of his own symphonic works. Of course, had he lived into the age of recordings, Scriabin would have added only one other work to his oeuvre – the Mysterium for soloists, choruses, and orchestras along with actors, dancers, perfumers, and light projector operators plus percussionists striking bells suspended from balloons – because, according to the composer, at the conclusion of the work's premiere, the world as we know it would have come to an end with the transfiguration of humanity, thereby foreclosing further opportunities for listening to recordings.
Director Werner Herzog and conductor Riccardo Muti combine with the finest of casts to lavish Rossini’s rarely-performed Neapolitan masterpiece, set in feudal sixteenth century Scotland, with the genius it deserves. June Anderson is an outstanding Elena (the Lady of the Lake) in the 1992 production of the melodrama based on Sir Walter Scott’s poem.
''The slickness of the scene changes, the direction of Werner Herzog, together with Rossini’s music, the solo and choral singing and Muti’s vibrant conducting keep the watcher and listener interested. As Elena, June Anderson keeps a pure vocal line with secure legato, plenty of tonal colour and secure coloratura.'' (MusicWeb International)
For this 2017 CSO-Resound release, Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra present Anton Bruckner's unfinished Symphony No. 9 in D minor in a monumental performance that impresses with its marmoreal weight, poignant lyricism, and brutal volatility. Not widely known for his few Bruckner recordings, Muti nonetheless delivers this symphony with the passion and sensitivity of an experienced Brucknerian, and possibly because he hasn't recorded it before, this live rendition of the Ninth seems like an attempt to make up for lost time. Muti's intensity and the orchestra's ferocious power combine to make a memorable reading that may remind listeners of performances by such greats as Günter Wand, Eugen Jochum, and particularly Carlo Maria Giulini, whose recordings of the Ninth are recognized benchmarks. While Muti only performs the three completed movements, and eschews any attempted reconstructions of the surviving Finale sketches, the performance has a genuine feeling of wholeness, and the Adagio particularly has the grandeur and pathos that make it feel like a convincing ending, albeit one that the composer did not intend.
A rare recording of Pergolesi's second opera, a comic and colourful tale of tangled love in which three girls resist their arranged marriages in pursuit of the same young man. Rediscovered by conductor Riccardo Muti, this forgotten jewel sparkles in its 1989 period production.
Riccardo Muti's 2011 performances of Saverio Mercadante's I due Figaro (The Two Figaros) were the first it had received since 1835, and this Ducale release of the presentation at the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna, Italy, is the world-premiere recording. The story of this comic opera is a sequel to events in the Beaumarchais plays, which inspired Rossini's Barber of Seville and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro; the characters of Figaro, Susanna, Cherubino, and the Count and Countess Almaviva are seen a decade later in another farce of disguises and deception. The music is very much in the animated style of Rossini, with an exotic quality that Mercadante discovered on his visit to Madrid, and the mood of the opera is brightened by the combination of Neapolitan tunefulness and Spanish dance rhythms.
Ever since his brilliant first appearance in Munich with the Requiem, he is still a regular guest at the BR. Riccardo Muti is currently regarded as a mature representative of the great Italian tradition. This CD release therefore has to be seen as a “classically polished gem” – a gem that shines and flashes as beautifully and as brilliantly as ever!
This acclaimed La Scala performance of "Don Giovanni" instantly took its place among the most important Mozart productions. Thomas Allen, hailed as one of the best British baritones ever, gives an engaging and seductive performance as the famous lover. Under the baton of Riccardo Muti, this La Scala production highlights all of the tragic grandeur of this masterpiece without sacrificing its lighthearted moments. Director Giorgio Strehler's staging has been lauded for its subtle psychological treatment of the characters.