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Lehar: The Merry Widow - Studer, Terfel, Skohvus, Gardiner, Vienna Philharmonic

Lehar: The Merry Widow - Studer, Terfel, Skohvus, Gardiner, Vienna Philharmonic

$ 12.99

Cast: Cheryl Studer (Hanna Glawari), Barbara Bonney (Valencienne), Bryn Terfel (Baron Mirko Zeta), Boje Skovhus (Danilo Danilowitsch), Rainer Trost (Camille de Rosillon), Heinz Zednik (Njegus), This is a truly great operetta interpretation. Gardiner's approach is on an altogether more inspired plane than his rivals. In the Viennese rhythms, he shows himself utterly at home – as in the Act 2 Dance scene, where he eases the orchestra irresistibly into the famous waltz. But there are also countless instances where Gardiner provides a deliciously fresh inflexion to the score. The cast of singers is uniformly impressive. If Cheryl Studer's 'Vilja' isn't quite as assured as some others, her captivatingly playful 'Dummer, dummer Reitersmann' is typical of a well-characterised performance. As Danilo, Boje Skovhus acquits himself well with a polished performance and he offers a natural, more human characterisation than his rivals, while Barbara Bonney is superb. Not the least inspired piece of casting comes with Bryn Terfel, who transforms himself outstandingly well into the bluff Pontevedran ambassador. As for Gardiner's personally selected chorus, they make Monteverdi to Montenegro and Pontevedra seem the most natural transition in the world. DG's recorded sound has an astonishing clarity and immediacy, as in the way the piccolos shriek out at the Widow's Act 1 entrance or in the beautiful pianissimo accompaniment to the 'Vilja-Lied'.” - Gramophone