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CHAN 3118
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CHAN 3118
Great Operatic Arias, Vol. 16 - Sir Thomas Allen

Great Operatic Arias, Vol. 16 - Sir Thomas Allen

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2005

Originally recorded in 2004

Artists:

London Philharmonic Orchestra


David Parry


Thomas Allen

baritone

Venue:

Blackheath Halls, London



Producer:

Brian Couzens



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Michael Common

(Assistant)

Record Label
Opera In English

Genre:

Vocal & Song


Opera in English

Total Time - 71:14
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Great Operatic Arias, Vol. 16 - Sir Thomas Allen

 

CHARLES-FRANCOIS GOUNOD

(1818-1893)
Select Complete Single Disc for
1 

Valentin's Aria from Faust

3:23
  'Even the bravest heart may swell'  
 

GIOACHINO ROSSINI

(1792-1868)
2 

Figaro's Cavatina from The Barber of Seville

4:45
  'I am the barber everyone wants, I am!'  
 

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART

(1756-1791)
3 

Count Almaviva's Recitative and Aria from The Marriage of Figaro

4:42
  '''You've won the case already''' -  
  'Must I be made to suffer'  
 

RICHARD WAGNER

(1813-1883)
4 

Wolfram's Aria from Tannhäuser

4:47
  'With dark foreboding twilight casts her shadows'  
 

PYOTR IL'YICH TCHAIKOVSKY

(1840-1893)
5 

Yeletsky's Aria from The Queen of Spades

4:59
  'You seem unhappy, my beloved'  
 

AMBROISE THOMAS

(1811-1896)
6 

Drinking Song from Hamlet

4:13
  'Oh wine, deliver me from sadness'  
  with Geoffrey Mitchell Choir  
 

GIUSEPPE VERDI

(1813-1901)
7 

Miller's Scena and Aria from Luisa Miller

8:05
  'Stop!' You shall listen' -  
  'Marriage is sacred' -  
  'I was right to be suspicious'  
  with Brindley Sherratt bass  
 

RICHARD WAGNER

8 

Wolfram's Aria from Tannhäuser

4:58
  'Turning my gaze upon this proud assembly'  
 

GEORGES BIZET

(1838-1875)
9 

Zurga's Recitative and Aria from The Pearl Fishers

6:26
  'The storm has died away'  
 

BENJAMIN BRITTEN

(1913-1976)
10 

Billy in the Darbies from Billy Budd

5:36
  'Look! Through the port comes the moonshine astray'  
 

JOHANN STRAUSS II

(1825-1899)
11 

Watch Duet from Die Fledermaus (The Bat)

4:48
  'Though I'm somewhat out of practice'  
  with Janice Watson soprano  
 

FRANZ LEHAR

(1870-1899)
12 

Cavalryman Duet from The Merry Widow

3:32
  'Hello, here's a soldier bold'  
  with Janice Watson soprano  
 

RICHARD RODGERS

(1902-1979)
13 

Billy Bigelow's Soliloquy from Carousel

7:11
  'I wonder what he'll think of me!'  
 

ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD

(1897-1957)
14 

Fritz's Song from Die Tode Stadt (The Dead City)

3:49
  'In visions, illusions'  
  with Geoffrey Mitchell Choir  
Sir Thomas Allen is well on the way to becoming a national treasure! He is a baritone admired and loved in equal measure. He is admired for the beauty of his voice, for the quality of his musicianship and for the insight he brings to everything he does, whether on stage or in the concert hall. And he is loved for his generosity of spirit (not, perhaps, a quality always associated with opera singers), his sunny, down-to-earth nature, his wicked sense of humour and his sheer professionalism. Sir Thomas has sung over forty roles at Covent Garden alone (where he recently celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of his debut) and his legendary artistry in a diverse range of roles is admirably represented on this disc.



In addition to a number of concert dates in London throughout the spring of next year, Sir Thomas Allen will be appearing from 7-18 March in Così Fan Tutte at the Bayerische Staatsoper and in Madam Butterfly and Il Turco in Italia at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in April-June.

A fascinating document of a truly great British artist.

Available at mid-price.


Over a long, happily still growing career Sir Thomas Allen has carved benchmarks on certain operatic roles. Has there been a funnier, more rueful Papageno, a more charmingly fatuous yet dangerous Count in Figaro, a more manipulative Don Alfonso? For many years, the Don Giovanni of the day, world-wide, his Mozart interpretations are legendary, but his repertoire is far broader than just Mozart. One of the most striking things about him is his versatility, which is reflected in this recital disc: he sings everything from Rossini to Richard Rodgers, via Verdi, Wagner and Puccini. That is not to mention Faust, Billy Budd, and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen. As if his unique voice were not enough, central to his success is his skill as an actor, and in whatever he sings he makes the words an essential part of the musical line.
The works on this disc provide a unique showcase of Sir Thomas Allen’s unique gifts. For sheer technical virtuosity, listen to Figaro’s entrance aria from The Barber of Seville – an aria which requires agility, untold reserves of breath control and the ability to project words at high speed – or Count Almaviva’s furious aria from The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart rewrote the second part of the aria for the first performances in Vienna in 1789, a version rarely performed and one that takes the baritone almost into the tenor register. For characterisation, listen to ‘Billy in the Darbies’, from Billy Budd. Few have sung the title role with such insight. From the sublime to the hugely entertaining: Sir Thomas has embraced both high art and light music during his career, giving memorable stage performances of both Strauss’s Eisenstein and Lehár’s Count Danilo. The lighter side of his repertoire is represented by the ‘Watch Duet’ from Die Fledermaus, ‘The Cavalry Duet’ from The Merry Widow, Billy’s ‘Soliloquy’ from Carousel and the seductive ‘In Vision’s, illusions’ from Korngold’s Die tote Stadt.



As always, Allen was a supremely intelligent recitalist, matching sound with sense, probing the meaning of a text without fracturing the vocal line.
The Guardian

Allen had the perfect measure of expressive pace and scale…a most artful balance between the intimate and the rhetorical.
The Times

Put the question ‘what would you choose to describe operatic singing?’ and you would get no doubt a fine list of adjectives, some of them what is called ‘choice’, but it is doubtful whether ‘natural’ would be among them. Play a couple of items from this recital and there is a fair chance that that would be exactly the word which the same people would use if asked to describe the singing there. Natural and sincere: no posing, no rhetoric, and certainly no playing to the gallery.
Gramophone

This anthology of some of Allen’s greatest roles, from Mozart to Richard Rodgers, is real fan-club fodder – and more. The disc, with its accompanying booklet generously packed with photos and enhanced by Rodney Milnes’s elegant and illuminating commentary, bears all the marks of a lovingly engineered ad produced artefact, with commitment and affection ringing out of every track.
Opera

How good to have this anthology of Thomas Allen’s versatility in a wide range of his operatic roles…anyone who cherishes good singing will rejoice in this great baritone’s smooth legato, perfect diction, subtle characterisation and, of course, beautiful and unmistakable voice.
The Sunday telegraph

The Allen baritone is in full, eloquent form, with a ring of mature authority and faultless diction.
Financial Times

The years might be catching up with Allen’s tonal lustre, but his ability to communicate in a wide range of roles remains undimmed. Stylish accompaniments and excellent sound.
BBC Music Magazine

The Baritone is just past 60, but his voice is healthy as ever. He still has the agility for Rossini’s Fgaro, and he sings the Count’s aria (from Mozart’s ‘Figaro’) in a seldom-heard ersion that raises the tessitura almost to the tenor range… Fine sound and accompaniements, and the usual deluxe Chandos package
American Record Guide



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