Notes & Reviews:
Armida is one of Rossini's greatest operas. This work contains some of the composer's most original and inimitable music, with unusual combinations of instruments and some beautiful extended solos for cello and violin. Inspiration may have been assisted by Rossini's romantic involvement with the soprano Isabella Colbran, a major star of the time and the first to perform the title role.
William Matteuzzi is superb both as Goffredo and as Carlo, his stainlessly gleaming tone perfectly apt to the bright world of chivalric endeavour; and Bruce Ford, marginally darker voiced, is the perfect complement. The bass plays a smaller part in the action, but Ferruccio Furlanetto is very fine in a role originally written for the great Michele Benedetti, Rossini's first Moses.... (Cecilia Gasdia) is splendidly in command, singing with a degree of accuracy and spirit that almost inevitably eluded her stage rivals. Scimone's aptly named I Solisti Veneti come splendidly into their own. Technically, the recording is excellent: good, clean sound in a pleasantly open acoustic... the set has much to recommend it.
MusicWeb International, August 2012
Gasdia as Armida does not have the most alluring of voices, but she has amazing presence and style...it is [a] pleasure to hear what is a strong voice moving with such facility...She is well served by her three cavaliers, Merritt, Ford and Matteuzzi. Each has quite a distinctive voice and you can distinguish between them, which is necessary in such a tenor-laden piece.
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