Famous Opera Choruses
This could prove a popular record, and I hope it does for it is a good ambassador and will make friends for opera. I suppose, yes, it's a car-radio record, one for doing the washing-up to. But, except for people with particularly lofty principles about excerpts or with a feeling that such things are really rather
The chorus and orchestra are in fine form. Predsion and responsiveness distinguish their work throughout, and the chorus (as recorded here) are further distinguished among their rivals by having no evident wobblers in their ranks. It is also good to hear the Haberdashers' boys sing out boldly in Carmen. As usual, balance favours the orchestra. Huntsmen in Der Freischutz, prisoners in Fidelio, might almost (not quite, perhaps) be singing offstage, and while the orchestra play on the near bank, the chorus-sing from the other side of the Euphrates in Nabucco. Haitink conducts lively sensitive performances, sometimes failing to cap the excitement at the very end. The lovely Pastoral from Andrea Chenier sighs with delicious grace, and in the climax of the Easter Hymn the tempo broadens generously to let the invincible melody have its sway.'