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Opera In English - Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel / Mackerras

Simply unmissable for any fans of this opera, Anglophone or not, Mackerras balances the songful and the sinister with absolute sureness. There is not a weak link in the cast, with Rebecca Evans in particular showing how her voice has bloomed in recent years. Jane Henschel is a frighteningly credible witch: she could be your smiling next-door neighbour.
-- Gramophone

This new Opera-in-English set of Engelbert Humperdinck's wonderful Hansel and Gretel goes straight to the top of the list of recorded performances, along with the Schwarzkopf/Karajan. Charles Mackerras leads a most beautiful reading, fully aware of Humperdinck's debt to and love for Wagner but with a warmth that makes the glorious orchestrations and easy, lovely, folksy melodies flow naturally and gracefully. This is not to say that there isn't excitement--the "Witch's Ride" is thrillingly lumpy and aggressive. Mackerras offers a terrific piece of storytelling in music, and the big burst when the Witch is pushed into the oven is a fine cataclysm, handsomely captured by Chandos' engineers.

This set is a pleasure--the ideal Hansel in English, and perhaps in any language.


1. Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck
Performer: Robert Hayward (Baritone), Rosalind Plowright (Mezzo Soprano), Sarah Tynan (Soprano),
Diana Montague (Mezzo Soprano), Sarah Coppen (Voice), Jane Henschel (Mezzo Soprano),
Jennifer Larmore (Mezzo Soprano), Rebecca Evans (Soprano)
Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra, New London Children's Choir
Venue: Blackheath Halls, London,
Length: 101 Minutes 8 Secs.
Language: English

Brand New 2Cd/Booklet in slipcase (Slipcase a little worn hence huge discount from NZ retail of $55.00 )
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