Eloquence is proud to release one of the hidden gems of the Decca catalogue – the 1963 recording of nearly an hour of highlights from Verdi’s Falstaff conducted by Sir Edward Downes with a model cast of soloists, including Fernando Corena as the knight and Regina Resnik in one of her signature roles, Alice Ford. What makes the recording even more remarkable is the quality of the Decca sound – certainly one of the most vibrant, thrilling and impactful examples of analogue audio engineering. The reissue is filled out with rare recordings of Rossini and Donizetti bass arias made by Fernando Corena in 1950 and 1952. They require all of Corena’s sense of character and vocal dexterity, and he delivers admirably.
“Corena is an admirable Falstaff, vocally and dramatically, and he misses little or nothing of Verdi’s superb musical characterization of the part. Capecchi is equally good as Ford […] Lydia Marimpietri is a sweet-voiced Nannetta: she makes a beautifully-managed ascent to the final high A of her song. I greatly admired Regina Resnik’s unctuous low notes in her scene with Falstaff [and] Ilva Ligabue’s lovely singing as Alice made me long to hear more of her. […] Edward Downes gets spirited playing out of the New Symphony Orchestra and one feels that everyone enjoyed themselves at the recording sessions.” Gramophone