OP1984. COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Broadcast Performance, 5 July, 1951, w.Busch Cond. Glyndebourne Festival Ensemble;
Sena Jurinac, Alice Howland, Isa Quensel, Richard Lewis, Marko Rothmüller & Sesto Bruscantini. (Canada) 2–Immortal Performances IPCD 1004. Transfers by Richard Caniell, in association with Brüder Busch Archiv. - 625989627620
“How joyous it is to spend two evenings at Glyndebourne, in the days when the Sussex house attracted the best singers, and when the system established by Fritz Busch and Carl Ebert in the 1930s still operated at full strength. Busch himself is in charge for COSÌ FAN TUTTE, of course, and readers suffering a fit of déja vu after perusing the header will need an explanation. Yes, this is the same performance that came out in 2005, but it is not the same recording. Realizing that producer Richard Caniell was not aware of the existence of a better tape, we put him in touch with the Bruder-Busch-Archiv, and here is the vastly improved result….The entire new production is better than the old.
The overture now comes from Busch's 1940 Stockholm performance rather than his 1935 HMV Glyndebourne recording. Heddle Nash still takes over from Lewis at the end of ‘Un' aura amorosa’ and there are inserts from the 1950 highlights, but everything is conducted by Busch.
The sound is now very listenable, despite clicks and swishes, not to mention snaps, crackles and pops, and this is now my favourite version of my favourite opera....For the ideal melding of metal and warmth, Sena Jurinac is the Fiordiligi who has defined the role for our time. Her two arias, equally testing in different ways, do not find her wanting except perhaps in the very lowest register. While she went on to even greater things, the American mezzo Alice Howland did not: she died aged 84 in 1998 in New York with a relatively modest reputation as a lieder singer, vocal coach and author of THE ART SONG (1960). She sings very well, combines superbly with Jurinac and handles her one aria with aplomb.
Isa Quensel, who sang Despina for Busch in Stockholm, is fully in command of this gift of a soubrette role and even rattles off her recitatives like an Italian. The men could hardly be bettered. Richard Lewis, sometimes a little throaty, as always, is at his most fluently lyrical; and Busch has restored the strong act 2 aria ‘Tradito, schernito’ denied to Nash in 1935. Marko Rothmüller can sound a little nasal and even metallic but I always enjoy his vocalism, and he runs the gamut from the rage of ‘Donne mie’ to the tenderness of ‘Il coro vi dono’. How wonderful to have him in a complete role. As for Bruscantini, the best Alfonso over a span of exactly 40 years, although this is only his second Mozart part and his début role at Glyndebourne, he is already into his stride. He controls the action in masterly fashion and is vocally perfect: the trio ‘Soave il vento’ with Jurinac and Howland is a highlight, as it should be. Some cuts remain - Busch had to consider his audience, many of whom came by train - but with typically high Glyndebourne standards of choral and orchestral performance, this is a set to treasure. Busch had the art of finding tempi which flowed without rushing or expanded without dragging. His sudden death two months later removed the one Mozart conductor who combined the warmth of Walter with the rhythmic acuity of Kleiber.”
- Tully Potter, Classic Record Collector, Winter, 2009
“With her graceful bearing and a voice both rich and penetrating, Sena Jurinac was a star of the first generation of European singers to emerge after World War II. She made her début in Vienna on 1 May, 1945 — in the company’s first performance in a liberated Austria — as Cherubino in Mozart’s NOZZE DI FIGARO, a rôle she sang 129 times there. Though she made her first mark in Vienna, which became her artistic home, her radiant Mozart performances at the Glyndebourne Festival in the 1950s catapulted her to international stardom. She also made lauded appearances at the Salzburg and Bayreuth Festivals, the Royal Opera House in London, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, La Scala in Milan and the San Francisco Opera.”
- Zachary Woolfe, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 26 Nov., 2011
“The Jurinac voice was capable of a gleaming fortissimo, but it also commanded a wide range of shadings of colour and dynamic. The top notes could be floated with an ethereal purity; the middle and lower registers had a very human warmth….The present release is particularly valuable in presenting her as a Lieder singer….Like such great Lieder singers as Rehkemper, Erb, Janssen, Lehmann or Schumann, Jurinac gives us unforgettable musical phrases….We owe her a great deal – and history has already judged her to be one of the immortal sopranos of the twentieth century.”
- Tully Potter