OP0845. COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Broadcast Performance, 5 July, 1951, w.Busch Cond. Glyndebourne Festival Ensemble;
Sena Jurinac, Alice Howland, Isa Quesnel, Richard Lewis, Marko Rothmüller & Sesto Bruscantini. (England) 2-Guild 2303/04. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 795754230420
"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 dal perfido cor' denied to Nash in 1935. Marko Rothmuller 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 debut 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 role 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
"During a career that lasted 45 years, the Italian bass-baritone Sesto Bruscantini acquired an enormous repertory that was notable for the range, musical and dramatic, of the roles that he sang, as well as for their number.
Bruscantini first sang at La Scala in 1949, as Don Geronimo in Cimarosa's IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO, a role that would remain in his repertory for many years. In 1950 he sang Selim in Rossini's IL TURCO IN ITALIA in Rome, with a stellar cast including Maria Callas, Cesare Valletti and Mariano Stabile. The following year he returned to La Scala for Dr Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'ELISIR D'AMORE, another role he would still be singing some 40 years later. He also sang Masetto in DON GIOVANNI. Nineteen fifty-one was the 50th anniversary of Verdi's death, and Bruscantini sang Baron Kelbar in UN GIORNO DI REGNO for Radio Italiana.
In the summer of 1954 he sang Rossini's Figaro in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at Glyndebourne, and with the company in Edinburgh took on Raimbaud in Rossini's LE COMTE ORY. Meanwhile he was appearing in Genoa, Venice, Naples, Rome, Bologna and Lisbon. At Glyndebourne in 1955 he sang both Mozart's and Rossini's Figaro, demonstrating his ability to bring a character to vibrant life. He felt that the mainspring of Rossini's Figaro was money and that of Mozart's was love; a third Figaro, in Paisiello's IL BARBIERE, which was also in his repertory, was the only one motivated, like the Beaumarchais original, by revolutionary politics. Bruscantini gained another baritone role in Malatesta in DON PASQUALE at Genoa in 1958, but early the following year reverted to Pasquale at La Scala.
In 1959 he appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Virtuosi di Roma in three 18th-century comic operas, as Uberto in Pergolesi's LA SERVA PADRONA, as Don Bucefalo in Fioravanti's LE CANTATRICI VILLANE and in the title role of IL MAESTRO DI CAPPELLA by Cimarosa, a one-man show that peopled the stage with imaginary characters and always brought the house down.
Nineteen-sixty was a milestone in Bruscantini's career. In February and March he sang the four baritone villains in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN and Marcello in LA BOHEME at the San Carlo, Naples. Then at Glyndebourne in the summer he took on his first Verdi baritone role, Ford in FALSTAFF. He repeated Ford at Edinburgh and in Turin, then in November he made his US debut in Chicago as Rossini's Figaro.
In 1962 he sang his first Posa in Verdi's DON CARLOS at Trieste. Other high baritone roles followed, and in 1965 another new Verdi role, Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, at Florence. This was followed by Giorgio Germont in LA TRAVIATA at Genoa in 1966. The elder Germont was perhaps Bruscantini's finest baritone characterisation. He sang it in Madrid, Chicago, Palermo and Parma, during the 1960s, and at Marseilles in 1971, with Renata Scotto as Violetta. The depth of feeling he brought to the role was unique in my experience, and he evoked enormous sympathy for a personage who is often taken to be unsympathetic.
He continued to sing throughout the 1980s, appearing at Salzburg three years running as Don Alfonso in COSI FAN TUTTE. At Houston he took on Dr Bartolo in IL BARBIERE. He returned to Glyndebourne in 1985 as Don Magnifico. In 1986 he sang Iago (never one of his best roles) at Dallas in an emergency and obtained a new Rossini role at Bordeaux, Asdrubale in LA PIETRA DEL PARAGONE. In 1988 he sang Don Alfonso in Los Angeles, the four villains in Madrid. In 1989 he sang Michonnet in Rome. In 1990, also in Rome, he sang a new role, the Magistrate in WERTHER, and sang a final Don Alfonso in Macerata. He was 70. After retiring from the opera stage, he started a school of singing in Civitanova."
- Elizabeth Forbes, THE INDEPENDENT, 11 May, 2003