Mike Parr

Janacek Katya Kabanova Mackerras Decca 4218522

Janáček: Káťa Kabanová (Decca)

An incandescent central performance heads an excellent ensemble cast under Mackerras’ renowned leadership [MP]

Rossini italiana 4758275

Rossini: L’italiana in Algeri (Decca)

A pleasing but hardly essential recording of Rossini’s opera, noteworthy for being the first recorded in stereo [MP]

britten albert herring decca

Britten: Albert Herring (Decca)

A touchstone recording which is hard to beat for its general excellence and superbly detailed sound [MP]

Gloire immortelle! Grandes oeuvres patriotiques (Château de Versailles)

A pleasant romp through the realm of French patriotic music and beyond [MP]

Ponchielli: La Gioconda (Decca)

Perhaps not the finest La Gioconda recording but a deeply satisfying one nonetheless [MP]

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Strauss: Die Ägyptische Helena (Decca)

Not ideal in every respect, this recording is a fine achievement nonetheless [MP]

Verdi Macbeth Schippers Decca 4834118

Verdi: Macbeth (Decca)

A recording of power and presence, but with some really disfiguring cuts to the music [MP]

Richard Strauss Wagner Daniel Behle Prospero PROSP0072

Daniel Behle (tenor) R Strauss & Wagner (Prospero)

An important album. One which may surprise those who admire this tenor’s Mozart recordings [MP]

bizet carmen warner

Bizet: Carmen (Warner Classics)

The most authentically French recording of Carmen from the stereo era [MP]

Donizetti: La fille du régiment (Decca)

Sign me up for this regiment: this recording is as good as it gets [MP]

Lise Davidsen (soprano): Christmas From Norway (Decca)

Be sure this makes it under your next Christmas tree [MP]

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A Choral Christmas (Decca)

Beautiful sounds in big-boned arrangements which are best sample piecemeal rather than all at once [MP]

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Gershwin: Porgy and Bess (Decca)

This remains a powerful experience 49 years after its initial release [MP]

Verdi: I Lombardi alla prima crociata (BR Klassik)

An exciting, red-blooded performance, captured live in the clearest sound of any available version [MP]

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Rossini: Semiramide (Decca)

A feast of stylish bel canto singing for the two stars but the rest of the cast can only struggle though [MP]

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Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur (Sony Classical)

A near total success that still wins the day among available recordings [MP]

Massenet: Thaïs (Chandos)

Massenet’s opera is superbly rejuvenated in a recording which sweeps the field of all other versions [MP]

rimsky-korsakov christmas eve naxos

Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve (Naxos)

A dazzling achievement all around [MP]

Gilles: Messe des Morts (Château de Versailles)

Pleasant music in good but not exceptional performances [MP]

Reger: Requiem; Mahler: Orchestral songs (Capriccio)

A movingly immersive experience [MP]

Humperdinck Konigskinder Naxos2110759

Humperdinck: Königskinder (Naxos)

Impressive and likely to remain unchallenged for a very long time [MP]

Kozena Folksongs Pentatone PTC5187075

Magdalena Kožená – Folk Songs (Pentatone)

A real Winner! [MP]

Atterberg: Aladin (cpo)

An interesting operatic curiosity featuring lush writing for the orchestra and chorus [MP]

Puccini manon PACO205

Puccini: Manon Lescaut (Pristine Audio)

A jewel of a recording, splendidly remastered by Pristine [MP]