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Rediscovered and reconstructed, Act I of Liszt’s opera Sardanapalo receives an outstanding performance from the Weimar Staatskapelle and Nationaltheater Opera Chorus under Kirill Karabits. Any fears that Liszt might not have been at home in the genre are dissipated, for the work, reconstructed by musicologist David Trippett, is lush and Romantic to a fault, with long-spun melodies, an innate sense of dramatic thrust and some thrilling choral work. Much fun can be had trying to discern musical influences, and it is obvious that Liszt had one foot in the bel canto tradition and another in a more forward-looking German school; but he does forge his own voice, and it is a shame that we only have Act I. But we should be grateful that we do. Joyce El-Khoury brings her fascinating soprano to bear upon the role of Mirra, arching some spacious phrases with intensity. Airam Hernández brings warmth to the tenor title role, and Oleksandr Pushniak’s bass- baritone provides thunder as Beleso.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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