Rossini's final opera is infrequently staged, and it's unlikely anyone will try again soon: why risk comparison with Pappano's magisterial presentation, the latest in a string of triumphs for the maestro?
There's so much to enjoy about William Tell, and Pappano unerringly brings it all out: the story's ingenious entwining of romance and revolution and the great range of choral parts, from Austrian soldiers to Swiss women, huntsmen to shepherds, which more than compensates for the relative infrequency of truly great arias. Malin Byström excels on Mathilde's lonely "Sombre Fôret", while Gerald Finley captures Tell's nobility perfectly in "Sois Immobile". Superb.
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