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Album: Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bizet: Carmen (EMI Classical)


Rattle makes full use of the fund of glorious tunes in Carmen, shamelessly indulging showstoppers like the “Habanera”, with Magdalena Kozena’s elegant, lyrical delivery receiving a series of burly responses from a chorus not short on gusto.

Kozena and Jonas Kaufmann are perfectly matched in the lead roles, bringing a persuasive emotional chemistry to Carmen and Don Jose’s doomed affair, rivalling that of Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna in “Parle-moi de ma mère”; but the support of minor roles and choir is exceptional, particularly the enchanting urchins’ chorus provided by the Kinderchor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin.

Download: L’amour est un oiseau rebelle; Parle-moi de ma mère; Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre