ROSSINI Barbiere di Siviglia / Marriner 4782497

Francisco Araiza's Almaviva is graceful, Agnes Baltsa's Rosina conscientious and Thomas Allen's Figaro ebullient.

His performances of music of the Classical period . . . were characterized by [vitality and energy] . . . Decca has mined the Argo catalogue . . . and produced a superb survey of Marriner's work with the Academy during this important period . . . splendid accounts of string works . . . plus serenades by Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Dvorák and (charm bursting from every bar) Dag Wirén . . . [to opera] he brought the same style and vitality to these dramatic creations as he did to orchestral repertoire; it's no surprise that one of the world's great concerto partners should also be a master "in the pit". His debut operatic recording -- Rossini's "Il barbiere di Siviglia" -- sparkles from start to finish and conjures up the atmosphere of the theatre remarkably . . . [not surprisingly] "Il turco in Italia" followed -- to comparable acclaim.