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 Search Beat > The Music Beat > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart > Opera Recommendations


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  Mozart: Don Giovanni / Gardiner, Gilfry, Orgonasova, et al
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
Performer: Julian Clarkson, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, et al.
Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir
Uni/Archiv - #45870 / July 18, 1995

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Of the 3 Da Ponte operas, Don Giovanni is Gardiner's most successful recording. Hi fiery conducting is both stylish and exciting, not unlike the magnificent Carlo Maria Giulini. His cast is admirable, I certainly prefer a high baritone than a deep bass as Don Giovanni. Let's not forget that Mozart wrote the role for the 21 year old Luigi Bassi, sure labeled a bass, but later in life he became a tenor, so most certainly he was what we now call a baritone. Rodney Gilfry is suave and sexy in the title role, and he contrasts nicely with the Leporello and especially with the Commendatore. The Donna Anna takes the vocal honours of the recording, the great slovak soprano Luba Orgonasova is nothing short of sensational, worthy of the greatest Donna Annas ever recorded. Charlotte Margiono is no less exciting and even more moving, this Donna Elvira is madly in love with the rascal. The Zerlina is more annonymous and could have been improved. It was wise to choose an Italian as Leporello, as young as Don Giovanni, but vocally well diferentiated. The Commendatore is sonorous and commanding. The period orchestra is beyond praise. If you want a digital recording of the greatest of all operas, deffinitely choose this one. If you already own the classic Giulini set, still this great recording is certainly worth owning.

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro / Kleiber, Siepi, et al
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Erich Kleiber
Performer: Fernando Corena, Suzanne Danco, et al.
Ensemble: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus
Uni/Decca - #466369 / August 10, 1999

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Erich Kleiber's 1955 Vienna Figaro marked the first complete recording of what is arguably Mozart's greatest opera. What a performance! Cesare Siepi and Alfred Poell bring Figaro and the Count, respectively, to life, and play off each other, as do the female principals. Hilde Gueden's sweet and straightforward Susanna stands out, along with Fernando Corena's deliciously idiomatic Bartolo (his is still the best Act I Vengeance aria on disc). Kleiber's well-drilled Viennese musicians are an...Read more


Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Jacobs, Gens, Concerto Koln, et al [+ Bonus CD-ROM]
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Ren Jacobs
Performer: Marcel Boone, Bernarda Fink, et al.
Ensemble: Cologne Chamber Choir, Concerto Cologne
Harmonia Mundi (Fra) - #951663 / March 9, 1999

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Too long considered an erotic trifle, this masterpiece of psychological insight is on a par with Shakespeare's bittersweet comedies. The keen, witty direction of René Jacobs brings us a magnificently bracing, but never fussy, period-instrument interpretation. And the bonus CD-ROM allows you to explore the context and character of Mozart's opera in fascinating detail. --Thomas May Read more


  Mozart: Cos fan tutte / Bhm, Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, et al
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Karl Bhm
Performer: Walter Berry, Alfredo Kraus, et al.
Ensemble: Philharmonia Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra
Emd/Emi Classics - #67379 / August 15, 2000

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Cosi fan tutte is a cinderella amongst Mozart's operatic masterpieces. Composed in 1789, it satirizes the frailty of the female sex. It is of little wonder that the plot is severly condemned by the Victorian morality of the 19th century and the opera was destined to gather dust for several decades at least until the mid 1930s, when Fritz Busch gave it a long-dued revival at the Glyndebourne Festival. Since then it has gradually regained its popularity and is now recognised as one of Mozart's finest creations. In this opera, Mozart achieved a really unique suppleness and snority in his orchestration. His use of the woodwinds is a special delight and the music emerges with a wide tonal spectrum coupled with unusual sensitivity, subtlety and sensuosness. The vocal writing encompasses a great variety of colours, shades, pathos and feelings. In short, this is Mozart at his most imaginative. Read more


Mozart: Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute - Prima Voce Series) / Beecham, Strienz et al
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Performer: Irma Beilke, Erna Berger, et al.
Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerhard Husch
Nimbus - #7827 / October 22, 1991

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Thomas Beecham's Magic Flute is among the most famous opera recordings ever made. It has been available for more than 60 years, most recently on CD transfers from EMI, Pearl, and Nimbus. The last of these, first issued in 1991, appeared in a luxurious box set with complete libretto (including the spoken dialogue, omitted on the recording itself); the current release is identical except that it is in a slim package with a plot summary but no libretto. The reasons for the longevity of this...Read more



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Shopping and Product Search for
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Music
Shop for Classical Music
Ballet Opera Symphony Sacred Early
Music
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