GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Opera and Vocal => Topic started by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 01:17:55 AM

Title: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 01:17:55 AM
I am ready to buy some of Mozart operas, if possible authentic performances.
I selected these two from Kuijken licensed by Brilliant. It seems the right thing for me to start.
Anyone know these recordings?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2007, 02:03:13 AM
I have the second one, in a different cover. It's a live recording but the only things you'll hear from the audience are the applauses. As for the performance itself, I like it, but I'm not an opera expert so you should have more opinions. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 02:12:52 AM
Found this one too.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 02:14:04 AM
I have the second one, in a different cover. It's a live recording but the only things you'll hear from the audience are the applauses. As for the performance itself, I like it, but I'm not an opera expert so you should have more opinions. :)

Andrei, are the applauses, at the end, or after every solo?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2007, 02:15:26 AM
Andrei, are the applauses, at the end, or after every solo?

At the end of every act only. I believe it's the most well-behaved audience ever recorded. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 02:17:26 AM
At the end of every act only. I believe it's the most well-behaved audience ever recorded. :)

Okay that's good, but I would love to hear your comments regarding, the opera you have! "Cosi Fan Tutte"
Especially the Female parts of course.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2007, 02:39:06 AM
Okay that's good, but I would love to hear your comments regarding, the opera you have! "Cosi Fan Tutte"
Especially the Female parts of course.


As I sad, I'm no expert. Moreover, I have no problem with female voices, nor with vibrato, so my positive opinion is not going to help you much.

Still, I would say that it's a "chamber opera" version. The orchestra is thin and light and I suspect the venue is a small one. The overall effect is that of a bubbly and spicy opera buffa. An interesting rendition, albeit not a spectacular one.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 02:42:06 AM
As I sad, I'm no expert. Moreover, I have no problem with female voices, nor with vibrato, so my positive opinion is not going to help you much.

Still, I would say that it's a "chamber opera" version. The orchestra is thin and light and I suspect the venue is a small one. The overall effect is that of a bubbly and spicy opera buffa. An interesting rendition, albeit not a spectacular one.

Looks like my cup of tea then, small scale, bubbly, spicy, hmmmm, not spectacular.
Do you remember the amount of vibrato, geez just give me the essentials about the voices Andre, don't let me pull it out your noise, ( Dutch saying) ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2007, 02:43:45 AM
Looks like my cup of tea then, small scale, bubbly, spicy, hmmmm, not spectacular.
Do you remember the amount of vibrato, geez just give me the essentials about the voices Andre, don't let me pull it out your noise, ( Dutch saying) ;D ;D ;D

Look, I'll sample it tonight and give you an answer tomorrow, ok? I don't remember off head right now.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 02:47:48 AM
Found this.
Don't be irritated Andrei, I mean well.


Le nozze di Figaro, 'The Marriage of Figaro',K492.
Christiane Oelze sop Susanna ; Patrizia Biccire sop Countess Almaviva ; Béatrice Cramoix sop Marcellina ; Marie Kuijken sop Barbarina ; Monica Groop mez Cherubino ; Yves Saelens ten Don Basilio ; Philip Defrancq ten Don Curzio ; Huub Claessens bar Count Almaviva ; Werner Van Mechelen bass Figaro ; Harry van der Kamp bass Bartolo ; Jean-Guy Devienne bass Antonio

Namur Chamber Choir; (La) Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken


Accent CD     ACC98133/5D (176 minutes : DDD)

Live performance
 

 

 Reviewed: Gramophone 8/1999, Alan Blyth
 
 
 I can do no better than quote Stravinsky’s rhetorical question (made, in his case, on hearing a new piece of music): ‘Do we need it?’ With the catalogue already brimming over with recommendable versions of Mozart’s masterpiece, an addition to the ranks must have something special to justify its issue. Neither in terms of conducting nor singing does this one have that advantage though it probably made a pleasant enough evening in the opera house. Kuijken directs a perfectly respectable reading but one missing the dynamism of Gardiner’s or the peculiarly intimate and lived-in feeling of the admirable Ostman (which also includes alternatives including Barbara Bonney’s enchanting account of Susanna’s ‘Al desio’).
Although it is a live recording it wants the sense of theatrical vitality and tension found in its rivals. La Petite Bande plays with the customary acuity noted in its earlier sets of Mozart’s operas but its performance doesn’t have either the buoyancy or warmth notable in that of its period-instrument rivals, let alone that in such modern-instrument classics as Erich Kleiber, Giulini and Mackerras, and the recitative is accompanied in the dryest manner possible.

As the members of the cast introduce themselves, one begins to sense a feeling of anonymity similar to that found in the conducting. Christiane Oelze is a fresh, lively Susanna, who sings with a good line and pretty tone, but she isn’t vocally or temperamentally quite in the class of Bonney (Ostman) or Alison Hagley (Gardiner), who bring a spirit to their readings not found in Oelze’s. Her Figaro, Werner van Mechelen, has an uninteresting, far from steady voice and finds little of the fun or daring in the part evinced by his counterparts. Huub Claessens’s Almaviva isn’t sufficiently differentiated in timbre from Figaro, nor is his presence as formidable as Hakan Hagegard’s on the Ostman version though he always sings with style: his aria is an example of the conductor not giving the music a firm enough profile.

As the Countess, Patrizia Biccire catches the sadness of the character’s predicament, and sings her arias with a distinction of tone and style often missing elswhere in this set. Monica Groop’s Cherubino palpitates suitably, but her voice is a shade heavy for a role really intended for a soprano. Neither Marcellina or Basilio does enough to justify inclusion of their dull pieces. There’s a lightweight Bartolo (a young singer trying to sound old) and an edgy Barbarina. The cast adds embellishments and appoggiaturas (not enough) in a haphazard fashion.

The recording catches the ambience of the theatre where it was recorded and the mood of a live occasion, but it’s certainly not superior to the Archiv and L’Oiseau-Lyre, which continue to head the field of period-instrument sets.'
 
Alan Blyth 
 
 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2007, 02:54:58 AM
Don't be irritated Andrei, I mean well.

I'm not irritated in the least, my friend. :)

 Actually, I found this for you:

 Two German language reviews (http://www.amazon.de/Mozart-Cosi-fan-tutte-Gesamtaufnahme/dp/B000025T2K).



Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 02:58:52 AM
I'm not irritated in the least, my friend. :)

 Actually, I found this for you:

 Two German language reviews (http://www.amazon.de/Mozart-Cosi-fan-tutte-Gesamtaufnahme/dp/B000025T2K).





Thankie, one good, one bad, well it will set me back for only 8 euro's.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on September 20, 2007, 03:00:34 AM
Thankie, one good, one bad, well it will set me back for only 8 euro's.

Don't think, buy!  :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 03:02:58 AM
Don't think, buy!  :D

Will do, watch me! ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 06:54:03 AM
Still I would like to have some period instruments recommendation.
Ostman/Gardiner for instance.
Common all lovers of opera and enlighten me. ;D
I am here now, so profit from that fact.
Convert me!
;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gabriel on September 20, 2007, 07:13:25 AM
Harry, if you can afford them, get the recordings of Così fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro conducted by René Jacobs, in Harmonia Mundi. They are simply remarkable. Moreover, his Don Giovanni will be very soon released.

I haven't listened to those Kuijken recordings, but in general I would trust his performances.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Lethevich on September 20, 2007, 07:22:42 AM
I haven't listened to those Kuijken recordings, but in general I would trust his performances.

Definitely. Kujiken understands the classical period, and I would view him as "safe hands" with that repertoire. The Gramophone review being rather negative without specifying much about exactly why makes me think that the reviewer just wasn't in the mood for an opera that afternoon.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 07:49:42 AM
As you all know, I have some serious issues with the soprano voice.
I could for instance only accept the Haydn Masses, when the recording recommended by Que, with Monoyios was done without vibrato, more in the Kirkby style.
And it will be the same with the Mozart operas. Much as i like his music, a wrong soprano can ruin all for me. So keeping that in mind would you still recommend Rene Jacobs?
As to the Kuijken recordings, what can go wrong for 8 euro's the set?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: sTisTi on September 20, 2007, 10:41:55 AM
Still I would like to have some period instruments recommendation.
Ostman/Gardiner for instance.
Common all lovers of opera and enlighten me. ;D
I am here now, so profit from that fact.
Convert me!
;D

I have the Östman Zauberflöte and on the whole like it very much, although some numbers like "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja" are done ridicilously fast. But if you like it "small scale, bubbly, spicy", Östman certainly should be explored! Like you, I have a strong dislike for excessive vibrato in sopranos, and while this performance is not free from it, it is less objectionable than many others I tried.
Many also like Östman's Don Giovanni, but I cannot comment as I don't own it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on September 20, 2007, 10:50:09 AM
Ass you all know, I have some serious issues with the soprano voice.
I could for instance only accept the Haydn Masses, when the recording recommended by Que, with Monoyios was done without vibrato, more in the Kirkby style.
And it will be the same with the Mozart operas. Much as i like his music, a wrong soprano can ruin all for me. So keeping that in mind would you still recommend Rene Jacobs?
As to the Kuijken recordings, what can go wrong for 8 euro's the set?

Harry, Jacobs's Mozart is splendid, I also have Kuijken's Cosi and it's very good, and also Östman's Zauberflöte and Le Nozze.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: The new erato on September 20, 2007, 10:53:32 AM
Moreover, his Don Giovanni will be very soon released.

I listened to this last week.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: The new erato on September 20, 2007, 10:56:17 AM

As to the Kuijken recordings, what can go wrong for 8 euro's the set?

You might not like it, and then you will have wasted 8 Euro. A performance you don't like, doesn't become a good buy simply by being cheap.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 12:48:13 PM
You might not like it, and then you will have wasted 8 Euro. A performance you don't like, doesn't become a good buy simply by being cheap.

It gets even better! Two years ago, I bought a big box with 80% of the works from Mozart, opera's included. This box is lying dormant in my office, and I saw it some hours ago, the operas by Mozart are included, performed by Kuijken, so I will try them, but will fill in with other recordings. Rene Jacobs will be included.
Of course what is cheap and not good, is to expensive, whatever the price.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 12:49:25 PM
I have the Östman Zauberflöte and on the whole like it very much, although some numbers like "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja" are done ridicilously fast. But if you like it "small scale, bubbly, spicy", Östman certainly should be explored! Like you, I have a strong dislike for excessive vibrato in sopranos, and while this performance is not free from it, it is less objectionable than many others I tried.
Many also like Östman's Don Giovanni, but I cannot comment as I don't own it.

I will certainly look into Ostman, so thank you for this input. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 12:50:48 PM
Harry, Jacobs's Mozart is splendid, I also have Kuijken's Cosi and it's very good, and also Östman's Zauberflöte and Le Nozze.

Jacob's, Ostman, and Kuijken, will work with that, thank you!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gabriel on September 20, 2007, 02:35:07 PM
I also have Östman's Mozart opera recordings, and while his Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni are splendid, I remember that I was less impressed with his Figaro. His Così fan tutte, on the other hand, is quite eccentric and should be enjoyed after having heard some other good recordings.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: JoshLilly on September 20, 2007, 04:08:08 PM
The Così fan tutte performed by La Petite Bande is excellent, now my favourite performance. I have more recordings of this than any other complete opera, and this one is #1 for me. The price is also exceptional.  Even if it's not your preferred performance, if you don't have a period recording this one definitely won't break the bank. I also recommend the sometimes maligned Roger Norrington edition of Don Giovanni. I think everything is absolutely perfect. Okay, one of the major criticisms is of the Donna Anna, Amanda Halgrimson, and I can't strongly argue with this; she's passable, but not great. Everything else is awesome. And Nancy Argenta as Zerlina, anything with Nancy Argenta is the best!  ;D  She's also Despina in the La Petite Bande Così fan tutte... not that that's the only reason it's my favourite recording!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: uffeviking on September 20, 2007, 06:50:08 PM
And it will be the same with the Mozart operas.

Sir, was it very painful for you to have stepped inside the domain of Opera Lovers? See, we are all very civilised and friendly and I, for one, welcome you with a friendly hug and a hearty Hojotoho! - Ooops, sorry, I went to fast there, you have not set foot inside Walhalla yet. It'll come too!  :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 09:04:59 PM
The Così fan tutte performed by La Petite Bande is excellent, now my favourite performance. I have more recordings of this than any other complete opera, and this one is #1 for me. The price is also exceptional.  Even if it's not your preferred performance, if you don't have a period recording this one definitely won't break the bank. I also recommend the sometimes maligned Roger Norrington edition of Don Giovanni. I think everything is absolutely perfect. Okay, one of the major criticisms is of the Donna Anna, Amanda Halgrimson, and I can't strongly argue with this; she's passable, but not great. Everything else is awesome. And Nancy Argenta as Zerlina, anything with Nancy Argenta is the best!  ;D  She's also Despina in the La Petite Bande Così fan tutte... not that that's the only reason it's my favourite recording!

I am glad about your positive reaction about La Petite Bande, and I look forward to Cosi fan Tutte. As to the other ones I still invited opinions.
Roger Norrington, is also on my list, and will try to find some samples of it.
Thank you.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 09:07:06 PM
I also have Östman's Mozart opera recordings, and while his Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni are splendid, I remember that I was less impressed with his Figaro. His Così fan tutte, on the other hand, is quite eccentric and should be enjoyed after having heard some other good recordings.

Well when reading through some reviews, Ostman is at one side received with enthusiasm, and on the other with extreme scepticism, so definitively worth trying.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 20, 2007, 09:14:40 PM
Sir, was it very painful for you to have stepped inside the domain of Opera Lovers? See, we are all very civilised and friendly and I, for one, welcome you with a friendly hug and a hearty Hojotoho! - Ooops, sorry, I went to fast there, you have not set foot inside Walhalla yet. It'll come too!  :D

I feel already very comfy Lis. And I am definitively interested in more hugs! ;D And no it was not painful. I worked the last couple of weeks through a pile of operas ranging from Vivaldi through Handel, ending with Mozart. You see I bought the complete opera section from Brilliant series just to check out what I liked and what not. I totally forgot that Kuijken was part of that series, half of it in my office, the part I forgot, and the other half at home.
Must say, rather liked the Vivaldi operas, Handel I have to listen more often, and hear better performances as the ones on Brilliant.
Many of them were so bad I threw them in the bin, and that was before I knew people on the board were interested in my refuse bin, so from now on I send my bin products all over the world, and make people happy.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: zamyrabyrd on September 21, 2007, 01:19:21 AM
Reviewed: Gramophone 8/1999, Alan Blyth 
 I can do no better than quote Stravinsky’s rhetorical question (made, in his case, on hearing a new piece of music): ‘Do we need it?’ With the catalogue already brimming over with recommendable versions of Mozart’s masterpiece, an addition to the ranks must have something special to justify its issue.

Ach, what a pleasure to read someone else who feels as I do! Luciano Berio allegedly had a poster in his house (or apartment) that various people reported on which read "Down with Opera", most probably inspired by the perceived need to repeat historical operatic works ad infinitum and ad nauseam. Inertia is one of those reasons but also serving up to the public expensive cultural fixes. It IS a problem when most of the major (and even minor) musical works of the past couple centuries have been recorded many times over. (So go buy a good DVD.) The "reason to exist" (or to happen) should be more than picking out of a catalogue what operas to do this year, but showing something new and exciting. The situation is even worse when spending public money. Who needs it? The poor people?

ZB
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 21, 2007, 02:22:50 AM
Ach, what a pleasure to read someone else who feels as I do! Luciano Berio allegedly had a poster in his house (or apartment) that various people reported on which read "Down with Opera", most probably inspired by the perceived need to repeat historical operatic works ad infinitum and ad nauseam. Inertia is one of those reasons but also serving up to the public expensive cultural fixes. It IS a problem when most of the major (and even minor) musical works of the past couple centuries have been recorded many times over. (So go buy a good DVD.) The "reason to exist" (or to happen) should be more than picking out of a catalogue what operas to do this year, but showing something new and exciting. The situation is even worse when spending public money. Who needs it? The poor people?

ZB

Hmmm, yes, well, can't say that I did get what you wanted to say, but that can be my poor knowledge of English, huh?
More to the point ZB, any recommendations? :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: zamyrabyrd on September 21, 2007, 07:57:31 AM
First of all, Harry, I like your pictures.
My writing can be eliptical, depending on what time of day it is.

In the past live performers were needed to go from city to city to popularize the works of composers, like what Clara Schumann did for her husband's works. In the age of recording (starting from more than 100 years ago) the role of the performer has been redefined. It is not enough to go and do "Trittico" or the 7th Symphony of Beethoven below a normal, more or less established standard. There should be SOMETHING special and insightful, not just boring repeats.

With regard to the latter, a few years ago I found it really annoying to listen to a Japanese conductor just go through the motions of that symphony, as though the public needs to be informed of the notes. This is essentially 19th century practice when almost any performance could be accepted as it was educational at the same time, presenting works that people could not hear on the radio or phonograph at home.

He conducted with no musical insight, didn't add anything to the interpretation of the piece, so why "do we need it?" as asked by Stravinsky is relevant here, to my mind.

ZB
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 21, 2007, 08:43:48 AM
First of all, Harry, I like your pictures.
My writing can be eliptical, depending on what time of day it is.

In the past live performers were needed to go from city to city to popularize the works of composers, like what Clara Schumann did for her husband's works. In the age of recording (starting from more than 100 years ago) the role of the performer has been redefined. It is not enough to go and do "Trittico" or the 7th Symphony of Beethoven below a normal, more or less established standard. There should be SOMETHING special and insightful, not just boring repeats.

With regard to the latter, a few years ago I found it really annoying to listen to a Japanese conductor just go through the motions of that symphony, as though the public needs to be informed of the notes. This is essentially 19th century practice when almost any performance could be accepted as it was educational at the same time, presenting works that people could not hear on the radio or phonograph at home.

He conducted with no musical insight, didn't add anything to the interpretation of the piece, so why "do we need it?" as asked by Stravinsky is relevant here, to my mind.

ZB

Thank you for liking my pictures, that means a lot to me.
And yes, now I understand your story.
Thank you for being so patient.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 26, 2007, 01:14:10 AM
Mozart.

"Die Zauberflote".
Text Emanuel Schikaneder.

Pamina, Barbara Hendricks.
Tamino, Jerry Hadley.
Papageno, Thomas Allen.
Sarastro, Robert Lloyd.
Queen of the night, June Anderson.
Papagena Ulrike Steinsky.
Monostasos, Helmut Wildhaber.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Choir/Charles Mackerras.

To begin with, this recording made in 1991 by Jack Renner for Teldec in Edinburgh, is not good at all. The orchestra sounds fine enough, well placed in the venue, but the singers and choir at all, are far to much on the foreground, and that leads to saturation of the microphones, and as a result clogged up voice explosions. Really nasty that. Right in the beginning when the Three ladies come up, with the line "Stirb ungeheuer" I actually froze on the spot, because of the combined ugly sound. This tendency emerges throughout the recording from beginning to end. A shame really.
And it must be said not all singers were in good feathers on this ill conceived recording, Hendricks sounds oddly out of focus, and Hadley, allthough a fine singer, seems to be in two minds how to approach Tamino.
The light in all this is the fine contribution by Thomas Allen, that makes a fine Papageno, his voice is a constant joy. June Anderson surprised me by her sometimes brittle voice, but also the problems she had with her high notes, squeezed out at great pains.The three ladies are fine in speech, but bound together in duets, they pained my ears frequently, especially Gabriele Sima, and Julia Bernheimer, unhealthy vibrato, which tended to diminish to voice of the first lady, Petra Maria Schnitzer.
The tempi of the orchestra were fast, to fast at times as in the Overture.
As to the music, I think its just beautiful, and if I did not enjoy the singing, the music was a constant delight.
Therefore I would love to get some good recommendations concerning the Zauberflote, for I will have a good recording of it.
One final remark has to be addressed to the woefully inadequate libretti provided with this box. You better understand German, for a lot of the text is not what is sung. they left about 50 % of the material out.
A shame on the production team of Joan Records.
This one will go straight in the refuse bin.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 26, 2007, 02:34:14 AM
Mozart.

La Finta Semplice.
Opera buffa in three acts.
Text by Carlo Goldoni, & Marco Coltellini.

Rosina, Helen Donath.
Don Cassandro, Robert Holl.
Don Philidoro, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson.
Giacinta, Teresa Berganza.
Ninetta, Jutta-Renate Ihloff.
Fracasso, Thomas Moser.
Simone, Robert Lloyd.

Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg/Leopold Hager.

Well to begin with, this Orfeo recording from 1983, is good, without being exemplary. The orchestra balance is very good, and the soloists are well placed. There is a fine bloom around the voices. It is very forcefully sung, with so much power of diction, that I had to turn the volume down. That done I started listening. The sinfonia with which the opera starts is ravishing, and well played. When I've got the text, it was only in Italian, and I understand it with difficulty, so still would have wanted some translation.
That said, the singing I found heavy, very difficult to grasp, with notable exceptions from Anthony Rolfe Johnson, and Jutta- Renate Ihloff. Robert Holl has a fine voice too, but for me to forceful on the ear.
Clearly Donath and Berganza are not my kind of singers, fine if the notes don't go to high, but if, Donath voice gets something unpleasant around those notes, as Berganza.
Again I am confronted with fine music, a good orchestra, but voices that are clearly not mine to like.
So I need some advice in this too. I saw a DVD from Ostman, but have no idea what to expect. 

This recording will go in the refusal bin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on September 26, 2007, 05:23:46 AM
This Magic Flute (Mozart: Die Zauberflote) film by Ingmar Bergman is famous and is mentioned almost any time a discussion of the Magic Flute occurs.


http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=104840
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 26, 2007, 05:36:23 AM
This Magic Flute (Mozart: Die Zauberflote) film by Ingmar Bergman is famous and is mentioned almost any time a discussion of the Magic Flute occurs.


http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=104840

Thank you Anne, but as I see it, it is sung in Swedish with English subtitles.
I rather have it in German, if you don't mind. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on September 26, 2007, 06:21:49 AM
Thank you Anne, but as I see it, it is sung in Swedish with English subtitles.
I rather have it in German, if you don't mind. :)


I wish you good luck but that's the best I can do.  The Magic Flute is not my favorite.  Since the Queen of the Night is such a difficult aria to sing, you might ask if there is a CD of various singers singing it.  If there is one, you could listen to a lot of sopranos in a cheap way as that is a difficult aria.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 26, 2007, 06:28:39 AM
I wish you good luck but that's the best I can do.  The Magic Flute is not my favorite.  Since the Queen of the Night is such a difficult aria to sing, you might ask if there is a CD of various singers singing it.  If there is one, you could listen to a lot of sopranos in a cheap way as that is a difficult aria.

Yes you are quite right, this aria is not easy to bring off, and it will be difficult to find a good soprano doing it.
Mozart must have had a devilish pleasure in the fact to write such a aria.
But I am astounded that you find the Magic Flute less of your favourites.
Apart from the silly libretti, the music is real Mozartian.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on September 26, 2007, 08:41:06 AM
Yes you are quite right, this aria is not easy to bring off, and it will be difficult to find a good soprano doing it.
Mozart must have had a devilish pleasure in the fact to write such a aria.
But I am astounded that you find the Magic Flute less of your favourites.
Apart from the silly libretti, the music is real Mozartian.


You are right; it is Mozart and that says everything.  I just did not spend a lot of time on that opera, but was off exploring others as there are so many to learn.

Have you heard Kathleen Battle?  She has good voice and sings in the Met production of The Magic Flute.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_d/104-6944379-3143911?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=Battle+Mozart
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 26, 2007, 08:48:56 AM
You are right; it is Mozart and that says everything.  I just did not spend a lot of time on that opera, but was off exploring others as there are so many to learn.

Have you heard Kathleen Battle?  She has good voice and sings in the Met production of The Magic Flute.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_d/104-6944379-3143911?initialSearch=1&url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=Battle+Mozart

Kathleen Battle is a wonderful soprano, even have some things of her.
Will check this DVD out Anne thank you for the trouble you are taking to find me a nice Zauberflote.. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on September 26, 2007, 09:04:12 AM
Kathleen Battle is a wonderful soprano, even have some things of her.
Will check this DVD out Anne thank you for the trouble you are taking to find me a nice Zauberflote.. :)

Kathleen Battle does not sing Queen of the Night.  I don't think I would recommend Serra for that role.  Maybe that's why the performance received 4 stars instead of 5.  The remainder of that performance is good.  Maybe someone else has a suggestion.

Full Cast List
 
Kathleen Battle as Pamina
Manfred Hemm as Papageno
Luciana Serra as The Queen of the Night
Andreas Schmidt as Sprecher
Bernard Fitch as Second Priest
Juliana Gondek as First Lady
Judith Christin as Third Lady
Benjamin Schott as Second Boy
Mark Baker as First armed man
Glenn Alpert as Slave
F. Murray Abraham as Host (only for TV)
 Francisco Araiza as Tamino
Kurt Moll as Sarastro
Barbara Kilduff as Papagena
James Courtney as First Priest
Heinz Zednik as Monostatos
Mimi Lerner as Second Lady
Ted Huffman as First Boy
Per-Christian Brevig as Third Boy
Michael Devlin as Second armed man
Robert Manno as Slave
 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on September 26, 2007, 11:33:38 AM
My recommendation is Klemperer on EMI and perhaps in that one, though I warn there is NO dialogue at all, you will find the musical side wonderfully served with an excellent team of singers. What it misses in outright humour, it makes up in the way it invests the music with a mystical significance.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 26, 2007, 11:47:54 AM
I am compiling a list, and this one will be on it.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brian on September 26, 2007, 03:54:42 PM
Naxos have a terrific Zauberflote; I am more than happy with it. There is extended dialogue and, if I may point out one of the cast members in particular, Georg Tichy makes a hugely lovable Papageno. He seems to be constantly smiling as he sings.

(http://www.naxosdirect.com/templates/shared/images/titles/largest/730099603027.jpg)

I know it looks cheap, but it's very good ... not HIP or anything similar, though tempi are speedy and the orchestra is rather small.

"Naxos have done it again. Once more they effectively challenge the hegemony of more prestigious companies that sell their wares at full price. ... Halasz, one of Naxos's house conductors, is now a Kapellmeister at the Vienna State Opera and his reading, steeped in the tradition of that theatre, uses several singers working there at the moment. All have travelled the comparatively short journey down the Danube to take part in this recording in Budapest. Halasz follows the current fashion for swift tempos (though ''Ach, ich fuhl's'' is much slower than on the recent Oestman set, and possibly better for it) but allows time on the way to survey the instrumental countryside and enjoy its details; and his penchant for speed doesn't exclude seriousness, as in the Masonic mysteries of Osiris and the episode of the Armed Men, which are given their due weight.

There is no weakness in his large cast and several strengths, chief among them Tichy's endearing Papageno ... As Tamino, Lippert is an eager, winning Prince. ... I have no reservations at all about Hellen Kwon's Queen of Night. As accurate and fleet as the ubiquitous Sumi Jo (Solti and Oestman), she delivers her imprecations with much more positive bile, approaching the dramatic-coloratura ideal for this fiendish (in both senses) role. ... The recording is beautifully balanced and allows plenty of air around the voices and orchestra." - GRAMOPHONE (Alan Blyth)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on September 26, 2007, 05:06:40 PM
My recommendation is Klemperer on EMI and perhaps in that one, though I warn there is NO dialogue at all, you will find the musical side wonderfully served with an excellent team of singers. What it misses in outright humour, it makes up in the way it invests the music with a mystical significance.

Mike

I can easily live without the dialogue, but though I think the Klemperer one of the great recordings, it is a very special vision that emphasizes the grandeur of the work while totally missing the humor. Tempos are, if not necessarily slow, moderate and majestic. It's an ideal approach for episodes like the Two Armed Men, the Ordeals, the dialogue between Tamino and the Speaker, etc., not so good for Papageno's ditties. The cast is superb, with well-known singers even in the smaller parts.

I don't consider the libretto silly in the slightest, but I've written about that elsewhere and will dig up my essay on request.

The Naxos sounds interesting. If Halasz is as good here as in the Naxos Fidelio, it should be a contender. I have Ostman, but it sounds merely fast and uninflected to these ears. My favorite middle-of-the-road Flute would be the Marriner, with Te Kanawa and Araiza.

As for the other major operas, I have no interest in so-called "authentic" recordings that lack the stylishness, the phrasing, and the inflection of some of the great "inauthentic" recordings of the past: for example, the Erich Kleiber Figaro (despite an inadequate Almaviva), the Krips Don Giovanni with the incomparable Cesare Siepi, the Giulini DG and Figaro, the first VPO Cosi by Boehm with Della Casa and Gueden (despite all the cuts). In my opinion, such performances are far closer to a truly Mozartian spirit than the undervitalized efforts of the HIPsters.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on September 26, 2007, 05:20:01 PM
Larry,

I would appreciate it if you posted your essay on The Magic Flute.  I'd probably print it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on September 26, 2007, 05:50:39 PM
Larry,

I would appreciate it if you posted your essay on The Magic Flute.  I'd probably print it.

I wrote this in 2002 at rec.music.opera, responding to the comment quoted just below:

> Which just proves that tastes differ!  (I don't much care
> for "Abduction", either.)  Of course, with the exception of
> "Nozze di Figaro" and "Don Giovanni" (which have their
> "silly" moments, too) my principal object to most of
> Mozart's operas is the silliness of his plots.

My response:

The plot of The Magic Flute is silly only if judged by the standards of the
realistic play and novel, which are primarily 19th-century phenomena. The
Magic Flute is not a work of realism but a fable and an allegory, and has
been suggested here, works far better on stage than on recordings. (And why
shouldn't it? Mozart did not write his operas with your CD players in mind.)

Schikaneder's libretto has been criticized for inconsistency; that is, why
do the Queen of the Night and her Ladies, who first appear to be "good"
characters, turn out to be the villains, and why do Sarastro and his
priests, who are first reputed to be the villains, turn out to be the
embodiments of goodness and wisdom? Legend has it that the plot was
"changed" midstream. But if this part of the story is experienced from
Tamino's point of view, we the audience participate in his growth from
naive, unquestioning trust through mature understanding of good and evil,
and thus there is no real inconsistency. (The pivotal moment in Tamino's
education is his lengthy dialogue in the finale to Act One with the Speaker,
whom someone above referred as the "dreary priest.")

Despite some of the doggerel in the verse, the plot is really very well
executed, and if you accept it without criticizing the opera for being
something it is not, works very well. The main strength of the libretto is
the beautiful way in which the serious Tamino-Pamina main plot intertwines
with the comic Papageno-Pagagena subplot. Both Tamino and Papageno must
undergo various trials before they can achieve some degree of wisdom and
unite with the women they love. Tamino must first suffer silence and
separation from Pamina before he is found worthy of her, and when they are
united they must together endure the trials of water and fire, an
allegorical initiation into the solemn Masonic rites that were so important
to Mozart in his own life. Papageno by contrast, purely l'homme moyen
sensuel, must endure frustration and separation from Papagena, but though
his needs and wants are purely animalistic and he lacks the spirituality of
Tamino's quest, Papageno at least contemplates ending his life, which shows
sufficient selflessness that he is granted the right to reunite with his
female counterpart.

Mozart IMO responded so wonderfully well to this clever libretto because it
represented the two main sides of his own personality - the mature and
serious developing young man, drawn to Sarastro's humane philosophy of
forgiveness and the rejection of revenge, and the clownish adolescent still
in love with food, wine, smutty jokes, and sex. The film Amadeus caught only
one side of this personality, but both existed, and they account in my mind
for the level of musical engagement Mozart demonstrates throughout - in
contrast to the almost perfunctory music of La Clemenza di Tito which he was
composing about the same time. Mozart pours into this seemingly slight story
a wealth of musical forms and textures - from the coloratura of the Queen of
the Night's arias, through the simple folk-like ditties for Papageno, to the
neo-Baroque chorale prelude style of the music for the Two Men in Armor, the
austere recitative for the Speaker, the dignified arias for Sarastro, and
more. Together with Le Nozze di Figaro, this is, I believe, his most
completely successful opera.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on September 27, 2007, 05:40:01 AM
Thank you for posting the essay - some interesting points to ponder that had never occured to me.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on September 27, 2007, 05:53:38 AM
Harry, if you don't have this, please do not hesitate. Inexpensive as well. You'll never forget it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 27, 2007, 06:18:13 AM
Harry, if you don't have this, please do not hesitate. Inexpensive as well. You'll never forget it.

Hmmmmmmmmm, what about sound, vibrato, conductor........... ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on September 27, 2007, 08:04:50 AM
Hmmmmmmmmm, what about sound, vibrato, conductor........... ;D




Do you like Furtwangler?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 27, 2007, 08:11:10 AM



Do you like Furtwangler?

Ehhhh, no, no, don't think so. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on September 27, 2007, 08:14:29 AM
Ehhhh, no, no, don't think so. ;D




oh.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 27, 2007, 09:02:12 AM



oh.

Well you cannot love them all Andy.
But you know I am open for much what is around. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on September 27, 2007, 10:28:04 AM
[....] I am open for much what is around. ;D

Yeah, sounds great, but still ....

Well, Harry, I have this feeling - more or less – you’ll end up with the conclusion that you'll have to stick to HIP performances, and maybe some Mackerras and other semi-HIP is acceptable for you.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are very fond of the boyish Emma Kirkby-like soprano voice, aren't you? ;)

So that's why I won't recommend Pritchard's Idomeneo (a.o. Pavarotti, Baltsa, Popp, Gruberova, Nucci), Krips' Entführung (Rothenberger, Gedda, Unger, Popp, Frick), Solti's Figaro (a.o. Te Kanawa, Allen, Popp, Ramey, Von Stade), Giulini's Don Giovanni (a.o. Wächter, Sutherland, Taddei, Frick and Schwarzkopf), Davis' Così fan tutte (Caballé, Baker, Gedda, Ganzarolli, Van Allan and Cotrubas), Böhm's Zauberflöte (a.o. Wunderlich, Lear, Crass, Peters, Fischer-Dieskau, Lenz) and Kertész' Tito (Krenn, Berganza, Casula, Popp, Fassbaender, Franc).

No, I won't, I won't, I won't. :P

I'll just enjoy them for my own sake. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 29, 2007, 03:08:20 AM
Mozart.

La Clemenza di Tito.
Opera Seria KV 621.


Tito Vespasiano. Andre Post.
Vitellia, Claudia Patacca.
Servilia, Francine van der Heyden.
Sesto, Cecile van de Sant.
Annio, Nicola Wemyss.
Publio, Marc Pantus.

Vocal Ensemble Cocu.
Basset Horn, Eric Hoeprich.
Harpsichord, Michael Borgstede.
Musica ad Rhenum/Jed Wentz.

Recorded August 2002.

Well another opera, I live dangerously I know.
Again I find the orchestral contribution outstanding, and the voices much better as I expected.
What I have a problem with is the way of singing. It is almost as I am attacked quite viciously from behind. Allthough the sopranos sing without to much vibrato, it is when they increase in volume I get some serious problems of coping with what is offered. I am quite sure that this is the way that is should be performed, and as it is written, but somehow it is really to much for me.
The plot is fine, and the communication between the singers is outstanding, as is the singing of the choir, small scaled and a tad laid back. Not too much screaming going on there.
Recording is also better as I expected.
I must come to the conclusion that this is not for me.
Refusal bin then!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on September 29, 2007, 03:26:03 AM
Not too much screaming going on there.
Harry--

I thoroughly enjoy reading your opinions of these operas.  Please keep sharing them.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 29, 2007, 03:29:08 AM
I obey Longears, here is another one!


Mozart.

La Finta Giardiniera.

Il Podesta, Ugo Benelli.
Sandrina, Joanna Kozlowska.
Belfiore, Marek Torzewski.
Arminda, Malvina Major.
Ramiro, Lani Poulson.
Serpetta Elzbieta Szmytka.
Nardo, Russel Smythe.

Orchestre du Theatre Royal de la Monnaie/Sylvain Cambreling.

Recorded live 1989. Licensed from Ricercar.


A lot of stage noise is coming out of my speaker, the live event is very tangible.
But that's okay, I rather like that, and it must be said I enjoyed that element quite a bit, but am convinced one must see it also.
The music is fabulous, the opera long, and the voices did not charm me out of my pants.
That's the gist of it really, not that it is bad, not at all, but it did not convince me keeping it.
Kozlowska has a fine voice, but Belfiore scared the hell out of me with his sharp and deep cutting voice, argghhh.
Refusal bin I am afraid. 
 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on September 29, 2007, 03:32:52 AM
I've not heard most of the recordings in question, but as for the operas themselves so far I'd say your opinions are right on target!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on September 29, 2007, 03:34:39 AM
I obey Longears, here is another one!


Mozart.

La Finta Giardiniera.

Harry, obviously not Mozart's greatest opera.

But for a good recording:

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BW793S5FL._SS500_.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on September 29, 2007, 03:45:04 AM
Harry, obviously not Mozart's greatest opera.

But for a good recording:

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BW793S5FL._SS500_.jpg)

Q

Well yes, Hmmmm, Harnoncourt, the voices he is using.
You advised me well with the Haydn Masses, but I am a tad suspicious of the said meastro.
I like my voices and ego's a bit smaller I am afraid.
Will give it a try however.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on September 30, 2007, 11:54:41 PM
Well yes, Hmmmm, Harnoncourt, the voices he is using.
You advised me well with the Haydn Masses, but I am a tad suspicious of the said meastro.
I like my voices and ego's a bit smaller I am afraid.
Will give it a try however.

Harry, yes you're right - these are "big" voices (Gruberova, Margiono).
Maybe not your cup of tea! :) Am not aware of other good performances, however. :-\

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 01, 2007, 12:11:57 AM
Harry, yes you're right - these are "big" voices (Gruberova, Margiono).
Maybe not your cup of tea! :) Am not aware of other good performances, however. :-\

Q

Well then, the search goes on, and on...........
So far all the Mozart operas I have listen too, from the big box, I have thrown away.
Could not suffer the consequences when I would give them away.
After all if I think its trash, or not to my liking what else could I do huh?
:P
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 01, 2007, 02:11:06 AM
When Alan Blyth did Die Zauberflote in Gramophone's Collection series, he came down in favour of William Christie's version on Erato, so I bought it. But, to be honest, I'm a mite disappointed. I used to have Bohm's DG version, more for Wunderlich's unparalleled Tamino, than anything else. It is commonly agreed that the women on this set (Lear and Peters) rather let it down, but I don't feel the women on the Christie are markedly superior. Mannion is quite good, though not in the class of Te Kanawa, Janowitz, Margaret Price or Popp, and Dessay manages the notes well enough, but without sounding in the least bit angry or dangerous. Blochwitz is a sweet toned Tamino, but no match for Wunderlich in possibly his greatest recorded performance. On the whole I liked the conducting best, though it is a much more lightweight reading than that of Bohm, perhaps more in tune with today's view of the opera.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 01, 2007, 02:22:51 AM
When Alan Blyth did Die Zauberflote in Gramophone's Collection series, he came down in favour of William Christie's version on Erato, so I bought it. But, to be honest, I'm a mite disappointed. I used to have Bohm's DG version, more for Wunderlich's unparalleled Tamino, than anything else. It is commonly agreed that the women on this set (Lear and Peters) rather let it down, but I don't feel the women on the Christie are markedly superior. Mannion is quite good, though not in the class of Te Kanawa, Janowitz, Margaret Price or Popp, and Dessay manages the notes well enough, but without sounding in the least bit angry or dangerous. Blochwitz is a sweet toned Tamino, but no match for Wunderlich in possibly his greatest recorded performance. On the whole I liked the conducting best, though it is a much more lightweight reading than that of Bohm, perhaps more in tune with today's view of the opera.

Interesting, thank you, I will check out Christie, sounds more my shoes than yours. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 01, 2007, 02:52:33 AM
What about this one. I heard a few samples and like what I hear.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 01, 2007, 02:53:31 AM
And also on this one, I would like comments.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: wagnernn on October 08, 2007, 03:30:30 AM
I'm very scared of some recitatives from Mozart's operas.Beside the beautiful arias ,duets and wonderful melodies,these recitatives interrupt my enjoyments,sometimes they really make me disappointed.How can I "solve" this problem?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 08, 2007, 03:33:25 AM
I'm very scared of some recitatives from Mozart's operas.Beside the beautiful arias ,duets and wonderful melodies,these recitatives interrupt my enjoyments,sometimes they really make me disappointed.How can I "solve" this problem?

That really depends on your emotional framework my friend. :)

And opera experts, I am still waiting for some advice about both operas I posted! $:)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 08, 2007, 03:36:00 AM
I'm very scared of some recitatives from Mozart's operas.Beside the beautiful arias ,duets and wonderful melodies,these recitatives interrupt my enjoyments,sometimes they really make me disappointed.How can I "solve" this problem?

How did you "solve" listening to Wagner?

Another way is to listen to recordings without wretched-ititves or to program them out.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on October 08, 2007, 04:36:13 AM
I'm very scared of some recitatives from Mozart's operas.Beside the beautiful arias ,duets and wonderful melodies,these recitatives interrupt my enjoyments,sometimes they really make me disappointed.How can I "solve" this problem?

It really helps, especially in recitatives, to understand what's being sung.  So my advice is to study Italian.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on October 08, 2007, 06:32:29 AM
That really depends on your emotional framework my friend. :)

And opera experts, I am still waiting for some advice about both operas I posted! $:)

Harry, I'm not an expert but I have not heard the 2 operas you mention.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 08, 2007, 06:55:58 AM
It really helps, especially in recitatives, to understand what's being sung.  So my advice is to study Italian.

Or just follow the recording with the libretto and a translation, which is how I learned a lot of opera. Personally I always wanted to know what was going on.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 09, 2007, 04:39:24 AM
I'm still amazed by how high esteem Mozart's operas are kept. I have always found the operas to be among the weakest works of Mozart. Last Sunday I saw 2 programs about Rameau including his music. William Christie said Mozart was influenced by Rameau in his opera Idomeneo. I am listening to it now (Brilliant Mozart box). All I can say is this:

Everytime I listen to Rameau's operas I am amazed by how good they are, how wonderful the music really it. Rameau has stunning harmony, orchestration, rhythm, complexity, fluency and melody. He makes complexity entertaining using down-to-earth musical influencies. Everything just seems perfect and 3 hours goes fast.

Everytime I hear Mozart's operas I get bored fast. The music is too simple and uninteresting. It has Mozart's trademark fluency but not much else. I prefer Mozart's earlier operas for stronger baroque influencies and parts of Magic Flute make me even gringe in their's superficial lightness.

Now, I don't say Mozart is a bad opera composer as an absolute fact (I have learned my lesson here). I only say for some reasons I have always found Mozart's operas uninteresting and weaker than many other works by him like piano concertos. That's why I am always amazed to read Mozart is considered one of the greatest opera composers.

I'd be interested to hear your comments about my view and how you do compare Mozart and Rameau (and Händel).
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on October 09, 2007, 04:43:59 AM
I'd be interested to hear your comments about my view

Poju, are you masochistic? :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on October 09, 2007, 05:34:40 AM
I'd be interested to hear your comments about my view and how you do compare Mozart and Rameau (and Händel).

 :'(
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 07:03:30 AM
I'm very scared of some recitatives from Mozart's operas.Beside the beautiful arias ,duets and wonderful melodies,these recitatives interrupt my enjoyments,sometimes they really make me disappointed.How can I "solve" this problem?

Nothing to be scared about. I'd be more scared if you didn't respond to the beautiful arias, duets, and wonderful melodies.

In general (and to greatly oversimplify), recitatives in Mozart move the story along, while arias, duets, etc., present the characters' reflections or attitudes. Recitatives are of two types - secco (the boring type with just harpsichord and cello), and accompagnato, with orchestra. Secco of course is where you're having a problem. But don't think of it as melody you're not getting. It is basically a heightened or sung form of speech with little musical interest in itself, and is not too different from spoken dialogue. When Mozart composed Clemenza di Tito and was in a rush, he had a pupil write the secco recitatives.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 09, 2007, 07:32:04 AM

Everytime I hear Mozart's operas I get bored fast. The music is too simple and uninteresting. It has Mozart's trademark fluency but not much else. I prefer Mozart's earlier operas for stronger baroque influencies and parts of Magic Flute make me even gringe in their's superficial lightness.

Now, I don't say Mozart is a bad opera composer as an absolute fact (I have learned my lesson here). I only say for some reasons I have always found Mozart's operas uninteresting and weaker than many other works by him like piano concertos. That's why I am always amazed to read Mozart is considered one of the greatest opera composers.

I'd be interested to hear your comments about my view and how you do compare Mozart and Rameau (and Händel).


Your whole post left me absolutely flabbergasted. How you can find any of the music in Mozart's operas simple and uninteresting (particularly in anything after Le Nozze di Figaro) is absolutely beyond me. The finale to Act II of Figaro alone is of a genius and complexity, far beyond anything any opera composer had attempted before. Let me quote, as he does it better than me,  Lord Harewood in Kobbe on this one opera.

Le Nozze di Figaro is an incomparable masterpiece, one moreover that has been praised throughout its history for a variety of reasons. If it was once the brilliant tunes of the solo songs which attracted audience and performers alike, it would probably nowadays be claimed that the ensembles are the main glories of the work. Nothing, one is inclined to think, could be more perfect than the finale to the second act. Such amazing invention and such dexterity cannot be excelled. Maybe it cannot, but in the last act Mozart has achieved something almost more remarkable in the feeling of anxiety which pervades music and situation alike. It is as though the tapestry of the comedy has been reversed and, instead of dazzling with its brilliance, it is shot through with flashes, not of light but darkness; it is not so much that the garden has a thundercloud hanging over it, but that there is lightning in the air. I know I always have something akin to a feeling of relief when Figaro's little B flat tune arrives to prove that once agian we have come through the web of intrigue to the safety and happiness beyond it. At no time does the opera break the bounds of comedy, even in the last act, except in so far as Mozart here, as in Don Giovanni, appears to acknowledge no boundaries where comedy is concerned.

All I would add is that I find the moment the Countess forgives the Count one of the most moving in all opera.

I would say that it is in the operas (as well as the piano concertos), that Mozart's genius finds its greatest fruition. There is no doubt that he single handedly changed the course of opera completely. In his quiet way, he was as much of a revolutionary as Wagner was, something Wagner himself no doubt acknowledged.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 07:56:46 AM
Well then, the search goes on, and on...........
So far all the Mozart operas I have listen too, from the big box, I have thrown away.
Could not suffer the consequences when I would give them away.
After all if I think its trash, or not to my liking what else could I do huh?
:P

Why throw them away after one hearing? You could hear them again.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 07:57:35 AM
And opera experts, I am still waiting for some advice about both operas I posted! $:)

I would avoid both like the plague. I've already contributed my suggestions.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 09, 2007, 08:31:19 AM
Your whole post left me absolutely flabbergasted. How you can find any of the music in Mozart's operas simple and uninteresting (particularly in anything after Le Nozze di Figaro) is absolutely beyond me.

I just do and I am interested to understand why.

The finale to Act II of Figaro alone is of a genius and complexity, far beyond anything any opera composer had attempted before. Let me quote, as he does it better than me,  Lord Harewood in Kobbe on this one opera.

I fail to see this genius, no matter what Lord Harewood says. What do he say about Rameau?

I would say that it is in the operas (as well as the piano concertos), that Mozart's genius finds its greatest fruition. There is no doubt that he single handedly changed the course of opera completely. In his quiet way, he was as much of a revolutionary as Wagner was, something Wagner himself no doubt acknowledged.

Piano concertos were the works that made me understand Mozart's genius long ago (he's #4 composer of all times for me) but his operas have never appealed to me except shot parts here and there (like the March in the 3rd act of Idomeneo). I must be missing something because Mozart's opera do not sound revolutionary to me.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 09, 2007, 08:31:49 AM
Why throw them away after one hearing? You could hear them again.


Its not that I don't like the music, tis rather the performance.
I posted once but listen to them several times, before throwing them away.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 09, 2007, 08:32:55 AM
I would avoid both like the plague. I've already contributed my suggestions.

And they are well noted, thank you again.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 09, 2007, 09:19:17 AM
I just do and I am interested to understand why.

I fail to see this genius, no matter what Lord Harewood says. What do he say about Rameau?

Piano concertos were the works that made me understand Mozart's genius long ago (he's #4 composer of all times for me) but his operas have never appealed to me except shot parts here and there (like the March in the 3rd act of Idomeneo). I must be missing something because Mozart's opera do not sound revolutionary to me.

Total guff! Maybe their emotional complexity is beyond you.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 09:30:34 AM
Piano concertos were the works that made me understand Mozart's genius long ago (he's #4 composer of all times for me)

Why the operas give you trouble when the piano concertos don't is a puzzlement to me. Not only because it's the same composer, but because the slow movements of many of the piano concertos can well be described as instrumental arias.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brewski on October 09, 2007, 09:32:20 AM
I'm still amazed by how high esteem Mozart's operas are kept. I have always found the operas to be among the weakest works of Mozart...Everytime I hear Mozart's operas I get bored fast. The music is too simple and uninteresting. It has Mozart's trademark fluency but not much else.

Well, no one has to like Mozart's operas (or any operas for that matter), but even I, who generally prefer other composers, acknowledge the craft, artistry and overall greatness of Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni, just to cite three.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 09:46:36 AM
Well, no one has to like Mozart's operas (or any operas for that matter), but even I, who generally prefer other composers, acknowledge the craft, artistry and overall greatness of Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni, just to cite three.

--Bruce

But you are not a freethinker.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 09, 2007, 10:12:03 AM
Total guff! Maybe their emotional complexity is beyond you.

Maybe. That's what I am trying to figure out. I could just ignore the operas but instead I try to understand what's wrong.

Why the operas give you trouble when the piano concertos don't is a puzzlement to me. Not only because it's the same composer, but because the slow movements of many of the piano concertos can well be described as instrumental arias.

The piano concertos are coherent works where the orchestration and balances work. In Mozart's operas the singing feels out of place, musically too distant from the orchestra. Also, the sung melodies do not make much sense to me (very weird as I consider Mozart one of the best melodist ever). Perhaps I haven't understood the Viennese operatic singing style of late 18th century? Mozart uses also thin orchestral sound which means uninteresting harmonics.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 09, 2007, 10:14:07 AM
Maybe. That's what I am trying to figure out. I could just ignore the operas but instead I try to understand what's wrong.

"What's wrong" is not a property of the Mozart operas;  start with that fact.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 09, 2007, 10:15:17 AM
The piano concertos are coherent works where the orchestration and balances work.

The operas, too.

Oh, yes, I shortened your post.  There was a lot of inessential stuff which somehow followed the above.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 09, 2007, 11:25:55 AM
I would like to ask every one, to go back to topic and not make this a Elgar II disaster thread.

Thank you.
Harry
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidW on October 09, 2007, 02:26:50 PM
Why the operas give you trouble when the piano concertos don't is a puzzlement to me. Not only because it's the same composer, but because the slow movements of many of the piano concertos can well be described as instrumental arias.

He's just an attention whore.  Elgar, you like Dittersdorf, so your taste is sufficiently eccentric to be worthless to conventional listeners like me.  Enjoy your zaniness!  Relish it!  Don't expect people to conform to your taste since you are the non-conformist.  And stop looking for us to react against you as well.  It's tiresome, there are more interesting ways of conversely with your posters that do not involve flamebait. ::) 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 04:28:50 PM
He's just an attention whore.  Elgar, you like Dittersdorf, so your taste is sufficiently eccentric to be worthless to conventional listeners like me.  Enjoy your zaniness!  Relish it!  Don't expect people to conform to your taste since you are the non-conformist.  And stop looking for us to react against you as well.  It's tiresome, there are more interesting ways of conversely with your posters that do not involve flamebait. ::) 

You mean I wasted a good post on a whore?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 09, 2007, 04:41:06 PM
You mean I wasted a good post on a whore?

'fraid so, Larry. :-\

I enjoyed it though. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:  Kempff / Leister / Fournier - Bia 156 Op 11 Trio in Bb for Piano, Clarinet & Cello 2nd mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 09, 2007, 04:47:15 PM
'fraid so, Larry. :-\

I enjoyed it though. :)

So did I, so long as I don't get an STD.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: wagnernn on October 09, 2007, 06:38:57 PM
I can't imagine what would happen if Mozart didn't compose operas.When the heavy Wagnerian and the Italian tradition make me bored ,just  Mozart's opera keep me balance (of course, I find his Italian operas different form Verdi and Bellini)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: max on October 09, 2007, 07:58:14 PM
I don't know why when listening to Mozart operas the word SUPERMAN always comes to mind. It feels as if NOTHING was beyond him - except a longer life! :-[
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 09, 2007, 11:54:44 PM
Why the operas give you trouble when the piano concertos don't is a puzzlement to me. Not only because it's the same composer, but because the slow movements of many of the piano concertos can well be described as instrumental arias.
Oh POO! This topic was to good for me to ignore and I was ready to burst with arguments all over 71db, but that was my main one :( I see pc21 as a mini opera. How can someone not like Figaro? Which opera covers so many characters and their emotions so perfectly? Would you ever imagine going into an opera that you could empathize with a housewife? (is empathize a word? I feared I made it up but it wasn't underlined in red so...) Doesn't Cherubino remind you what it was like to be 13?

Figaro is probably the only opera I have ever laughed out loud to. Is there an opera more full of comedy? The first act trio never fails to crack me up. The 2nd act...the third...sua madre? suo padre? haha its hilarious! The mixture of drama and timing of the music...yeah ok im done its genius. If it weren't for figaro I would have never gotten into opera. Give it another chance.

Although...after reading this
Quote
Also, the sung melodies do not make much sense to me (very weird as I consider Mozart one of the best melodist ever).
I take it back. Don't give it another chance because if you truly believe that you will never enjoy it. ANd without enjoying Mozart's operas, you can't fully enjoy Mozart's instrumental music so just stay away from my man ;)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 09, 2007, 11:59:42 PM
You are quite a lively fellow. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 12:04:19 AM
You are quite a lively fellow. ;D

Someone telling me they don't enjoy Figaro has the same effect as me drinking 3 red bulls after 3 shots of espresso. Just don't do it :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 12:17:13 AM
Okay I will do something else to tickle you into convulsions.
I have a hard time liking the operas in general, and since I started a short while ago with the ones from Mozart, those first.
A few of the performances I heard so far have gone in the bin resolutely, why keep crap, right?
DG will be good to listen too, if I find something I like. I don't like big voices with undue vibrato, but that you did know too.
Well the new Rene Jacobs is exactly a performance that would go in the bin with me.
Why?
Two reasons!
Alexandrina Pendatshanska & Olga Pasichyk.
Such unnatural voices! Only my two cents, of course.
Funny enough I find the men and their singing quite invigorating, although is there a Heldentenor around?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 12:32:02 AM
Can anyone explain all the masonic symbolism in the Magic Flute? I had the first scene explained to me and I was shocked how full of symbolism it actually is. One question I have always had is why does the queen send the 3 boys who work for Sarastro to guide Tamino and Papageno?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 02:23:05 AM
He's just an attention whore.  Elgar, you like Dittersdorf, so your taste is sufficiently eccentric to be worthless to conventional listeners like me.  Enjoy your zaniness!  Relish it!  Don't expect people to conform to your taste since you are the non-conformist.  And stop looking for us to react against you as well.  It's tiresome, there are more interesting ways of conversely with your posters that do not involve flamebait. ::) 

Call me what you want. I told how I feel about Mozart operas in a humble way without mocking the taste of others. Did you know that most people on Earth would not care less about Mozart's operas, Dittersdorf or even Elgar? Yes, my taste is eccentric but what's negative about it? At least I find my own favorites with open mind without brainwashing!

Conventional listener? What the heck is that? A standard? If you want to be conventional or normal then be but don't think it makes you better than eccentric listeners like me.

Are you saying the position of Mozart's operas can't be questioned? What are afraid of? That Mozart's operas won't survive my criticism? I see frightening amount of "religious" attitude on this forum, worship of canonic works and ignore of obscure works/composers.

I like Mozart more than Dittersdorf. I am just hinting Dittersdorf should not be ignored. Music 20 % worse than Mozart is still great. Dittersdorf has personality in his music I like a lot. 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 02:42:50 AM
Quote
At least I find my own favorites with open mind without brainwashing!

Are you sure thats safe? Maybe you should consider a check up :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 03:20:10 AM
Call me what you want. I told how I feel about Mozart operas in a humble way without mocking the taste of others. Did you know that most people on Earth would not care less about Mozart's operas, Dittersdorf or even Elgar? Yes, my taste is eccentric but what's negative about it? At least I find my own favorites with open mind without brainwashing!

Conventional listener? What the heck is that? A standard? If you want to be conventional or normal then be but don't think it makes you better than eccentric listeners like me.

Are you saying the position of Mozart's operas can't be questioned? What are afraid of? That Mozart's operas won't survive my criticism? I see frightening amount of "religious" attitude on this forum, worship of canonic works and ignore of obscure works/composers.

I like Mozart more than Dittersdorf. I am just hinting Dittersdorf should not be ignored. Music 20 % worse than Mozart is still great. Dittersdorf has personality in his music I like a lot. 

Please. Let's cut the crap about the brainwashing and all the rest. And we all know exactly where you're going with this. An overwhelming majority of musically sensitive listeners over the centuries, starting with Mozart's great contemporary Josef Haydn, have found his operas to be exceptionally fine works worthy of particular love and affection. Not Dittersdorf's operas, not even Haydn's, but Mozart's. Before you start going on and on about "religious" attitudes and such, it behooves you in my opinion to get a better understanding of why these works are so admired. Then, if you have reservations about them, you'll be in a better position to state them a bit more dispassionately. (For example, one can love Don Giovanni intensely while being aware of many deep flaws in it.)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 03:33:13 AM
Dear Poju, I rather agree with Larry, so please try to discuss this in less provocative tones, as not to wreck this thread.
I know you are of good will, and I know you can, so be a good chap, okay? :)

Harry
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 03:37:52 AM
Quote
(For example, one can love Don Giovanni intensely while being aware of many deep flaws in it.)

Pardon?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 10, 2007, 03:50:03 AM
Hooligan's new, but surely you other guys have seen enough of dB71 to know that either he's a troll playing at being contrarian and impossibly dense, or he suffers from a severe handicap.  In either case, it is pointless to reason with him, or to expect reasonableness from him.  However, I've learned more than a few things from folks trying to teach him something, so please continue the effort if it pleases you...just know what you're dealing with and don't expect to make any headway and you'll save yourselves a lot of frustration!

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 03:55:51 AM
Dear Poju, I rather agree with Larry, so please try to discuss this in less provocative tones, as not to wreck this thread.
I know you are of good will, and I know you can, so be a good chap, okay? :)

Harry

I am not conservative hence I am provocative. I don't try to wreck anything.
I really am lost with Mozart's operas like some people are with Elgar's symphonies.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 03:59:56 AM
There seems to be some degree of artistic quibble with the "moralizing" conclusion to Don Giovanni.  OTOH, considering the way that Stravinsky & Auden 'celebrated' that sort of 'observational framework' with a similar upbeat conclusion to The Rake's Progress . . . I think of it just as one of the layers of 'staginess'.  Sure, many interesting changes have been made in the operatic world in the interests of "truth to drama" (as each age perceives that particular moving target), but the fact is, that when you have people singing the drama, the spectacle operates in ways very other than Hamlet, or The Importance of Being Earnest, or A Streetcar Named Desire.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 04:12:17 AM
I am not conservative hence I am provocative. I don't try to wreck anything.
I really am lost with Mozart's operas like some people are with Elgar's symphonies.

I understand that you think that, but you must have read by now, that somehow this impression of being the odd one out, is not going down well on GMG. The fact that you know your self to be provocative is a first step towards a more peaceful approach right?
Of course I know that you are not consciously trying to wreck anything, but it happens anyway, so lets get back to talk within reason about the dislikes or likes of Mozart's operas. :)
If it helps, I feel rather lost too, with the operas, so there you are.
Not about Elgar however.
Harry
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 04:22:14 AM
If it helps, I feel rather lost too, with the operas, so there you are.
Not about Elgar however.


But you are a sensible chap, Harry, and you know that the contrarian facts, that Mozart's operas are generally held to be among the very finest accomplishments in that genre, where no such high esteem is attached to Elgar's symphonies (save by frank Elgarmaniacs), are not to be set aside simply as "conspiracy" or "brain washing" or "lack of free-thinking."
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 04:30:10 AM
And also on this one, I would like comments.



This one is very good. You know, Harry, since I recall your liking Sir Marriner, please accept my reccomendation of his "Zauberflote" before this one, if you don't already have it. Finally, for avery good (though dated) dvd, get the Zauberflote conducted by Sawallisch, it's worth it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 04:31:36 AM
But you are a sensible chap, Harry, and you know that the contrarian facts, that Mozart's operas are generally held to be among the very finest accomplishments in that genre, where no such high esteem is attached to Elgar's symphonies (save by frank Elgarmaniacs), are not to be set aside simply as "conspiracy" or "brain washing" or "lack of free-thinking."

When I said that I felt lost, I meant that I had yet to learn and listen my way through Mozart his operas.
The finest accomplishments, most certainly, but maybe I am just to insensitive at the moment for the relative merits. Whatever may be the case, I clearly have to find my way through them, and I will, in time, I hope. :)
My esteem for Elgar or Mozart, or any other composer is on the same level, there is no competition between them, for I see good in almost every composer.
Poju used some strong terms yes, but the art is not to be provoked by them, and I am not. I find it rather refreshing.
Tis him being under fire I don't like. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 04:33:09 AM
But you are a sensible chap, Harry, and you know that the contrarian facts, that Mozart's operas are generally held to be among the very finest accomplishments in that genre, where no such high esteem is attached to Elgar's symphonies (save by frank Elgarmaniacs), are not to be set aside simply as "conspiracy" or "brain washing" or "lack of free-thinking."



It's only my opinion, but although I agree with Karl in regard to Mozart's operas being overall phenomenal (and often unmatched), I have a high regard for Elgar's Cello Concerto. Of course, I'd never rank it up there with Mozart's best, but that's just me. Whadda I know  ;D?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 04:33:50 AM


This one is very good. You know, Harry, since I recall your liking Sir Marriner, please accept my reccomendation of his "Zauberflote" before this one, if you don't already have it. Finally, for avery good (though dated) dvd, get the Zauberflote conducted by Sawallisch, it's worth it.

I heard some samples of Marriner and you are right its very good, so it probably will go on my list, thanks for pointing it out.
Sawallish is sent to me by a friend from France, so in a couple of days I will hear that too.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 04:35:18 AM
Do you watch operas during your workouts, Harry?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 04:35:44 AM
I heard some samples of Marriner and you are right its very good, so it probably will go on my list, thanks for pointing it out.
Sawallish is sent to me by a friend from France, so in a couple of days i will hear that too.





Hey, you lucked out on the Sawallisch! Lucia Popp is quite good here (despite her age making her a bit dubious as Pamina). I was chilled by the performance of the Three Boys in particular here. And Sawallisch is quite accomplished.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 04:42:33 AM
Do you watch operas during your workouts, Harry?

Hell, no, too much sweating my friend. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 04:43:52 AM




Hey, you lucked out on the Sawallisch! Lucia Popp is quite good here (despite her age making her a bit dubious as Pamina). I was chilled by the performance of the Three Boys in particular here. And Sawallisch is quite accomplished.

Will of course report. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 04:54:24 AM
I appreciate your advices Harry! What you say makes sense. I'd only remind that sometimes other members say something at least I find provocative. I told I get easily bored while listening to Mozart's operas. Many members have said Elgar's orchestration is overblown and The Apostles makes them sleepy. How are these words any less provocative?

I am ready to behave but others should behave too.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 05:03:11 AM
I appreciate your advices Harry! What you say makes sense. I'd only remind that sometimes other members say something at least I find provocative. I told I get easily bored while listening to Mozart's operas. Many members have said Elgar's orchestration is overblown and The Apostles makes them sleepy. How are these words any less provocative?

I am ready to behave but others should behave too.

Why argue? If you don't dig Mozart, there are eleventy-billion other composers out there.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 05:22:07 AM
Mozart.

Don Giovanni.

DG, Werner van Mechelen.
Leporella, Huub Claessens.
Donna Anna, Elena Vink.
Don Ottavio, Markus Schafer.
Zerlina, Nancy Argenta.
Masetto, Nancy de Vries.
Donna Elvira, Christina Hogman.
Il Commendatore, Harry van der Kamp

La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken.


Recorded in 1995 this Accent performance is in many ways admirable. First of all, I enjoyed the music very much, and also the plot. The recording is rather good if not exceptional. Small orchestra, that plays beautiful, and has a nice ring to it. Two problems that occurred right away were Donna Anna sung by Elena Vink, and Donna Elvira sung by Christina Hogman, these two females ruined this performance for me. I simply don't like that sort of voices, and I had a hard time getting through them.
The duet between DG and Zerlino "La ci darem la mano" is marvelously sung, and there are many instances that I enjoyed in this performance, honestly. But there is always Donna Elvira, Arggghhhhhh.
The rest of the cast is perfect, and would it not be for this two singers this one would survive, as it is now, it will go in the dustbin. Another one bites the dust.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 05:24:46 AM
I told I get easily bored while listening to Mozart's operas. Many members have said Elgar's orchestration is overblown and The Apostles makes them sleepy. How are these words any less provocative?

Not the same thing at all. A widely held opinion does not need to be defended. If one wants to diverge from a widely held opinion, that is a different matter.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2007, 05:29:25 AM
A widely held opinion does not need to be defended.

Sun rotating around Earth? It was widely held for centuries and defended with fire and sword. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 05:32:03 AM
Sun rotating around Earth? It was widely held for centuries and defended with fire and sword. :)

And now has been discredited. When Mozart's importance is widely discredited, then I'll put down my sabre.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2007, 05:33:45 AM
And now has been discredited. When Mozart's importance is widely discredited, then I'll put down my sabre.

We'll not be around then anymore. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 05:34:24 AM
We'll not be around then anymore. :)

Speak for yourself.  0:)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 05:35:11 AM
Why argue? If you don't dig Mozart, there are eleventy-billion other composers out there.

Well, yes. But (pace my friend Harry) not all composers are created equal. Given Mozart's reputation, I think it behooves one to spend more time with Mozart in hopes that you do eventually "get" why he is admired so widely. I don't believe Dittersdorf Cimarosa or Paisiello need the same amount of attention.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 05:35:40 AM
Speak for yourself.  0:)

Exactly. Like Mozart, some of us are immortal.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 05:36:43 AM
Well, yes. But (pace my friend Harry) not all composers are created equal.

True enough. But don't beat yourself up over it. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 06:01:39 AM
I don't know why when listening to Mozart operas the word SUPERMAN always comes to mind. It feels as if NOTHING was beyond him - except a longer life! :-[

Sounds like he was the be all and the end all of music then, or a semi-divinity.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 06:02:42 AM
True enough. But don't beat yourself up over it. :)

If Elgar finds Mozart boring, it's his loss, not mine.  :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 06:09:56 AM
If Elgar finds Mozart boring, it's his loss, not mine.  :D

Elgar ain't bad, but he ain't no Mozart.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 07:00:16 AM
Sounds like he was the be all and the end all of music then, or a semi-divinity.

Il nostro semideo . . . .
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 07:25:03 AM
Trying again . . . .

There seems to be some degree of artistic quibble with the "moralizing" conclusion to Don Giovanni.  OTOH, considering the way that Stravinsky & Auden 'celebrated' that sort of 'observational framework' with a similar upbeat conclusion to The Rake's Progress . . . I think of it just as one of the layers of 'staginess'.  Sure, many interesting changes have been made in the operatic world in the interests of "truth to drama" (as each age perceives that particular moving target), but the fact is, that when you have people singing the drama, the spectacle operates in ways very other than Hamlet, or The Importance of Being Earnest, or A Streetcar Named Desire.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 08:26:09 AM
If Elgar finds Mozart boring, it's his loss, not mine.  :D

Exactly. I wish I enjoyed Mozart's operas as much as his other works. Fortunately I enjoy Dittersdorf, Elgar and many other composers.  :)

A widely held opinion does not need to be defended.

Always question widely held opinions!
One widely held opinion among people is that classical music sucks (and heavy metal rules).
I'm sure you agree with me that's a stupid opinion.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 08:29:00 AM
Exactly. I wish I enjoyed Mozart's operas as much as his other works.

Yes, fortunately you enjoy such mediocre-to-mixed figures as Dittersdorf and Elgar.

Poju, you don't get it, do you?  Talk Mozart here.  No one gives the least shade of a damn about Dittersdwarf or Elgar in this thread.  So talk Mozart, or clam up.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 08:29:28 AM
One widely held opinion among people is that classical music sucks (and heavy metal rules).
I'm sure you agree with me that's a stupid opinion.

I listened to both today. I must be only half-stupid.  :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 08:30:45 AM
Yes, folks, trying yet again . . . .

There seems to be some degree of artistic quibble with the "moralizing" conclusion to Don Giovanni.  OTOH, considering the way that Stravinsky & Auden 'celebrated' that sort of 'observational framework' with a similar upbeat conclusion to The Rake's Progress . . . I think of it just as one of the layers of 'staginess'.  Sure, many interesting changes have been made in the operatic world in the interests of "truth to drama" (as each age perceives that particular moving target), but the fact is, that when you have people singing the drama, the spectacle operates in ways very other than Hamlet, or The Importance of Being Earnest, or A Streetcar Named Desire.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2007, 08:35:38 AM
...but the fact is, that when you have people singing the drama, the spectacle operates in ways very other than Hamlet, or The Importance of Being Earnest, or A Streetcar Named Desire.

(My emphasis above)

True.  Actually the fact that people are singing the drama is precisely why some listeners don't like any opera, at all, whether by Mozart or anyone else.  There is an amount of suspension of disbelief to overcome, and some people are more willing to do that than others.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 08:48:32 AM
Yes, fortunately you enjoy such mediocre-to-mixed figures as Dittersdorf and Elgar.

Not mediocre to me. That was been my message on this forum from day one.

Poju, you don't get it, do you?  Talk Mozart here.  No one gives the least shade of a damn about Dittersdwarf or Elgar in this thread.  So talk Mozart, or clam up.

I'm happy to talk about Mozart but you others find my words provocative.
My opinion is Mozart's greatness as a composer is not served well in operas.
I also claim Mozart made lots of musical compromises in operas in order to maximize their popularity ( => simple music).
His musical ambitions show themselves elsewhere.
It's ok to enjoy Mozart's operas and find them entertaining but my honest opinion is the music isn't that amazing.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 08:51:07 AM
I listened to both today. I must be only half-stupid.  :D

Or half-cultivated.  ;D

Hey, last Sunday I watched wrestling after a program about Rameau! Enjoyed both!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 08:53:04 AM
Actually the fact that people are singing the drama is precisely why some listeners don't like any opera, at all, whether by Mozart or anyone else.

Is it the illusion of realism in the cinemas which drives some of this, do you think, Bruce?
Theatre is a wonderful bridge between immediate experience, and various levels of ritual.  Film is a very different experience, though there are some points of intersection with the stage.

Singers performing Mozart's marvelously polished and subtly inflected music has always been for me one of the most immediately enjoyable 'layers' of his opera.  And the da Ponte adaption of Beaumarchais/Moliere (?) is for me one of the enjoyable rituals about Le nozze di Figaro, for instance.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 08:54:57 AM
Or half-cultivated.  ;D

Hey, last Sunday I watched wrestling after a program about Rameau! Enjoyed both!

That's what I'm talking about.  :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 08:57:36 AM
I listened to both today. I must be only half-stupid.  :D




Ditto.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 08:58:44 AM
Ditto.

I could get into my theories on sound and tone here, but Karl would kick me in the butt. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 09:01:02 AM
I could get into my theories on sound and tone here, but Karl would kick me in the butt. :)





Karl can be quite restrained and reasonable, among many other admirable traits.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 09:04:43 AM
Karl can be quite restrained and reasonable, among many other admirable traits.

Apparently not when you're messing with his Mozart opera thread.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 09:06:22 AM
I think the vibrational fields of Mozart's mature operas are second to none, Dave  ;)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 09:08:08 AM
Is it the illusion of realism in the cinemas which drives some of this, do you think, Bruce?
Theatre is a wonderful bridge between immediate experience, and various levels of ritual.  Film is a very different experience, though there are some points of intersection with the stage.

Singers performing Mozart's marvelously polished and subtly inflected music has always been for me one of the most immediately enjoyable 'layers' of his opera.  And the da Ponte adaption of Beaumarchais/Moliere (?) is for me one of the enjoyable rituals about Le nozze di Figaro, for instance.





That was Beaumarchais, wasn't it? I'm not familiar with the Mozart operas before The Abduction...but I can name few pasttimes more enjoyable than collecting different renditions of the DaPonte operas...in fact, I have had a ball just studying the music and librettos to those operas!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 09:12:10 AM
Yes, Beaumarchais, of course. I don't know how I threw Molière in there; but at least I didn't panic and say "Burma."
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 09:15:32 AM
at least I didn't panic and say "Burma."




(laughing uproariously out loud)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2007, 09:17:42 AM
Is it the illusion of realism in the cinemas which drives some of this, do you think, Bruce?
Theatre is a wonderful bridge between immediate experience, and various levels of ritual.  Film is a very different experience, though there are some points of intersection with the stage.

Singers performing Mozart's marvelously polished and subtly inflected music has always been for me one of the most immediately enjoyable 'layers' of his opera.  And the da Ponte adaption of Beaumarchais/Moliere (?) is for me one of the enjoyable rituals about Le nozze di Figaro, for instance.

I think it's "anyone singing a story," whether on screen or on stage.  Many people don't like musicals for the same reason.  Having just seen the film of Streetcar again a few weeks ago, it's much easier to accept Blanche DuBois screaming out her thoughts verbally, than hearing Renée Fleming sing the same lines--at least, I think so.

And yes, some people probably prefer the cinema rather than the artifice of the stage.  One of the things I find fascinating about expert stagecraft is that it is not film.  In the Met's 2004 Don Giovanni, directed by Marthe Keller (interestingly, yes, the film actress), when the Don descends to Hell he is sort of trapped in a huge pane of glass that slowly sinks into the floor, accompanied by a cloud of smoke.  It's a great image, but doesn't begin to compare to the resources that most filmmakers would call upon to do the same thing.  But I like it because it's "stagy."

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 09:20:29 AM
Artists acted so quickly, in some ways, in past ages that it takes one's breath away
Beaumarchais wrote Le Mariage de Figaro in 1778;  Louis XVI had banned it after a private reading, objecting to its depiction of the aristocracy.  The ban was at last lifted, and the first public performance was in 1784.  Mozart wrote his opera in 1786.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 09:21:32 AM
I think it's "anyone singing a story," whether on screen or on stage.

What cruel irony, Bruce!  For the ancient storytellers sang their stories, of course.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 09:30:17 AM
I think it's "anyone singing a story," whether on screen or on stage.  Many people don't like musicals for the same reason.  Having just seen the film of Streetcar again a few weeks ago, it's much easier to accept Blanche DuBois screaming out her thoughts verbally, than hearing Renée Fleming sing the same lines--at least, I think so.

I'm rather shy of musicals myself, though not because I mind people singing the story :-)

I haven't checked out the opera adaptation of Streetcar.

Quote
And yes, some people probably prefer the cinema rather than the artifice of the stage.

Which is to say, they are more inclined to accept the artifices of cinema than of the stage.  Where thou and I, Bruce, take both artifices in their place.

Quote
One of the things I find fascinating about expert stagecraft is that it is not film.  In the Met's 2004 Don Giovanni, directed by Marthe Keller (interestingly, yes, the film actress), when the Don descends to Hell he is sort of trapped in a huge pane of glass that slowly sinks into the floor, accompanied by a cloud of smoke.  It's a great image, but doesn't begin to compare to the resources that most filmmakers would call upon to do the same thing.  But I like it because it's "stagy."

Yes; the stage is a positive thing on its own.  It isn't a negative "this isn't real life, but . . . ."
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 09:31:23 AM



Ditto.


But did you watch wrestling?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 09:32:52 AM
But did you watch wrestling?

An opera about wrestling. Now THAT would be something.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 09:33:03 AM
I haven't checked out the opera adaptation of Streetcar.

Consider yourself blessed.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 09:33:33 AM
Yes, fortunately you enjoy such mediocre-to-mixed figures as Dittersdorf and Elgar.


I love mediocre-to mixed fugures like Ditterdorf and Elgar, only to me they are not ehhhhh mediocre. Now, now, leave your dogs at home my man! ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 09:36:06 AM
But did you watch wrestling?





It's just not my thing. But I still love horror/gore movies (ZOMBIES!) and fun stuff like that.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 09:36:12 AM
Apparently not when you're messing with his Mozart opera thread.  ;D

No, no, my friend this is not Karl's thread (t), rather its mine. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 09:39:27 AM
I love mediocre-to mixed fugures like Ditterdorf and Elgar, only to me they are not ehhhhh mediocre. Now, now, leave your dogs at home my man! ;D

I don't love either particularly. (Woof!)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 09:39:43 AM
No, no, my friend this is not Karl's thread (t), rather its mine. ;D

Darnit. I bet if Karl were at your house, he'd sit in your chair and smoke your favorite pipe as well.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 09:39:56 AM
No, no, my friend this is not Karl's thread (t), rather its mine. ;D

Rather it is the group's.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 10, 2007, 09:41:24 AM
It's just not my thing. But I still love horror/gore movies (ZOMBIES!) and fun stuff like that.

Hey, I co-wrote a zombie novella. Go check out my profile and see if you can find the book cover.  ;D It's reeeeal purty.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on October 10, 2007, 09:41:43 AM
No, no, my friend this is not Karl's thread (t), rather its mine. ;D

If only starters of a thread would be able to clear up the mess once in a while, not Harry?  8)

Q

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 09:44:34 AM
If only starters of a thread would be able to clear up the mess once in a while, not Harry?  8)

Q



As messes go, this one is comparatively benign.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 09:47:57 AM
If only starters of a thread would be able to clear up the mess once in a while, not Harry?  8)

Q



Que, would you be so kind to explain this sentence to me, I would be much oblidged.

I can and will close the thread if I think the mess is beyond what this thread is about.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 09:49:32 AM
As messes go, this one is comparatively benign.

So far so good, yes.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on October 10, 2007, 09:50:19 AM
Que, would you be so kind to explain this sentence to me, I would be much oblidged.

I can and will close the thread if I think the mess is beyond what this thread is about.

I meant clearing a thread of off-topic "discussions". 8)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 09:57:51 AM
I meant clearing a thread of off-topic "discussions". 8)

Q

Yes, sorry, I now understand Que.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2007, 10:08:05 AM
Harry, something tells me you might enjoy this DVD, a 1992 production of Così fan tutte conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, filmed at the Théâtre du Châtelet.  I bought a copy for a friend, with whom I watched a bit, and it's excellent.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51849BVEKHL._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 10:11:35 AM
Harry, something tells me you might enjoy this DVD, a 1992 production of Così fan tutte conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, filmed at the Théâtre du Châtelet.  I bought a copy for a friend, with whom I watched a bit, and it's excellent.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51849BVEKHL._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce

Now, that is something to go on, thank you very much Bruce.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brewski on October 10, 2007, 10:14:39 AM
Now, that is something to go on, thank you very much Bruce.

I didn't think of it when you posted your original query.  Gardiner and his English Baroque Soloists are very authentic, and you might (repeat, might) like the voices better.  The production is fantastic.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 10:38:23 AM
Darnit. I bet if Karl were at your house, he'd sit in your chair and smoke your favorite pipe as well.

No, but I'd let him pour me a tumbler of single-malt  8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 10:42:22 AM
Now, that is something to go on, thank you very much Bruce.

And I thank you, Bruce!  I've been on a low-key lookout for a DVD of Così.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 10, 2007, 11:05:03 AM
An opera about wrestling. Now THAT would be something.

Wrestling is versatile entertainment and has soup opera elements.  ;)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Daidalos on October 10, 2007, 11:17:27 AM
RE: Mozart Operas

I have always loved Mozart's late operas for their drama, wit and beauty. The more I listen to them, the more I read of them and of the cultural context in which they were written, the more I am convinced that they are far from "simple". In all da Ponte operas, complex and controversial issues (for the time, and to some extent even today) such as sexuality, class and morality. Consider how shocking they must have been at the time of their conception!

Aside from the daring nature of their plots, I have always been amazed at how Mozart manages to get the music to mirror the drama so perfectly. The beforementioned finale of the second act of Figaro is a perfect example. I don't get the objection that it is "simple" at all. Even yet, why is "simple" necessarily a bad thing? Simplicity can be profound as well, I think, and I have always felt that in some of his later works, Mozart did use simplicity to great artistic effect. Granted, I cannot back this up musically, but it is a feeling nonetheless.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2007, 11:34:45 AM
In all da Ponte operas, complex and controversial issues (for the time, and to some extent even today) such as sexuality, class and morality.

Still, da Ponte was no Wilhelm Reich, nor was Mozart a politically correct composer.  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 11:39:42 AM
Hey, I co-wrote a zombie novella. Go check out my profile and see if you can find the book cover.  ;D It's reeeeal purty.





Hey, please PM me and let me know how to buy a copy of your novella!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 10, 2007, 11:43:04 AM
Now, that is something to go on, thank you very much Bruce.






Harry, that's a really good Cosi, but the dvd I love most has Muti conducting and Ziegler singing....it's fantastic, with special/mostly traditional settings. Please be sure to check that one out.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 12:12:08 PM





Harry, that's a really good Cosi, but the dvd I love most has Muti conducting and Ziegler singing....it's fantastic, with special/mostly traditional settings. Please be sure to check that one out.

This way I am getting a list with which I can work, thanks Andy.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on October 10, 2007, 01:02:36 PM
This way I am getting a list with which I can work, thanks Andy.

Harry, I listen to the following performance of Marriage of Figaro all the time; it is my favorite:

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Nozze-Figaro-Marriage/dp/B0007P0LNO/ref=sr_1_8/104-6944379-3143911?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1192029910&sr=1-8

This is my favorite Don Giovanni.

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Giovanni-Maazel-Raimondi-Kanawa/dp/B00005UW7G/ref=pd_sim_m_4_img/104-6944379-3143911?ie=UTF8&qid=1192029910&sr=1-8
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 01:06:11 PM
Harry, I listen to the following performance all the time; it is my favorite:

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Nozze-Figaro-Marriage/dp/B0007P0LNO/ref=sr_1_8/104-6944379-3143911?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1192029910&sr=1-8



The tempo is to slow, but it is hard to dislike anything with Kiri Te Kanawa.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 01:16:22 PM
Harry, I listen to the following performance of Marriage of Figaro all the time; it is my favorite:

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Nozze-Figaro-Marriage/dp/B0007P0LNO/ref=sr_1_8/104-6944379-3143911?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1192029910&sr=1-8

This is my favorite Don Giovanni.

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Giovanni-Maazel-Raimondi-Kanawa/dp/B00005UW7G/ref=pd_sim_m_4_img/104-6944379-3143911?ie=UTF8&qid=1192029910&sr=1-8

Thank you Anne, this list of mine is getting gigantic proportions.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 01:37:35 PM
Thank you Anne, this list of mine is getting gigantic proportions.

When it comes to throwing stuff away, my mailbox makes as good a bin as any :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidW on October 10, 2007, 03:27:42 PM
Sun rotating around Earth? It was widely held for centuries and defended with fire and sword. :)

That doesn't discredit what Larry said.  Something being true is separate from the issue of who has the burden of proof to carry in a debate.  Else you could say "I won't justify myself because clearly I speak the truth" for everything, which is just stupid. :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 10, 2007, 03:46:51 PM
That doesn't discredit what Larry said.  Something being true is separate from the issue of who has the burden of proof to carry in a debate.  Else you could say "I won't justify myself because clearly I speak the truth" for everything, which is just stupid. :D

Thank you.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: uffeviking on October 10, 2007, 05:55:24 PM
Harry, something tells me you might enjoy this DVD, a 1992 production of Così fan tutte conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, filmed at the Théâtre du Châtelet.
--Bruce


The video of this excellent production has been sitting on my shelve for over ten years. It came out as LVD and is one of my favorites because it is so lovely conducted, sung, played and directed.

To discover outstanding Mozart singers, let's forget about Kiri te Kanawa, who is from the old school believing only in sound, to hell with the words and action. Tapping her big toe is the extent of her dramatic expression.

In the Mozart celebration year 2006, Salzburg performed and recorded every opera Mozart wrote and presented new, young talent on the podium and stage and as director. There is the place to go to learn more about Mozart, the opera composer, take fresh looks at them, and those young voices will knock your socks off! No stoic 'stand and deliver' for them; they can actually sing while moving about and displaying expressions beyond big toe tapping!  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 10, 2007, 09:09:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/Gwq13kGm4Uc
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on October 10, 2007, 09:33:58 PM
who has the burden of proof to carry in a debate. 

This has been settled by the Roman Law 2000 years ago: the burden of proof lies on s/he who states something, not on s/he who denies.   :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 09:41:51 PM
When it comes to throwing stuff away, my mailbox makes as good a bin as any :)

Your to late, most of the stuff is already on its way to be destroyed, and anyway, the posting would cost me more as the worth of the cd's themselves. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 10, 2007, 10:16:44 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/Gwq13kGm4Uc

Thanks my friend, very helpful, and some things quite beautiful. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 11, 2007, 02:21:20 AM
Thanks my friend, very helpful, and some things quite beautiful. :)

You are welcome, but don't get sucked into it! It is a horrible interpretation!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 11, 2007, 04:57:24 AM
Mozart.

Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail

Konstanze, Yelda Kodalli.
Belmonte, Paul Groves.
Blonde, Desiree Rancatore.
Osmin, Peter rose.
Pedrillo, Lynton Atkinson.
Bassa Selim, Oliver Tobias.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Choir/ Sir Charles Mackerras.

Recorded in 1999 by Mike Hatch in the Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland.
Licensed from Telarc.

Kadaboem! The first opera from Mozart that I absolutely adore!
To begin with this is a fabulous fine recording, Mike Hatch really surpassed himself. Singers and Orchestra alike have a topnotch front to back image, and it sounds so natural, you almost think your self in the Hall.
But what surprised me most, is the excellent orchestral writing Mozart is offering here. Such fine strings and timpani, played by this orchestra in what I call unsurpassed beauty, not a dull moment here, and so many surprises along the way. This ensemble in in top form on this recording. Tempi are swift without being hasty, and the phrasing is simply to be heard to believe.
But also the singers are in a class apart, to begin with two to me unknown female singers, for which Mozart wrote extremely high notes, and they sing them with ease and purity, without destroying it with too much vibrato. Almost coloratura here. A few minor lapses her and there but nothing serious. Konstanze has a few Arias that moved me almost to tears, the first in the first act, "Ach, ich Liebe, war so glucklich, Kannte nicht der Liebe Schmerz" and in the second act "Matern aller Arten" geez moving!
And Blonde is also a character to be savoured in the Aria "Durch Zartlichkeit und Schmeichlen" high notes almost sung very cleanly.
The men are all fine. the German diction is not always perfect, but in the light of such a performance I readily forget.
This opera I like very much.

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on October 11, 2007, 05:38:44 AM
Almost coloratura here.

Almost??  It doesn't get much more coloratura than those ladies in Entführung.  The men, too, for that matter.

Glad you like it so much!  I love the opera, too.  In fact, today or tomorrow, I'm expecting a DVD of it from Netflix.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 11, 2007, 08:11:14 AM
Almost??  It doesn't get much more coloratura than those ladies in Entführung.  The men, too, for that matter.

Glad you like it so much!  I love the opera, too.  In fact, today or tomorrow, I'm expecting a DVD of it from Netflix.

Yes, yes, I knew that, just kidding around. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 11, 2007, 06:44:20 PM
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail
This opera I like very much.

Me, too.  It may be my favorite of Mo's after Cosi and Le Nozze.  Opera should be fun!  (God forbid we should take it seriously.)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 11, 2007, 07:43:13 PM
Me, too.  It may be my favorite of Mo's after Cosi and Le Nozze.  Opera should be fun!  (God forbid we should take it seriously.)

Did you forget about the don?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 12:44:31 AM
Mozart.

Il Sogno di Scipone.
Azione Teatrale KV 126.

Fortuna, Claron McFadden.
Constanza, Claudia Patacca.
Scipione, Francois Soons.
Publio, Terence Mierau.
Emilio, Marcel Reijans.
La Licenza, Francine van der Heyden.

Capella Amsterdam/Daniel Reuss.
Concert Master Franc Polman.
Harpsichord, Michael Borgstede.
Musica Ad Rhenum/Jed Wentz.

Recorded in 2001.

Being one of his early operas I must say I was bored to the very core of my bones. The story is interesting, and there are some fine arias, though sung with a certain attaca, that made it hard for me to concentrate on the story. As if the singers try to force expression into the process, of a opera not that spectacular as some of his later compositions. Apart from that, the recording and performance of the Orchestra is topnotch, agile playing, well directed by Jed Wentz, but what is not in the music, can't come out.
McFadden is a powerful voice, with little vibrato, but she tends to very loud singing, and the high notes are clearly beyond her reach, for sometimes I must take refuge to my bomb shelter, to avoid eternal damage to my ears. that is in part also a problem of her being recorded this way, not enough space, and placed to much on the foreground.
Patacca is a milder voice, but still one to reckoned with, not to be ignored she is.
Soons tends to sing like a Heldentenor, and that does not suit Mozart's music well.
Van der Heyden is not a bad singer, but not quite suitable IMO for this kind of repertoire.
The rest of the men are okay, not earth shattering.
What is also disconcerting is the total lack of feeling, and so you will compassion for this music by all participants. It sounds detached and cold as the North Pole, you never get involved alas.
This is a opera not for me, and linea recta bin material. 
 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 12, 2007, 03:04:19 AM
Did you forget about the don?





 :) The "Don..." is probably my favorite Mozart opera as well. And I love "Il Mio Tesoro" ;)!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 03:28:30 AM
Being one of his early operas I must say I was bored to the very core of my bones.

Careful Harry, it's illegal to be bored by an opera by Mozart. Be bored by Dittersdorf instead!  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 03:38:15 AM
Careful Harry, it's illegal to be bored by an opera by Mozart. Be bored by Dittersdorf instead!  ;D

Well I say what I feel, always done that.
Legal or not legal, I was extremely bored.
Dittersdorf on the other hand was always kind to me. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 12, 2007, 03:40:59 AM
Did you forget about the don?
No.  It's great, sure, but has yet to delight me as much as the others.  I'm not saying it's deficient, or that those who admire it most are morons.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 12, 2007, 03:42:56 AM
No.  It's great, sure, but has yet to delight me as much as the others.  I'm not saying it's deficient, or that those who admire it most are morons.  YMMV.




Most people I've met seem to love "Marriage of Figaro" best. I guess MoF is more for the opera lover whom adores hapy stories and happy endings. That particular opera (MoF) has certainly turned more than a few gloomy days to happy for me  :)!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 03:46:12 AM
Until now, I like the Entfuhrung aus dem Serail best....................................
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 03:48:40 AM
Well I say what I feel, always done that.
Legal or not legal, I was extremely bored.
Dittersdorf on the other hand was always kind to me. ;D


You must put your words right because Karl et al. don't attack you the way they attack me for similar opinions.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 03:56:53 AM
Most people I've met seem to love "Marriage of Figaro" best. I guess MoF is more for the opera lover whom adores hapy stories and happy endings. That particular opera (MoF) has certainly turned more than a few gloomy days to happy for me  :)!

Le nozze is certainly (for what reason soever) the Mozart opera I've listened to / watched most often these past five-six years.  I noted with pleasure the recommendation on the Così DVD;  that one, as well as the Don, I have long been meaning to get to know properly.  Over the past year, I've watched the DVD of the Bergman Magic Flute probably twice, and that 'un hath good and enraptured me, as well.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 03:57:43 AM
Well I say what I feel, always done that.
Legal or not legal, I was extremely bored.
Dittersdorf on the other hand was always kind to me. ;D


Harry, you express yourself with such grace and balance, that it is a pleasure to read your posts, even when you disagree with me.

But wild horses couldn't make me listen to Dittersdorf  ;D ;D ;D 8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 12, 2007, 03:59:12 AM
Until now, I like the Entfuhrung aus dem Serail best....................................





There's a long aria by the character Blonde which remains one of my girl (Empress Jasmine)'s favorite opera pieces.

Hey , the Entfuhrung... on dvd might be good for a Harry-workout!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 04:06:29 AM




There's a long aria by the character Blonde which remains one of my girl (Empress Jasmine)'s favorite opera pieces.

Hey , the Entfuhrung... on dvd might be good for a Harry-workout!

Yes I know what you mean, Blonde is quite a character, and I love her poise.
I managed a cd recording, which I like very much.
A DVD with a soprano that gets her coloratura right................................. ::)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 04:07:52 AM
But wild horses couldn't make me listen to Dittersdorf  ;D ;D ;D 8)

So you haven't even heard Dittersdorf? You'd be surprised if you opened your mind but I know you won't. Your loss, not mine.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 04:07:54 AM
Harry, you express yourself with such grace and balance, that it is a pleasure to read your posts, even when you disagree with me.

That's a very nice thing to say, indeed. :)

But wild horses couldn't make me listen to Dittersdorf  ;D ;D ;D 8)

After a couple of Single wee drams you will, believe me! ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 04:09:19 AM
So you haven't even heard Dittersdorf? You'd be surprised if you opened your mind but I know you won't. Your loss, not mine.

And that concludes the votes. ;D $:)
Afterall its a Mozart Thread.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 04:10:21 AM
So you haven't even heard Dittersdorf? You'd be surprised if you opened your mind but I know you won't. Your loss, not mine.

Good gravy, Poju, you will never know how vastly amusing it is — to all of us — to see you lecturing about "opening one's musical mind."

Thanks for the chuckles, guy!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 12, 2007, 04:12:39 AM
Until now, I like the Entfuhrung aus dem Serail best....................................
And I like Cosi best, but only by a nose.  It's probably the moralizing in Don & Flute that rub me just a little wrong in spite of the terrific music.  But to me they're all great.

And now for something completely different:
You must put your words right because Karl et al. don't attack you the way they attack me for similar opinions.

You're mistaken (again!), dB.  You attack.  You don't merely offer your half-baked opinions as a personal response, like Harry, but arrogantly insist that you alone (and in spite of a lack of qualifications that would humble anyone with a lick of sense) have the intelligence to recognize truths that are hidden to everyone else.  You repeatedly attack those who don't share your ill-informed views.  And then when they defend themselves and their informed opinions, you whine that you're being picked on.  Give it a rest.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 04:15:05 AM
And I like Cosi best, but only by a nose.  It's probably the moralizing in Don & Flute that rub me just a little wrong in spite of the terrific music.  But to me they're all great.

That aspect to Don and the Flute doesn't bother me;  I suppose I see it less as preachy, and a bit more like a contemporary adaptation of the fable tradition.

In any event, yes, the music is marvelous!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 04:21:25 AM

And now for something completely different:
You don't merely offer your half-baked opinions as a personal response, like Harry, picked on. 


Ehhhh, word!
My reviews ain't half baked Long Ears, you eat them to soon, give it the proper time to bake will ya! :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 12, 2007, 04:24:07 AM
And I like Cosi best, but only by a nose.  It's probably the moralizing in Don & Flute that rub me just a little wrong in spite of the terrific music.  But to me they're all great.

 




I guess I'm weird; I always considered Cosi... to be superior to Marriage of Figaro because of its irony. MoF included outstanding music, and the libretto can be truly awe-inspiring. But Cosi... has a very cynical, bitter side to it which is mostly unknown in other Mozart operas. Cosi... is titled "All Women Do Thus..." but the story reveals that men can be just as conniving and dishonest. I must be dumb, because I didn't "get" that part of Cosi... until I studied the libretto.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 04:42:10 AM
I guess I'm weird; I always considered Cosi... to be superior to Marriage of Figaro because of its irony. MoF included outstanding music, and the libretto can be truly awe-inspiring. But Cosi... has a very cynical, bitter side to it which is mostly unknown in other Mozart operas. Cosi... is titled "All Women Do Thus..." but the story reveals that men can be just as conniving and dishonest.

For good or ill, that is the "problem" of Così:  it's a comedy, and so, true to the genre, everyone must be properly matched up at the end.  But given what the men were about beforehand . . . to rejoice for them is conflicted at best.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 12, 2007, 04:42:30 AM
Ehhhh, word!
My reviews ain't half baked Long Ears, you eat them to soon, give it the proper time to bake will ya! :)
Sorry, Harry, I didn't intend the "half-baked" to apply to you, rather that you offer your personal responses as just that--personal responses--and not as edicts from a superior being who just "knows" as received wisdom that "Two Blind Mice" is a loftier artistic accomplishment that Beethoven's entire canon!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 04:44:24 AM
Sorry, Harry, I didn't intend the "half-baked" to apply to you, rather that you offer your personal responses as just that--personal responses--and not as edicts from a superior being who just "knows" as received wisdom that "Two Blind Mice" is a loftier artistic accomplishment that Beethoven's entire canon!

Thank you, I had to laugh so hard, that part of my Pizza has to be removed from my carpet. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 04:50:29 AM
Good gravy, Poju, you will never know how vastly amusing it is — to all of us — to see you lecturing about "opening one's musical mind."

Thanks for the chuckles, guy!

Amusing? The fact is I have exceptionally wide taste in music and I am sure few members of this forum could compete with me. And yes, most people do have HUGE musical chuckles. It's amazing how preoccupied we are when it comes to music.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 04:52:52 AM
Thank you, I had to laugh so hard, that part of my Pizza has to be removed from my carpet. ;D

One wants to be thorough about pizza-removal, don't forget, mijn vriend  ;)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: locrian on October 12, 2007, 04:53:23 AM
Quote
The fact is I have exceptionally wide taste in music and I am sure few members of this forum could compete with me.

 :o
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 12, 2007, 04:58:00 AM
The fact is I have exceptionally wide taste in music and I am sure few members of this forum could compete with me.

And now I have to wipe the coffee off my keyboard!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 12, 2007, 05:06:13 AM
given what the men were about beforehand . . . to rejoice for them is conflicted at best.







But isn't that part of the Genius? To see people applauding the men...sweet irony (it's good for the blood, nicht wahr?)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 12, 2007, 05:27:05 AM
Several aspects of the story are amusing, but it's the music, with all the duets and trios and sextets and so on, that really floats my boat.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 12, 2007, 05:39:14 AM
Several aspects of the story are amusing, but it's the music, with all the duets and trios and sextets and so on, that really floats my boat.





Yeah, it's rare to hear such incredible ensemble arias.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 12, 2007, 05:47:03 AM
You must put your words right because Karl et al. don't attack you the way they attack me for similar opinions.

But they are not similar opinions. You are attacking some of the greatest works in the operatic canon. Il Sogno di Scipione, being a very early work, is hardly that. A couple of years back I went to see Mitridate at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which, for the most part, I too found very boring. Sure, there were glimpses of Mozart's genius here and there, but it seemed like a Handelian opera seria rather lacking in Handelian inspiration, and extremely formulaic. What a gulf of difference there is between Mitridate and Idomeno, also an opera seria, but one in which Mozart's genius overrides its formula.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 12, 2007, 05:51:18 AM
Did you forget about the don?

No, he mentioned Figaro, where there are two dons. (Ding, ding! Don, don!)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 12, 2007, 05:52:45 AM
And now I have to wipe the coffee off my keyboard!

And so 71dB hijacks yet another thread . . . .
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 12, 2007, 05:58:39 AM
And so 71dB hijacks yet another thread . . . .

No, he will not, if I ask him kindly. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 12, 2007, 06:08:34 AM
Amusing? The fact is I have exceptionally wide taste in music and I am sure few members of this forum could compete with me. And yes, most people do have HUGE musical chuckles. It's amazing how preoccupied we are when it comes to music.

And don't assume, or rather presume, that your tastes range much wider than most of the other contributors on the board, just because you profess a liking for lesser known composers, such as Dittersdorf. My tastes take in all musical forms, from works for single instruments to works requiring huge forces, from Lieder to opera, from Dowland to composers still writing today, such as James MacMillan, John Adams and Steve Reich. I also enjoy music from several different countries and continents. In my collection I have works by lesser known composers such as,  Martucci,Caturia, Roldan, Wolf- Ferrari. I enjoy the music of Takemitsu,Messiaen and Rautavaara, as well as the music of Byrd and Tallis. I enjoy the operas of Monteverdi as much as those of Verdi. Have you heard Franisco Valls' Mass "Scala Aretina"? What a glorious piece that is. What about the Solo Violin Sonatas of Eugene Ysyae? It is against this background that I believe that from Le Nozze di Figaro onwards, Mozart wrote some of the very greatest operas ever written. As I mentioned once before, he single handedly changed the course of operatic history. I doubt Dittersdorf's influence was quite as profound.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 06:26:23 AM
But they are not similar opinions. You are attacking some of the greatest works in the operatic canon.

Harry said: "I bored to the bone."
I said: "I get easily bored."

To me these are similar opinions. In fact, Harry's opinion is stronger.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 06:49:51 AM
No, he will not, if I ask him kindly. :)

You are too optimistic, Harry. Poju is born to hijack threads.

Exhibit A:

Harry said: "I bored to the bone."
I said: "I get easily bored."

To me these are similar opinions. In fact, Harry's opinion is stronger.

Ah, yes! Another thread which is . . . All About Poju!

Somehow, it's only Poju himself who never gets tired of these dog-&-pony shows.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 07:34:54 AM
And don't assume, or rather presume, that your tastes range much wider than most of the other contributors on the board, just because you profess a liking for lesser known composers, such as Dittersdorf. My tastes take in all musical forms, from works for single instruments to works requiring huge forces, from Lieder to opera, from Dowland to composers still writing today, such as James MacMillan, John Adams and Steve Reich. I also enjoy music from several different countries and continents. In my collection I have works by lesser known composers such as,  Martucci,Caturia, Roldan, Wolf- Ferrari. I enjoy the music of Takemitsu,Messiaen and Rautavaara, as well as the music of Byrd and Tallis. I enjoy the operas of Monteverdi as much as those of Verdi. Have you heard Franisco Valls' Mass "Scala Aretina"? What a glorious piece that is. What about the Solo Violin Sonatas of Eugene Ysyae? It is against this background that I believe that from Le Nozze di Figaro onwards, Mozart wrote some of the very greatest operas ever written. As I mentioned once before, he single handedly changed the course of operatic history. I doubt Dittersdorf's influence was quite as profound.

That's a wide list in itself and shows a significantly wider taste than most people have. However, I am not intimidated by a list like this. Let's have a look at my taste:

Classical music
I have dedicated discs for about 125 composers + music on CD by many many more. These composers range from Alfonso X and Palestrina to Torke and Pärt.

Electronic (underground) music
Hundreds and hundreds of artists from numerous genres like house, trance, hardcore, breakbeat, ragga, jungle, drum 'n' bass, neurofunk, speed garage and idm. I'd take me a day to list the artists here.

Popular music/soft rock
Not an area many respectable artists but I keep in very high esteem Standfast, Briskeby, Bel Canto, Logh, Kroyt, Colin McIntyre aka Mull Historical Society, Lowgold, Kashmir. I also like Blue States, Goldfrapp, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Paul Simon and Alex Lloyd.

New age/world music
Very broad area of different genres. Favorites include Ranga, Bhakta, John Balint, Hector Zazou, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Sheila Chandra, Wayne Gratz, Andreas Vollenweider and Axiom of Choice.

Jazz/improvised music/Funk/movie music
Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Curtis Mayfield, John Williams and Lesley Barber.

Now, beat that!  ;D

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: locrian on October 12, 2007, 07:36:39 AM
Now, beat that!  ;D

I can beat that easy.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on October 12, 2007, 07:51:28 AM
Now, beat that!  ;D

Poju, just in case you didn't notice: this thread is about Mozart Operas.  :P

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2007, 07:53:12 AM
The merits of the mature operas hardly need any advocacy among discriminating listeners . . . but are there early Mozart operas that anyone likes well?  I don't think I've heard any, apart from the Overture to The Impresario . . . .
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 12, 2007, 07:54:40 AM
That's a wide list in itself and shows a significantly wider taste than most people have. However, I am not intimidated by a list like this. Let's have a look at my taste:

Classical music
I have dedicated discs for about 125 composers + music on CD by many many more. These composers range from Alfonso X and Palestrina to Torke and Pärt.

Electronic (underground) music
Hundreds and hundreds of artists from numerous genres like house, trance, hardcore, breakbeat, ragga, jungle, drum 'n' bass, neurofunk, speed garage and idm. I'd take me a day to list the artists here.

Popular music/soft rock
Not an area many respectable artists but I keep in very high esteem Standfast, Briskeby, Bel Canto, Logh, Kroyt, Colin McIntyre aka Mull Historical Society, Lowgold, Kashmir. I also like Blue States, Goldfrapp, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Paul Simon and Alex Lloyd.

New age/world music
Very broad area of different genres. Favorites include Ranga, Bhakta, John Balint, Hector Zazou, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Sheila Chandra, Wayne Gratz, Andreas Vollenweider and Axiom of Choice.

Jazz/improvised music/Funk/movie music
Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Curtis Mayfield, John Williams and Lesley Barber.

Now, beat that!  ;D




Well I only listed some of my classical likes. I didn't even start on the rest of my collection, which is also very wide by any standards.

However, I see that, as usual, you totally miss my point. I was just using the examples as an illustration. Your puerile brand of point scoring is really very tiresome.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 12, 2007, 08:11:57 AM
The merits of the mature operas hardly need any advocacy among discriminating listeners . . . but are there early Mozart operas that anyone likes well?  I don't think I've heard any, apart from the Overture to The Impresario . . . .

I have heard all Mozart's operas and I even prefer many early operas to the later ones as they have more baroque feel and are somehow more ambitious. Mozart's first operas are amazingly good. Der Schauspieldirektor is imo Mozart's worst opera. I have to listen them more to deside my favorite.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 12, 2007, 11:01:20 AM
Until now, I like the Entfuhrung aus dem Serail best....................................

Are these the first operas you are listening to?

Entfuhrung is probably the most accessible of Mozart's operas. I wonder why its not more popular?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 12, 2007, 11:08:07 AM
Several aspects of the story are amusing, but it's the music, with all the duets and trios and sextets and so on, that really floats my boat.
Speaking of sextets...
http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/dUR8KHyFH5g
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on October 13, 2007, 10:37:28 AM
Entfuhrung is probably the most accessible of Mozart's operas. I wonder why its not more popular?

I come late to this party, or tussle, or whatever it is.

I agree that it is a mystery as to why Entfuhrung is not performed more often. Perhaps the whole Islamic/Woman's place in life issues make it a bit of a hot potato. It is life enhancing to listen to that seemingly inexhaustible stream of inventiveness that Mozart displays.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Don on October 13, 2007, 10:55:58 AM
That's a wide list in itself and shows a significantly wider taste than most people have. However, I am not intimidated by a list like this. Let's have a look at my taste:

Classical music
I have dedicated discs for about 125 composers + music on CD by many many more. These composers range from Alfonso X and Palestrina to Torke and Pärt.

Electronic (underground) music
Hundreds and hundreds of artists from numerous genres like house, trance, hardcore, breakbeat, ragga, jungle, drum 'n' bass, neurofunk, speed garage and idm. I'd take me a day to list the artists here.

Popular music/soft rock
Not an area many respectable artists but I keep in very high esteem Standfast, Briskeby, Bel Canto, Logh, Kroyt, Colin McIntyre aka Mull Historical Society, Lowgold, Kashmir. I also like Blue States, Goldfrapp, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Paul Simon and Alex Lloyd.

New age/world music
Very broad area of different genres. Favorites include Ranga, Bhakta, John Balint, Hector Zazou, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Sheila Chandra, Wayne Gratz, Andreas Vollenweider and Axiom of Choice.

Jazz/improvised music/Funk/movie music
Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Curtis Mayfield, John Williams and Lesley Barber.

Now, beat that!  ;D



With all the time you must spend on jazz, new age, pop and electronic music, it's no surprise that you're not the brightest bulb on the street concerning classical music.

Also, there's nothing to beat.  I just have to satisfy my own musical pursuits.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 11:09:25 AM
I come late to this party, or tussle, or whatever it is.

I agree that it is a mystery as to why Entfuhrung is not performed more often. Perhaps the whole Islamic/Woman's place in life issues make it a bit of a hot potato. It is life enhancing to listen to that seemingly inexhaustible stream of inventiveness that Mozart displays.

That's exactly the reason why I love this opera, my first I might add. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: 71 dB on October 13, 2007, 11:37:16 AM
With all the time you must spend on jazz, new age, pop and electronic music, it's no surprise that you're not the brightest bulb on the street concerning classical music.

What the heck do you mean? Abstract and complex electric music like Autechre has trained my ears to understand complex classical music with ease. I must also say that classical music gets about half of my attention.

I wonder how bright you are concerning electronic music.  ;D

Try this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfwD05XA2YQ).
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 11:38:13 AM
Well considering that I have all Mozart operas at home, and me liking Die Entfuhrung most, after hearing others allready listed in this thread, which one could I like in equal measure or better.
In other words, which one should I play next?
Played the Entfuhrung several times now, and it really grows on me.
Suggestions please.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 13, 2007, 11:41:48 AM
Well considering that I have all Mozart operas at home, and me liking Die Entfuhrung most, after hearing others allready listed in this thread, which one could I like in equal measure or better.
In other words, which one should I play next?
Played the Entfuhrung several times now, and it really grows on me.
Suggestions please.

Well the magic flute...duh!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 11:43:15 AM
What the heck do you mean? Abstract and complex electric music like Autechre has trained my ears to understand complex classical music with ease. I must also say that classical music gets about half of my attention.

I wonder how bright you are concerning electronic music.  ;D

Try this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfwD05XA2YQ).

Again Poju, how many times must I remind you and others too, this is a thread about Mozart operas, and I want to learn from you about this, so please apart from a joke here and there, discuss the music from Mozart.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 11:46:57 AM
Well the magic flute...duh!

Yes, well have to figure out which performance!
I asked info about the Norrington recording but no one seems to know it!
Andy said Marinner is a good idea, and maybe I will try that one too.
Gerdiner I tried from a friend and that is a no go, concerning authentic, I simply did not like it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 13, 2007, 12:00:19 PM
Yes, well have to figure out which performance!
I asked info about the Norrington recording but no one seems to know it!
Andy said Marinner is a good idea, and maybe I will try that one too.
Gerdiner I tried from a friend and that is a no go, concerning authentic, I simply did not like it.
Yes, judging from Norrington's Don Giovanni, I never want to listen to him again. Marinner or Solti is the safe bet, but I think the magic needs to be watched to be fully enjoyed. Get the Levine dvd. I once watched this dvd from netflix that had such amazing sets and costumes, but I can't remember it...I've been left curious for years about it, maybe someone can help me? All I remember was papageno was in a full on bird suit (big help I know).


Ohh also, I have these lectures from this guy named Greenberg, they are very helpful. He has 24 lectures about Mozart's operas but focuses on magic flute and cosi fan.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 12:06:35 PM
Yes, judging from Norrington's Don Giovanni, I never want to listen to him again. Marinner or Solti is the safe bet, but I think the magic needs to be watched to be fully enjoyed. Get the Levine dvd. I once watched this dvd from netflix that had such amazing sets and costumes, but I can't remember it...I've been left curious for years about it, maybe someone can help me? All I remember was papageno was in a full on bird suit (big help I know).

You must realize that I am not looking for a big bones performance. I happen to like authentic performances, and Solti or Levine are totally out of the question, for they have female voices that scare the hell out of me.
Marinner I heard some 20 years ago, and I found it to be a nice performance, no idea what I think now of it, but avoiding Norrington, why no, I won't.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brewski on October 13, 2007, 12:14:23 PM
For The Magic Flute, you might check out the classic Klemperer/Philharmonia recording, with some astounding work by Lucia Popp as the Queen of the Night, Gundula Janowitz as Pamina, and Walter Berry as Papageno.  It has been re-released on EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century" series.  I have no idea if the voices will appeal to you, but to me it's worth the entire recording to hear Popp sail through "Der Hölle Rache."

Edit: just saw that knight had recommended this earlier, even though as he notes, the recording omits the spoken dialogue.  But that may not matter to you when listening to a CD (vs. viewing it on a DVD). 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PH8F4RB7L._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 12:22:10 PM
For The Magic Flute, you might check out the classic Klemperer/Philharmonia recording, with some astounding work by Lucia Popp as the Queen of the Night, Gundula Janowitz as Pamina, and Walter Berry as Papageno.  It has been re-released on EMI's "Great Recordings of the Century" series.  I have no idea if the voices will appeal to you, but to me it's worth the entire recording to hear Popp sail through "Der Hölle Rache."

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PH8F4RB7L._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce

Well I like the voices of Lucia Popp, and Gundula Janowitz, have some recordings of both of them, and Walter Berry has a fine voice no doubt.
But I know for sure one of my music croonies has it, so I will ask him to send it over, and I will try. Thanks Bruce.
Will let you know what I think
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on October 13, 2007, 12:22:51 PM
The Klemperer is my number one choice for this work, though there is no spoken dialogue. Here is the young Janowitz singing her main aria from the work, possibly around the time she recorded it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aFZ8xz-3gg

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 13, 2007, 12:26:24 PM
The Klemperer is my number one choice for this work, though there is no spoken dialogue. Here is the young Janowitz singing her main aria from the work, possibly around the time she recorded it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aFZ8xz-3gg

Mike

Really a lovely voice, but no dialogue, what a pity, but anyway I will try this one.
Thanks for the video, that really helps me making my choice.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on October 13, 2007, 01:40:57 PM
Well considering that I have all Mozart operas at home, and me liking Die Entfuhrung most, after hearing others allready listed in this thread, which one could I like in equal measure or better.
In other words, which one should I play next?
Played the Entfuhrung several times now, and it really grows on me.
Suggestions please.

Overture to Marriage of Figaro - play it 10 or 100 times and you will still never get tired of it - at least I don't.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 13, 2007, 01:49:10 PM
Really a lovely voice, but no dialogue, what a pity, but anyway I will try this one.
Thanks for the video, that really helps me making my choice.

I mentioned the Klemperer Flute also, as well as the Marriner. My two top audio choices, though I also consider Bergman's film in Swedish essential too. The main defect of the Klemperer is its utter lack of humor, far more a problem than the lack of dialogue, but redeemed considerably by exceptional singing.

The Met in New York has a new production under Levine that was also performed as a 90-minute condensed version in English for kids, and broadcast on TV - from which I cut a homemade DVD. It leaves out a good chunk of music, but will give a good sense of the performance if it's commercially available. Or I could be enticed to make a copy of the DVD for anyone interested, yours for postage costs.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on October 13, 2007, 01:59:59 PM
The Klemperer is my number one choice for this work, though there is no spoken dialogue. Here is the young Janowitz singing her main aria from the work, possibly around the time she recorded it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aFZ8xz-3gg

Really a lovely voice, but no dialogue, what a pity, but anyway I will try this one.
Thanks for the video, that really helps me making my choice.

Klemperer, really good choice, despite the lacking of dialogues. You can not go wrong with that one. Frick is a great Sarastro, and let's not forget his enemy, the Queen of the Night: the young Lucia Popp.
Well, sorry about this recommendation. ::)
But I can't help it.
Just a man who's led by his devotions, I guess. And Lucia Popp is one of his main devotions. This evening I watched and listened to her performance in Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, on DVD, with Lenny Bernstein. O wonderful, wunderbar Wunderhorn!

EDIT: Pfui mich, I'm a lazy reader. Her astounding work as the Queen of the Night has been mentioned before. Well, thrice happy lovers, then? :) (or more?!)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on October 13, 2007, 02:01:34 PM
I mentioned the Klemperer Flute also, as well as the Marriner. My two top audio choices, though I also consider Bergman's film in Swedish essential too. The main defect of the Klemperer is its utter lack of humor, far more a problem than the lack of dialogue, but redeemed considerably by exceptional singing.

The Met in New York has a new production under Levine that was also performed as a 90-minute condensed version in English for kids, and broadcast on TV - from which I cut a homemade DVD. It leaves out a good chunk of music, but will give a good sense of the performance if it's commercially available. Or I could be enticed to make a copy of the DVD for anyone interested, yours for postage costs.

Larry, I'd love it if you made a copy for me.  I'd even throw in $15 for your labor.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 13, 2007, 02:16:00 PM
Larry, I'd love it if you made a copy for me.  I'd even throw in $15 for your labor.

No labor involved. Two clicks of a mouse. But I have to hold off for a couple of weeks until I can get my second DVD drive replaced; it's acting up.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on October 13, 2007, 02:38:35 PM
No labor involved. Two clicks of a mouse. But I have to hold off for a couple of weeks until I can get my second DVD drive replaced; it's acting up.

Whenever you are ready is fine, Larry.  It is for my grandchildren and they don't know about it.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on October 13, 2007, 11:30:51 PM
I mentioned the Klemperer Flute also, as well as the Marriner. My two top audio choices, though I also consider Bergman's film in Swedish essential too. The main defect of the Klemperer is its utter lack of humor, far more a problem than the lack of dialogue, but redeemed considerably by exceptional singing.


All true, it is in several ways a partial version of the opera, but it is an interesting take on it. No one else elevates the duet of the armed men into the mystical timestopper that Klemperer achieves. I don't have any HIP versions of it, but the version on Naxos is lively and has a good cast. I dispensed with Marriner because the dialogue was tediously done. Mackerras version in English is a joy. I do also want to recommend the Abbado version; it is absolutely excellent, though the Queen is less vociferous than I like. The dialogue has flow to it, treading on the heels of the music rather than, as more often, after a ponderous pause. The singers sound young and are all in good voice. It is enchanting.

Mike

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Haffner on October 14, 2007, 01:30:54 AM
You must realize that I am not looking for a big bones performance. I happen to like authentic performances, and Solti or Levine are totally out of the question, for they have female voices that scare the hell out of me.
Marinner I heard some 20 years ago, and I found it to be a nice performance, no idea what I think now of it, but avoiding Norrington, why no, I won't.





I still find the dvd with Sawallisch and Popp to be a terrific introduction. The only semi-down point for me has to be the otherwise excellent Francisco Araiza struggling with the German libretto.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on October 14, 2007, 08:38:41 PM
You must realize that I am not looking for a big bones performance. I happen to like authentic performances, and Solti or Levine are totally out of the question, for they have female voices that scare the hell out of me.
Marinner I heard some 20 years ago, and I found it to be a nice performance, no idea what I think now of it, but avoiding Norrington, why no, I won't.

Ruth Ziesak (in Solti's second Zauberflöte) scares the hell out of you? This fresh yet pleasantly crackling voice? Sumi Jo scaring? There are much more vibrant Queens imaginable, I'd say.
Well, Harry, please allow me to say that you should give Sir Georg another try. Although I promised that I would not recommend Solti's Figaro, I'm sorry Harry, I have to do this! ;)

Lucia Popp as Susanna: what a class act, great, everything one could wish for. I heard this performance 20 years ago and immediately fell in love with her voice.
Kiri Te Kanawa as Countess: warm, caring, tender, witty. She was a mega star then, but she's a fine performer when the role is gentle to her voice. Listen to her duetto with Popp, the Canzonetta sull'aria!
Frederica von Stade as Cherubino: she's a boy, she really is!! Just listen, and SAY NO MORE.
Yvonne Kenny as Barbarina: girlish, perfectly suited for the role.
Jane Berbié as Marcellina: OK, vibrant, but her voice suits the older lady very very well.

And what about the boys, then?
Samuel Ramey as Figaro: Ramey in his prime! His Figaro is a perfect match to Susanna. Very impressive Non più andrai!
Thomas Allen as Count: a young virile nobleman, whose dream it is to be Don Giovanni, but alas .... (or maybe not 'alas' ;)).
Kurt Moll as Bartolo: si, Dottore, que voce! Moll can be the perfect basso buffo, and also be a noble Sarastro, BTW.
Robert Tear as Basilio: the way he acts with his voice is just amazing. One of the best choices for this role, I'd say.
Philip Langridge as Curzio: Langridge is a fine tenor, who's able to sing both HIP and more romantic parts.
Giorgio Tadeo as Antonio: the perfect basso buffo. An admirable geek.

Solti as conductor: I remember reading interviews where people asked him about his later releases: hey Georg, are you influenced by HIP? Freshness, tempi, expressiveness!
Solti: me HIP-influenced? No [censored] way!

This is certainly no big bones performance with awful female voices. OK, the sound is a bit spatial, which makes it less intimate than (maybe) preferrable, but still .... recommended!
Harry, do give it a try! (And zrow it in ze basket, if you do not like it. Then I'm sorry I wasted your time.)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on October 14, 2007, 08:42:40 PM
I still find the dvd with Sawallisch and Popp to be a terrific introduction. The only semi-down point for me has to be the otherwise excellent Francisco Araiza struggling with the German libretto.

I had a great time watching and listening to that one! Araiza's German is not perfect, indeed, but his voice is very fine. Gruberova is also an excellent Queen. Man, does she sound furious!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 14, 2007, 09:02:35 PM
Quote
Solti as conductor: I remember reading interviews where people asked him about his later releases: hey Georg, are you influenced by HIP? Freshness, tempi, expressiveness!
Solti: me HIP-influenced? No [censored] way!


 ;D

Ohh since we are on the topic of Solti...if you don't have a recording of the requiem...GET ONE!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 14, 2007, 09:49:19 PM
Ruth Ziesak (in Solti's second Zauberflöte) scares the hell out of you? This fresh yet pleasantly crackling voice? Sumi Jo scaring? There are much more vibrant Queens imaginable, I'd say.
Well, Harry, please allow me to say that you should give Sir Georg another try. Although I promised that I would not recommend Solti's Figaro, I'm sorry Harry, I have to do this! ;)

Lucia Popp as Susanna: what a class act, great, everything one could wish for. I heard this performance 20 years ago and immediately fell in love with her voice.
Kiri Te Kanawa as Countess: warm, caring, tender, witty. She was a mega star then, but she's a fine performer when the role is gentle to her voice. Listen to her duetto with Popp, the Canzonetta sull'aria!
Frederica von Stade as Cherubino: she's a boy, she really is!! Just listen, and SAY NO MORE.
Yvonne Kenny as Barbarina: girlish, perfectly suited for the role.
Jane Berbié as Marcellina: OK, vibrant, but her voice suits the older lady very very well.

And what about the boys, then?
Samuel Ramey as Figaro: Ramey in his prime! His Figaro is a perfect match to Susanna. Very impressive Non più andrai!
Thomas Allen as Count: a young virile nobleman, whose dream it is to be Don Giovanni, but alas .... (or maybe not 'alas' ;)).
Kurt Moll as Bartolo: si, Dottore, que voce! Moll can be the perfect basso buffo, and also be a noble Sarastro, BTW.
Robert Tear as Basilio: the way he acts with his voice is just amazing. One of the best choices for this role, I'd say.
Philip Langridge as Curzio: Langridge is a fine tenor, who's able to sing both HIP and more romantic parts.
Giorgio Tadeo as Antonio: the perfect basso buffo. An admirable geek.

Solti as conductor: I remember reading interviews where people asked him about his later releases: hey Georg, are you influenced by HIP? Freshness, tempi, expressiveness!
Solti: me HIP-influenced? No [censored] way!

This is certainly no big bones performance with awful female voices. OK, the sound is a bit spatial, which makes it less intimate than (maybe) preferrable, but still .... recommended!
Harry, do give it a try! (And zrow it in ze basket, if you do not like it. Then I'm sorry I wasted your time.)

O, dear, what moral pressure you put upon me! ;D
I will sample and try before I buy, otherwise I end up with a lot of unwanted Mozart. :P ;D
You have a way with Mozart......
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on October 15, 2007, 01:57:24 PM
I have the Solti Marriage of Figaro. It is everything Marc says it is. Some people like to kick everything Solti did, but all that needs to be done is to open the ears.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: marvinbrown on October 15, 2007, 02:07:20 PM
I have the Solti Marriage of Figaro. It is everything Marc says it is. Some people like to kick everything Solti did, but all that needs to be done is to open the ears.

Mike

  Haven't heard the Solti Marriage of Figaro.  the only recording I have is this which I just love:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31DRJ60DG8L._SS500_.jpg)

  marvin
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on October 15, 2007, 05:32:20 PM
Incomplete but wonderful.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on October 15, 2007, 06:41:33 PM
Incomplete but wonderful.

Missing only two minor, action-stopping arias from act IV that are usually cut anyway. A very good choice.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 15, 2007, 10:11:05 PM
I have the Solti Marriage of Figaro. It is everything Marc says it is. Some people like to kick everything Solti did, but all that needs to be done is to open the ears.

Mike

I decided allready to sample all the recordings which posters think top of the bill, just to try and understand why. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 16, 2007, 12:35:18 AM
I too have the Giulini, which I find a wonderful performance. That said, the Solti is also excellent and cannot really be faulted. I have been guilty of a little Solti bashing before (I don't think he had the first idea how to conduct Verdi), but I can't really find fault with his Figaro. His second recording of The Magic Flute is also very fine.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: marvinbrown on October 16, 2007, 12:38:38 AM
Incomplete but wonderful.

  Longears and Larry are the two of you refering to the Giulini recording?  If yes, I did not know that it was incomplete.  I have read many reviews prior to purchasing it and none that I can remember refer to cuts and omissions. Hmmm.......

  marvin
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: B_cereus on October 16, 2007, 12:46:50 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419FMYWPHVL._AA240_.jpg)

Sublime.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 16, 2007, 12:53:45 AM
Well the favourites keep streaming in to this thread, and I am grateful for that. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 16, 2007, 01:34:00 AM
  Longears and Larry are the two of you refering to the Giulini recording?  If yes, I did not know that it was incomplete.  I have read many reviews prior to purchasing it and none that I can remember refer to cuts and omissions. Hmmm.......

  marvin

Like most of the recordings from this period, it omits Marcellina's and Basilio's arias. As far as I know, it is otherwise complete, though, again like most recordings, there may be one or two cuts in the secco recitatives. Otherwise, it is a glorious performance, capturing the principals at something like a highwater mark of their careers, as does Solti's cast in theirs.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Kullervo on October 16, 2007, 05:58:43 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations on Don Giovanni, preferably in modern sound?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 16, 2007, 06:49:36 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations on Don Giovanni, preferably in modern sound?

This may not be modern enough for you (it's pre digital, though otherwise excellent). However, IMO, it still takes a lot of beating.

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Oct02/Mozart_Giovanni_GROC_300.jpg)



Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on October 16, 2007, 09:19:57 AM
Well the favourites keep streaming in to this thread, and I am grateful for that. :)

Harry,

let me try to summarize some things for you. :) May I?
I don't own every single recording I'm going to mention, but I've heard at least highlights of them. It’s all about ‘modern’ recordings, so no historical mono, though there are some classics in that genre, too.

The Oldies non-HIP:
you can’t go wrong with Giulini (Figaro, Don Giovanni), Böhm (Figaro, Così, Zauberflöte) and Solti (Entführung, Figaro, Così (2nd recording, with a.o. Renée Fleming), Zauberflöte (2nd recording)).
Klemperer is known for a more heavy approach, but I consider his Così as very good. This also goes for the much mentioned Zauberflöte.
Krips did a nice Entführung, with Gottlob Frick as an impressive Osmin.
John Pritchard did a recommendable Idomeneo, with Pavarotti Himself in the title role (don't think that's your taste).
I don't know much about Von Karajan. I've read that there are a number of impressive mono recordings with him (recorded during the fifties) and I think his Figaro is OK. I have his Don Giovanni, with Samuel Ramey as a superb Don. But it's a rather 'large'-sounding recording, maybe not your taste.

Then there is the still-very-alive-oldie Colin Davis: very good Da Ponte-cycle and also a good Tito (all recorded in the 70’s, for Philips). Another Tito I would like to mention is the one with Istvan Kertész.

Semi-HIP:
some of the recordings of Harnoncourt are either very good or at least very interesting, like Idomeneo, Entführung, Così. Also Mackerras did a few good jobs. I especially admire his Don Giovanni and consider it as one of the best I know.

HIP:
I own Hogwood’s Entführung and I don’t regret it one bit. Lively!
Gardiner did good work, especially in Idomeneo. But his Da Ponte opera’s are also all very enjoyable, and he keeps this high level in the others: Entführung, Tito and Zauberflöte. Definitely worth a try.
Jacobs: well-known for his vivid recordings of the Da Ponte Threesome. And don’t forget his Tito, either.
Kuijken, in the Da Ponte’s, is OK, but not very special. There’s a certain lack of drama in his performances.
Jed Wentz did a great job in some operae seria and in the youth opera’s (Brilliant Classics).
I don’t know (yet?) about Norrington or Östman. I once saw a sympathetic Zauberflöte of the latter, on TV, but, as far as I remember, his orchestra wasn't all that impressive.

Of course there are many more, that I forgot or even't don't know about.
I love Mozart's music, and I believe that in his operas he gave his best. Have fun exploring!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 16, 2007, 09:35:54 AM
Thanks a bundle Marc, the list was long, but it outgrows any sensible proportion. ;D ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on October 16, 2007, 10:11:06 AM
Thanks a bundle Marc, the list was long, but it outgrows any sensible proportion. ;D ;D

Well, you're gonna be a busy man, then. That'll keep you from buying CD's that no one else ever heard of! :P ;D

Here's something, BTW and very OT: petits motets of Henry Madin, french baroque composer. With instrumental intermezzi by Nicolas Clérambault. Lovely music! (When you get tired of "Der Hölle Rache".) :)

http://www.cd-baroque.com/index.php/cdbaroque/accueil/disques_k617/catalogue/memoire_musicale_de_lorraine/les_petits_motets
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Kullervo on October 16, 2007, 03:04:45 PM
This may not be modern enough for you (it's pre digital, though otherwise excellent). However, IMO, it still takes a lot of beating.

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Oct02/Mozart_Giovanni_GROC_300.jpg)

Pre-digital is fine, as long as there isn't too much tape hiss. Thanks for the recommendation, but what do you mean by "beating"?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 16, 2007, 05:55:17 PM
...Solti is also excellent and cannot really be faulted. I have been guilty of a little Solti bashing before (I don't think he had the first idea how to conduct Verdi), but I can't really find fault with his Figaro. His second recording of The Magic Flute is also very fine.

I agree about the second Solti Flute. Wonderfully done.

However, as far as I can tell Solti didn't totally detest HIP doctrine, despite what he is quoted as saying (in an earlier post). His first Flute is notably slower and heavier.

Perhaps HIP had zero to do with his transformation to a quicker, more transparent, more flexible (and much better) second Flute. But if not, he sure latched onto something....


Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 16, 2007, 06:21:54 PM
This may be moot by now but I see no reason not to move from The Abduction to Idomeneo.

A work from the same time period (early Vienna) and equally full of ardor.

I don't know of a great HIP recording so I'm no help there. But Levine on DG is a perfect 'mainstream' performance. He avoids anything leaden which may appease the HIPsters but with Domingo on board it could never be confused with true HIP. Still works as pleasing Mozart, though.



Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 17, 2007, 01:43:49 AM
Pre-digital is fine, as long as there isn't too much tape hiss. Thanks for the recommendation, but what do you mean by "beating"?

I mean that, in a competition, it would take a lot to beat it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: marvinbrown on October 17, 2007, 01:55:33 AM
Like most of the recordings from this period, it omits Marcellina's and Basilio's arias. As far as I know, it is otherwise complete, though, again like most recordings, there may be one or two cuts in the secco recitatives. Otherwise, it is a glorious performance, capturing the principals at something like a highwater mark of their careers, as does Solti's cast in theirs.

  Tsaraslondon...have you heard Marcellina's and Basilio's arias?  why would these be omitted...are they not noteworthy?

  marvin
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 17, 2007, 02:07:38 AM
Well I am making a list for Mozart operas, anyone has something to add, that I should hear?
Orders will go out the 26 October.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on October 17, 2007, 02:37:27 AM
  Tsaraslondon...have you heard Marcellina's and Basilio's arias?  why would these be omitted...are they not noteworthy?

  marvin

I know I have heard them, Marvin, but they haven't remained in my memory, and I can't say I miss them, so Giulini is fine with me.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on October 17, 2007, 04:26:26 AM
  Tsaraslondon...have you heard Marcellina's and Basilio's arias?  why would these be omitted...are they not noteworthy?

  marvin

They're not Mozart's greatest, they don't really add anything important plot-wise, and if they're done, the last act opens with five arias in row, the first three by relatively minor characters.  Also it's getting late in the evening (especially if it's done with three intermissions), and I think everyone's ready to go home. 

That said, I do miss them when they aren't there, especially Marcellina's.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on October 18, 2007, 01:09:32 PM
Harry, I have a fair few sets of Don Giovanni, but the one I have been returning to recently is a live one on Orfeo conducted by Karajan with Ghiaurov, Janowitz, Burrows, Zilis-Gara and Geraint Evans. It has lots of pace and bite and is very well sung.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 18, 2007, 01:26:03 PM
Harry, I have a fair few sets of Don Giovanni, but the one I have been returning to recently is a live one on Orfeo conducted by Karajan with Ghiaurov, Janowitz, Burrows, Zilis-Gara and Geraint Evans. It has lots of pace and bite and is very well sung.

Mike

Thank you Mike, anything with Karajan is almost always welcome. On my list too, hope I can find some samples of it.
Heard however a very old recording of the Jahreszeiten by Haydn, also by Karajan, and that was really terrible in sound but not as a performance. Just as a sideline since you mentioned Karajan.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 30, 2007, 11:36:31 AM
Isn't it terrible, that after listening to all the operas of Mozart, so far only two came through my sceptical reviews......
There are still three operas to go, but I am far from optimistic.
Maybe I am simply not made for opera from Mozart to.......
I will go into the unknown territory of Handel's operas/oratorios, and maybe Haydn, and see what will bring that.
And the oratorios by Vivaldi, have two operas allready, well I will see.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 30, 2007, 01:59:44 PM
Which 2?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 30, 2007, 02:18:27 PM
Die Zauberflote and Entfuhrung aus dem Sarail.....
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 30, 2007, 11:39:36 PM
Die Zauberflote and Entfuhrung aus dem Sarail.....

I don't know Harry, it's really odd to me that you would like those and not the others. The act 2 finale of Figaro didn't do anything for you? Try it again  ;)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 31, 2007, 12:01:56 AM
I don't know Harry, it's really odd to me that you would like those and not the others. The act 2 finale of Figaro didn't do anything for you? Try it again  ;)

I played all operas twice my friend, and not that the music is not good, it simply does not work for me, that's all.
Send all the operas away, to a far country...
Still have three left to try, so I will see.

Cheers. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 31, 2007, 01:21:57 AM
I played all operas twice my friend, and not that the music is not good, it simply does not work for me, that's all.
Send all the operas away, to a far country...
Still have three left to try, so I will see.

Cheers. :)

Does one of those three happen to be Idomeneo? If so there is hope yet!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 31, 2007, 02:05:37 AM
Does one of those three happen to be Idomeneo? If so there is hope yet!

Yes as a matter of fact it is front of me, Idomeneo.......... ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 31, 2007, 02:31:52 AM
Yes as a matter of fact it is front of me, Idomeneo.......... ;D
Great! Start with Elektra's arias first and then listen to them in context. I would love to see this opera live because there is no room for applause. Scenes just blend into each other, it's great.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 31, 2007, 02:43:15 AM
Great! Start with Elektra's arias first and then listen to them in context. I would love to see this opera live because there is no room for applause. Scenes just blend into each other, it's great.

Okay, I will do that and report back my findings, or send them straight off to someone.....
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: marvinbrown on October 31, 2007, 07:58:44 AM
Die Zauberflote and Entfuhrung aus dem Sarail.....

  Harry you didn't like Don Giovanni  :o??  The music is superb from start to finish, but then again you are not a very big fan of Soprano arias....maybe that had something to do with it?


  marvin
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on October 31, 2007, 09:17:02 AM
  Harry you didn't like Don Giovanni  :o??  The music is superb from start to finish, but then again you are not a very big fan of Soprano arias....maybe that had something to do with it?


  marvin

The quality of the music is not a issue Marvin, its good without a doubt.
It wasn't the sopranos that did me in, simply the style of music did not appeal to me.
That can happen to the best of us, right?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: marvinbrown on October 31, 2007, 09:35:05 AM
The quality of the music is not a issue Marvin, its good without a doubt.
It wasn't the sopranos that did me in, simply the style of music did not appeal to me.
That can happen to the best of us, right?

  Yes Harry you are absolutely right, sometimes music that is judged as GREAT does not appeal to the best of us and we should not force ourselves to listen to what we do not enjoy  :).


  marvin   
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on October 31, 2007, 04:48:08 PM
Well my theory that Mozart's operas are universally entertaining need modification (71db doesn't count and Iago really has a soft spot for Mozart), unless Harry begins to enjoy DG or Figaro.

Harry, when you say the style of the music do you mean recitative followed by arias, instead of a flowing Verdi style work?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on November 01, 2007, 02:01:16 AM
Well my theory that Mozart's operas are universally entertaining need modification (71db doesn't count and Iago really has a soft spot for Mozart), unless Harry begins to enjoy DG or Figaro.

Harry, when you say the style of the music do you mean recitative followed by arias, instead of a flowing Verdi style work?

Yes that's one of the problems I have Elias.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on November 01, 2007, 03:29:32 AM
Yes that's one of the problems I have Elias.

And you didn't like Don Giovanni? It has some amazing recitatives that make it stand out as the best opera of the 18th century! How do you plan to go to Handel and Vivaldi when their recitatives are so boring and the music is so straightforward. Maybe you are just not used to it? Or maybe you can just skip over them? Baroque recitatives are a waste of cd space! But Figaro's are comic and the accompanied ones in DG are amazing!

Then again,so many people like Puccini and that is a mystery to me.


Sorry its 4 am :) bedtime
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Florestan on November 01, 2007, 03:37:05 AM
so many people like Puccini and that is a mystery to me.

It's no mystery at all, just the infinite diversity of the human nature.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on November 01, 2007, 02:56:10 PM
It's no mystery at all, just the infinite diversity of the human nature.

Agreed, riddle solved. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on November 02, 2007, 10:41:17 PM
Baroque recitatives are a waste of cd space!

Not agreed, at least not in such a generalizing way.

But probably my disagreement is a result of the infinite diversity of the human nature. ;)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on November 05, 2007, 06:16:05 AM
Yes that's one of the problems I have Elias.

Then I quote from my reply 79 earlier in this thread:

Quote
Recitatives are of two types - secco (the boring type with just harpsichord and cello), and accompagnato, with orchestra. Secco of course is where you're having a problem. But don't think of it as melody you're not getting. It is basically a heightened or sung form of speech with little musical interest in itself, and is not too different from spoken dialogue.


I would have no hesitation skipping the secco recitatives when listening to a recording. But to throw away the Mozart operas because of the secco recitatives is truly to throw the baby out with the bathwater, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: longears on November 05, 2007, 06:22:53 AM
I would have no hesitation skipping the secco recitatives when listening to a recording. But to throw away the Mozart operas because of the secco recitatives is truly throw the baby out with the bathwater, in my opinion.

When I listen to opera recordings I usually enjoy them as pure music, in which case wretched-ititves usually appear as unwanted interruptions.  I wouldn't think of dispensing with them in the opera house, however!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on November 05, 2007, 02:50:06 PM
But they are the essential part of the plot.


Anyways, what did we think of Idomeneo Harry?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Larry Rinkel on November 06, 2007, 06:38:04 AM
But they are the essential part of the plot.

No one disputes that. But when playing a recording, I am free to skip the musically dull parts, repeat tracks, play numbers out of sequence, etc. In the opera house, on the other hand, I must follow the work in sequence from start to end.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: marvinbrown on November 06, 2007, 07:13:47 AM
No one disputes that. But when playing a recording, I am free to skip the musically dull parts, repeat tracks, play numbers out of sequence, etc. In the opera house, on the other hand, I must follow the work in sequence from start to end.

  Or you could always import from your CD the arias and ensembles tracks only and burn a new disk with the recitativos taken out.  I have done it with Le Nozze Di Figaro, but I kind of like the recitativo of Don Giovanni- its a more interesting story line as far as I am concerned and I like to follow the plot, gives the music more meaning.  Incidently Karajan has recorded only the arias and ensembles of Mozart's The Magic Flute, it is on EMI classics with the Wiener Philharmoniker (Dermota, Seefried, Kunz, Lipp, Webber are some of the singers) I just can'tfind a link for it on the internet for some reason.
 

  marvin
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on November 20, 2007, 06:29:50 AM
I read to my surprise that some members think, that I only played the Mozart operas once, and than throw them in the refusal bin.
This is blatant nonsense. Each box that is send to someone else in the world, has been listen by me at least 4 times, very attentively.
I decided that Mozart operas are not really my thing, but that I think that the music is fabulous, just not my thing.
So I do not throw Mozart in the refusal bin after one hearing. I do not know where this notion comes from.....
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on November 28, 2007, 06:44:29 AM
Mozart.

Zaide.
Deutsches Singspiel in zwei Aufzugen, KV 344.

Libretto: Johann Andreas Schachtner.

Zaide, Sandrine Piau.
Gomatz, Max Ciolek.
Allazim, Klaus Mertens.
Sultan Soliman, Paul Agnew.
Osmin, Klaus Mertens.
Narrator, Gregor Frenkel Frank.

Radio Kamerorkest/Ton Koopman.
Recorded 25/2/2001.

Well again a Mozart opera, and again a soprano is the cause of me disliking it. Sandrine Piau 's voice I love to hear, but in this performance she sings as if all air is pushed out of her. A good narrator, and the rest of the performers is very good, as is the orchestra under Koopman. I think the music very boring, and so this one will go in the refusal bin.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on November 28, 2007, 07:08:09 AM
Mozart.

Le Nozze di Figaro.

Claessens, Oelze, Groop, Kamp, Cramoix,
Choeur de Chambre de Namour, La Petite Bande,
S. Kuijken

Sound samples
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/9756014?rk=classic&rsk=hitlist

This opera buffa I actually like. All involved are excellent, and the recording is very good.
Blimey I actually like it....... 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on November 28, 2007, 07:29:25 AM
Mozart.

Idomeneo.

See link for details

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mozart-Idomeneo-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B000005GPO/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1196263361&sr=1-26

Playing this for the fourth time, now, loving the music, but I am not sure about the performance..... 
 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on November 28, 2007, 01:30:20 PM
Mozart.

Idomeneo.

See link for details

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mozart-Idomeneo-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B000005GPO/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1196263361&sr=1-26

Playing this for the fourth time, now, loving the music, but I am not sure about the performance..... 
 


The music has tons of potential, I just have never found the right recording.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry on December 13, 2007, 03:52:30 AM
Mozart.

Le Nozze di Figaro.
Opera Buffa in quattro atti, KV 492.
Libretto di Lorenzo da Ponte

Il Conte di Almaviva: Huub Claessens.
La Contessa: Patricia Biccire.
Figaro, cameriera del Conte: Werner van Mechelen.
Susanna, cameriera della contessa, Christiane Oelze.
Cherubino, paggio: Monika Groop.
Marzellina, governante: Beatrice Cramoix.
Bartolo, medico: Harry van der Kamp.
Basilio, meastro di musica: Yves Saelens.
Don Curzio, giudice: Philip Defrancq.
Antonio, giardiniere del Conte: Jean-Guy Devienne.
Barbarina, figlia di Antonio: Marie Kuijken.

Choeur de Chambre de Namur
La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken.

Recorded June 1998, live at the Palacio de Congresos y Auditios. La Coruna, Spain. The recording is superb.
Licensed from Accent.

I think I keep this one! Having played it now several times, this one has staying power. It has all to do with the very intimite performance. It is done without the normal pomp and circumstance normally attached. Voices are all fine, story is brought about effectively, and aided by a good Choir and Orchestra.
Of all the operas by Mozart this one I like best. Only two operas, well that's a bad score I say....
Pity he did not write operettas.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on December 13, 2007, 04:19:23 AM
Goooood! Very Goooood! This was my first opera also. You are on your way! By my math this makes 4, but i need an abacus to count :)
Now we just need Don Giovanni and you'll be a MozartManiac yet! 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Morigan on December 13, 2007, 06:19:21 AM
Ah, Mozart's operas. This is what made me jump into the opera bandwagon  ;D.

I've always thought that the best DVD can make you enjoy an opera a lot more than a recording... My favourite Mozart DVD is Ponnelle's film for Così, with the sublime Grubevora as Fiordiligi. The MET Don Juan comes close second, although Furlanetto's performance as Leporello was somewhat a let down (he's getting old).
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on December 13, 2007, 03:36:11 PM
I have been looking for this one forever...and I finally got it! And it is wonderful! Buy it! Now!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41GWQ3WH12L.jpg)


**Dessay, Bartoli and Piau are great but the men suck...I just assumed you knew that  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mozart on December 13, 2007, 08:52:34 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/DekHxpubjtI
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Opus106 on June 30, 2009, 10:13:24 AM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/4781600.jpg) (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//4781600.htm)

[Click on image for details]

Is this the Mozartean equivalent of what Karl affectionately refers to as "The Cube"?

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 01, 2009, 10:48:02 AM
I think it is time to energize this thread with a new infusion of spending
Anyone purchase the Jacobs/HM versions of the major Mozart operas, comments?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51SPCC8K15L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612AJYA5NML._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pWbAzT5wL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on July 01, 2009, 11:16:36 AM
I think it is time to energize this thread with a new infusion of spending
Anyone purchase the Jacobs/HM versions of the major Mozart operas, comments?

Got 'em all.  Love 'em all.  I need to get the lastest (Idomeneo).
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 01, 2009, 11:25:19 AM
Got 'em all.  Love 'em all.  I need to get the lastest (Idomeneo).
Ditto.  Except I'm not attracted to Idomeneo and am ardently awaiting The Magic Flute.  I rarely choose anything else these days, even Giulini's Giovanni (& Figaro) or Böhm's Cosi.  Sparkling, lively, lovely, with all the engaging virtues of period instrument performances (especially the fruity winds and scrunchy strings!). 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on July 01, 2009, 12:25:46 PM
Got 'em all.  Love 'em all.  I need to get the lastest (Idomeneo).

Thirded, buy with confidence.  8)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 01, 2009, 02:53:35 PM
If we agree that Jacobs/HM is best modern HIP Figaro......what about favorite classic CD version?

I especially like to compare the female trio of Contessa/Susana/Cherubino

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BFQRC89YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  Schwarzkopf/Moffo/Cossotto

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/c3/68/0246225b9da07488621db010.L._AA240_.jpg)  Te Kanawa/Popp/Von Stade

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JMBR32KWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  Janowitz/Mathis/Troyanos

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31PsNLFdJSL._SL500_AA180_.jpg)  Te Kawana/Upshaw/Von Otter
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 01, 2009, 03:24:50 PM
I love the Figaro scence where the love struck rogue Cherubino serenades Contessa with aria Voi Che Sapete
Have watched almost every available Voi Che Sapete video on You Tube, love the Cherubino character!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 01, 2009, 04:06:12 PM
If we agree that Jacobs/HM is best modern HIP Figaro......what about favorite classic CD version?
My fave "classic" is the Giulini you listed.  It has cuts but it's the one I imprinted on Another I like is Östman's with Barbara Bonney, Arleen Augér, and Alicia Nafé.  I also have the Solti you listed but haven't heard it in years.  (That's one of the problems with "collecting" recordings:  after awhile you have so many that most go unheard.)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 01, 2009, 04:20:32 PM
My fave "classic" is the Giulini you listed.  It has cuts but it's the one I imprinted on Another I like is Östman's with Barbara Bonney, Arleen Augér, and Alicia Nafé.  I also have the Solti you listed but haven't heard it in years.  (That's one of the problems with "collecting" recordings:  after awhile you have so many that most go unheard.)

Personally I don't mind CD versions that have recitativo sections removed so opera can fit on 2 Cds, saves money and time.
Just listened to the Giulini/EMI tonight, 1959 stereo and on paper (and in reality) the trio of Schwarzkopf/Moffo/Cossotto would be extremely hard to beat

Not familiar with Ostman, but the Solti versions have very high value in the used market especially the Figaro.......if it were cheaper I would pick one up  :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 01, 2009, 05:55:35 PM
Don't recall if I've mentioned this already (I did post somewhere on this lengthy thread) but for my money one of THE leading lights in Mozart opera is Fricsay. Fricsay was one of the first of his generation to espouse a more nimble, 'energetic' Mozart (Rosbaud, too) while still finding time to smell the roses - sort of a 'hybrid' approach I suppose to classical-era music. It's a style that's worn well over time and slips neatly into today's Mozart's aesthetic. 

I find Fricsay more lively than either Giulini or Böhm (as far as the older generation) and is a brighter light than Jacobs (from the new).

Not to mention his singers are (were) some of the finest out there.

So why hasn't his name cropped up more often in these types of discussions? Because he had the misfortune of dying prematurely which meant DG's PR machine gave him a complete miss. But he had the Mozart goods.



(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/270/275484.jpg) (http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/full/505/5050555.JPG)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41VBAAZ0B1L._SS500_.jpg)


 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on July 02, 2009, 09:54:05 AM
what about favorite classic CD version?


My favourite "classic" performances - though I still need to check out Fricsay, I have high expectations of him.
As you can see I don't like either Giulini or Böhm (in Mozart)...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4120RD9EGEL.jpg) (http://www.esounds.com/esounds/img/packshots/0077776326320-lf.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Fmt4i85fL._SS500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZMh6pattL._SS500_.jpg)

(http://images4.fnacmusic.com/Ur8giV6yty5uCmJQSUoza9ukFq2dxsD-ZEdV7H4C8L4.image)

Q

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 02, 2009, 11:35:53 AM
OK guys who was/is the greatest Don Giovanni?
Who has the swagger and the pure bravura to bring this notorius playboy to life........

In the 1950s Siepi was very popular
In the 1980s Ramey was very convincing, and had the dashing good looks for DVD media
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 02, 2009, 11:40:11 AM
My favourite "classic" performances - though I still need to check out Fricsay, I have high expectations of him.
As you can see I don't like either Giulini or Böhm (in Mozart)...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4120RD9EGEL.jpg)
Q

Q, since you like the Siepi/Della Casa - Don G. have you heard the live 1956 Mitropoulos?
I almost bought this a couple times.....

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XP28CPM7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on July 02, 2009, 01:06:03 PM
Q, since you like the Siepi/Della Casa - Don G. have you heard the live 1956 Mitropoulos?
I almost bought this a couple times.....
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XP28CPM7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Indeed I have, it's on my shelves. :)

Stellar line up, absolutely gorgeous singing - maybe the best sung Don I know - and Mitropoulos provides a fascinating view of the work. But I find the combination Mitropoulos-Mozart not quite a natural one. His approach can be fierce but it's like he's flogging a horse on the wrong moments: losing momentum when it should be picked up and forcing things when the music should flow naturally. His is basically a late-Romantic approach/ re-creation, like Furtwängler's.
Still, if you're into collecting recordings of the Don that really matter - this is definitely one of them! :)

But for a really interesting historical interpretation, I would turn my attention to Bruno Walter. His Don sounds as naturally Mozartian as can be. He made two live recordings of the Don: one at Salzburg in 1937, and another at the Metropolitan Opera in 1942. I'm familiar with the MET '42 and it is, despite truly rudimentary sound, endlessly fascinating and highly enjoyable.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41G4Z11QVSL.jpg)

Review on Classicstoday (http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=92)

I recently tracked down a copy of the Salzburg '37, of which I heard fragments several years ago and in my memory could surpass - both technically & as an interpretation the MET recording. But it's still on the listening pile!  ::) :) It's on a pirate's label but I took my chances... The ORF should finally license this for a proper official issue, on Orfeo for instance.

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/3830257451266.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 06, 2009, 02:34:26 PM
Don't think there are many Solti fans here...........but after listening to samples I decided his Figaro and Cosi are quite good:
Plus I need one good Kiri Te Kawana opera for Mozart, so Figaro will be it

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516FiXlA5pL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AyKYR002L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


I was hoping for more from the Bohm/EMI Cosi: (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21aEsnAbeJL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
(on paper "should" be the best: Schwarzkopf/Ludwig)

I slightly prefer the mono Karajan/EMI instead: (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21FJQG1XHYL._SL500_AA130_.jpg)
(Schwarzkopf in both)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on July 07, 2009, 11:44:12 AM
I have or have had all these recordings through my hands. I value the Solti Figaro very highly, but I think he misses the lightness needed for Cosi, though it has good things in it. I like the Karajan Cosi, but have a weakness for certain voices, so although I do not recommend it in preference; the live Bohm with Janowitz and Fassbaender is very much to my taste. Unfortunately it has been cut and there is some vital music missing. But Bohm manages the fleet feeling of the music that Solti does not really capture here.

Another surprisingly good live recording from EMI is Mutti, Margaret Marshall is excellent and the piece flashes by. Davis has the drawback of unsatisfactory men, there are however compensations from Caballe and Baker.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on July 07, 2009, 11:45:57 AM
Someday, I must investigate Così better.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 07, 2009, 12:44:13 PM
Quote
I have or have had all these recordings through my hands. I value the Solti Figaro very highly, but I think he misses the lightness needed for Cosi, though it has good things in it. I like the Karajan Cosi, but have a weakness for certain voices, so although I do not recommend it in preference; the live Bohm with Janowitz and Fassbaender is very much to my taste. Unfortunately it has been cut and there is some vital music missing. But Bohm manages the fleet feeling of the music that Solti does not really capture here.

Another surprisingly good live recording from EMI is Mutti, Margaret Marshall is excellent and the piece flashes by. Davis has the drawback of unsatisfactory men, there are however compensations from Caballe and Baker.

Mike

Yes I have checked that later live Bohm Cosi and it does seem better than the famous Schwarzkopf/Ludwig version.
There seems to be two live versions available both have Janowitz & Fassbaender:

-Opera D'oro label with Vienna Opera Orchestra
-DG label with VPO

Are you referring to the VPO version?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HDFHTJQSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 07, 2009, 01:04:27 PM
I have or have had all these recordings through my hands. I value the Solti Figaro very highly, but I think he misses the lightness needed for Cosi, though it has good things in it.
Mike

Very strong female trio in Solti's figaro: Te Kawana/Popp/Von Stade

And young Samuel Ramey is a very charming Figaro! Just love his voice.........
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 07, 2009, 01:35:25 PM
Someday, I must investigate Così better.
Goodness, yes!  Perhaps the loveliest of them all.  I'm quite happy with Jacobs, Kuijken, and the great Walter Legge's Böhm/Philharmonia/Schwarzkopf/Ludwig/Steffek/Kraus/Berry/Taddei with some of the most heavenly singing I've ever heard.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on July 07, 2009, 09:07:48 PM
DarkAngel, Yes the Bohm version is the DGG one with the VPO.

The Charles Mackerras version in English is very fine indeed; but for a niche market I guess. I will get myself a HIP version at some point. But the versions I have are, between them, very satisfying.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on July 07, 2009, 09:46:34 PM
If anyone is interested, Professor Robert Greenberg from the Teaching Company chose Cosi Fan Tutte as the opera he teaches in one of his courses.  It was great help for me and would be for anyone else too.  He points out things I never would have thought about; he certainly explains what is going on in that opera.

I just received an email from that company today saying that all their courses will be 75% off for the next 5 days.  THAT is a good deal!
  I am not affiliated with them in any way.   0:)

Karl, the professor also composes music and has won some world awards.  Maybe you already know him?

 http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDescLong2.aspx?cid=780



Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 08, 2009, 03:12:13 AM
If anyone is interested, Professor Robert Greenberg from the Teaching Company chose Cosi Fan Tutte as the opera he teaches in one of his courses.  It was great help for me and would be for anyone else too.  He points out things I never would have thought about; he certainly explains what is going on in that opera.

My method for understanding and enjoying opera on CD is whenever possible have a good DVD version with English subtitles to visualize scences in your mind......for future CD playback you can recall these scences or create your own variation.

For Cosi Fan Tutte I have a great standard and fun modern remake references with:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sx0r0yI3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NZTTBFR7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on July 08, 2009, 08:12:20 AM
If anyone is interested, Professor Robert Greenberg from the Teaching Company chose Cosi Fan Tutte as the opera he teaches in one of his courses.  It was great help for me and would be for anyone else too.  He points out things I never would have thought about; he certainly explains what is going on in that opera.

I just received an email from that company today saying that all their courses will be 75% off for the next 5 days.  THAT is a good deal!
  I am not affiliated with them in any way.   0:)

Karl, the professor also composes music and has won some world awards.  Maybe you already know him?

 http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDescLong2.aspx?cid=780





For anyone who read this post earlier, I found a better link to Mozart's
 
Cosi Fan Tutte at The Teaching Company's web site.  The price is also cheaper.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on July 08, 2009, 03:50:48 PM
"My method for understanding and enjoying opera on CD is whenever possible have a good DVD version with English subtitles to visualize scences in your mind......for future CD playback you can recall these scences or create your own variation.

For Cosi Fan Tutte I have a great standard and fun modern remake references with: ....."

DA, Would you mind telling us the conductor and primary singers in that 1st DVD?  I cannot make it out.  TIA

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 08, 2009, 04:14:32 PM
"My method for understanding and enjoying opera on CD is whenever possible have a good DVD version with English subtitles to visualize scences in your mind......for future CD playback you can recall these scences or create your own variation.

For Cosi Fan Tutte I have a great standard and fun modern remake references with: ....."

DA, Would you mind telling us the conductor and primary singers in that 1st DVD?  I cannot make it out.  TIA

Ivan Fischer conducts live from Glyndebourne opera house 2006
Opus Arte 2 DVD with very nice booklet

Miah Persson and Anke Vondung are the two sisters whose fidelity is put to the test.....
Please check this video sample of act 1 final, the picture quality is best I have seen for any Mozart DVD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCWxbfFIflE&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCWxbfFIflE&feature=related)


Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Anne on July 09, 2009, 10:10:19 PM
DA, I listened to that You Tube piece you provided.  It was excellent and also very funny! (this last part - thanks to Dr. Greenberg's class)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on July 12, 2009, 10:03:02 AM
Very strong female trio in Solti's figaro: Te Kawana/Popp/Von Stade

And young Samuel Ramey is a very charming Figaro! Just love his voice.........

Agreed with everything! I fell in love around 25 years ago with Lucia Popp's voice thanks to this recording. Also Von Stade, Te Kanawa and Ramey are indeed a delight to listen to .... but there is even more to enjoy. I think Thomas Allen is superb as a young virile count, Robert Tear is the ideal bootlicking Don Basilio, Kurt Moll is a great grumbling 'daddy' Bartolo and don't forget Jane Berbié (Marcellina) as conniving bitch.
And listen to that touching L'ho perduta by Yvonne Kenny .... lovely.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 12, 2009, 10:15:10 AM
The Solti Figaro should arrive any day now, was not cheap purchase so it better be good   :'(

Some more activity on Figaro sets:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JMBR32KWL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) Selling (Troyanos as Cherubino does not work for me, horny confused teenager? )

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MJ7K97ENL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DF77CTD9L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) Order placed for these two


Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 12, 2009, 10:35:40 AM
My Figaro collection will soon include:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516FiXlA5pL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51SPCC8K15L._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MJ7K97ENL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BFQRC89YL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31PsNLFdJSL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DF77CTD9L._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DDP3JE37L._SL160_AA115_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on July 13, 2009, 01:18:43 AM
The Solti Figaro should arrive any day now, was not cheap purchase so it better be good   :'(

Already the ouverture will tell you that this most certainly is a folle journée!

Quote from: DarkAngel
Some more activity on Figaro sets:

[image of Karl Böhm's Figaro set]
Selling (Troyanos as Cherubino does not work for me, horny confused teenager?)

That's a pity.

Von Stade :-* will work though, don't worry. ;)

Popp, Von Stade, Te Kanawa, Kenny, Berbié .... good heavens, I'm falling in love with them all continuously, making me even more horny & confused than the Cherubin him(her)self! ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on July 13, 2009, 01:35:10 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DF77CTD9L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)


When I saw this, I wondered why not the Jacobs instead? But your subsequent post cleared that up! :)
Still, for another HIP Nozze, I would have opted for Östman:

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/f9/91/2d06810ae7a036309275a110.L.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Nozze-Figaro-H%C3%A5kan-Hageg%C3%A5rd/dp/B00000E3PQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1247480990&sr=1-1)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415B0XBKMBL.jpg)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 13, 2009, 07:59:38 AM
When I saw this, I wondered why not the Jacobs instead? But your subsequent post cleared that up! :)
Still, for another HIP Nozze, I would have opted for Östman:

I have all my Jacobs/HM bases covered for Mozart opera  :D

I already have order in for Ostman/Lyre Magic Flute......if that goes well the Figaro may soon follow.


Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 13, 2009, 08:10:11 AM
Von Stade will work though, don't worry. ;)

Popp, Von Stade, Te Kanawa, Kenny, Berbié .... good heavens, I'm falling in love with them all continuously, making me even more horny & confused than the Cherubin him(her)self! ;D

Von Stade vocal style is nearly ideal for trouser roles like Cherubino.......she has long performance history playing this delightful mischevious rogue
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on July 13, 2009, 11:17:36 PM
Spotted at jpc: an facsilime edition by German publisher Bärenreiter of seven Mozart operas in Mozart 's autograph! It's a collaboration between the Packard Humanities Institute and the Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg.

It seems ordering from the PHI is a lot cheaper than getting it from jpc ($175 vs €248) - info HERE (http://mozart.packhum.org/mf/?a=2).

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/9783761818824.jpg) (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/books/detail/-/art/Wolfgang-A-Mozart-Le-nozze-di-Figaro-KV-492-3-Bde-Partitur-Faksimileausgabe/buchnum/136374040)

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on July 14, 2009, 11:35:44 AM
Does that sort of indicate that Mozart wrote at least seven operas?

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on July 14, 2009, 11:48:25 AM
Spotted at jpc: an facsilime edition by German publisher Bärenreiter of seven Mozart operas in Mozart 's autograph! It's a collaboration between the Packard Humanities Institute and the Internationalen Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg.

It seems ordering from the PHI is a lot cheaper than getting it from jpc ($175 vs €248) - info HERE (http://mozart.packhum.org/mf/?a=2).Q

Hmm, a lot cheaper ....

If I were a rich man .... ;D

Nice initiative, though!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 14, 2009, 03:33:03 PM
Don't think there are many Solti fans here...........but after listening to samples I decided his Figaro and Cosi are quite good:
Plus I need one good Kiri Te Kawana opera for Mozart, so Figaro will be it

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516FiXlA5pL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

One problem with the Solti Figaro is that there are not enough tracks, recititavo and arias are lumped together into longer tracks  :(
Much prefer them to each have thier own track so you can easily control your listening sessions, perhaps a future remastered edition will correct this..............

Booklet has 366 pages!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 14, 2009, 05:33:24 PM
Yes I have checked that later live Bohm Cosi and it does seem better than the famous Schwarzkopf/Ludwig version.
Are you referring to the VPO version?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HDFHTJQSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I really like this Cosi, can tell right away from first male trio "la mia dorabella" that I was going to like this. Herman Prey & Peter Schreier make wonderful pair of fiancees, loved thier sound right away...........the sisters Janowitz & Fassbaender sound just as great as I had hoped, no let down.

The only caveat is 1974 live performance has the usual bumps/thumps noises of singers moving around the stage, but you can hear through this pretty fast since we have great energy only live versions can produce.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 15, 2009, 03:42:24 PM
I think it is time to energize this thread with a new infusion of spending
Anyone purchase the Jacobs/HM versions of the major Mozart operas, comments?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51SPCC8K15L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612AJYA5NML._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pWbAzT5wL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

After listening to these three as well as 4-6 other highly rated versions of each opera, these three Jacobs/HM performances are going to be the core of my collection. They are expensive to buy, but they are well worth it and the packaging sets the standard, first class all the way.........

Cosi
This is the best performance of the three operas by Jacobs for me, and is the best overall Cosi fan Tutte I have heard.
The opening overture is extremely fast paced but things quickly settle down to a more manageable tempo, the sound quality is very transparant allowing all kinds of detail to emerge. Vocalists as a whole are the best cast, and I love the charm and the dramatic energy this performance conveys, absolutely beautiful, an essential Cosi!  

Very familiar with Gens and Fink from thier Handel opera/cantata recordings, so I was expecting good things to happen
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 15, 2009, 03:49:02 PM
Figaro
The Jacobs version is very good, but the competition here is much greater than Cosi........
Not yet prepared to declare Jacobs my favorite

Don
Again Jacobs very good, but in this opera it is all about who sings Don.....
Cosi and Figaro is more a cast of vocalists but Don lives or dies on how well the title role is carried off
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 17, 2009, 04:12:17 AM
I happened on this fine performance of Der Hölle Rache by Natalie Dessay at the Paris Opera and thought others here might enjoy it as much as I:

http://www.youtube.com/v/9qqDKUKvoIs&NR=1

After that, I just had to have another look at Diana Damrau in the same scene:

http://www.youtube.com/v/DvuKxL4LOqc

There's some damned fine stuff making its way to DVD these days.  Wonder how long it will be before live streaming broadcasts are available?  

added--just heard/saw this fine performance by Erika Miklosa, too:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ERsjRsCBlBo&feature=related
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 17, 2009, 06:41:58 AM
Hard to top the purity of those high notes from Damrau......she feels and acts the part with an evil intensity.
Also the queen of the night costume she is wearing seems most appropiate to the nature of the character.

At first I wasn't sure that the new Davis version would be my favorite DVD version, but after trying several others
I cannot find any to surpass it overall.......wish we had a different Panmina however (Roschmann)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417TF85NRQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 17, 2009, 09:48:06 AM
40 sopranos compared.............
Check this cool you tube video which has short samples of 40 sopranos doing the Der Hölle Rache aria.
The different costume designs is equally interesting!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pe9UTxyGbk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pe9UTxyGbk)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 17, 2009, 11:06:32 AM
Hard to top the purity of those high notes from Damrau......she feels and acts the part with an evil intensity.
Also the queen of the night costume she is wearing seems most appropiate to the nature of the character.

At first I wasn't sure that the new Davis version would be my favorite DVD version, but after trying several others
I cannot find any to surpass it overall.......wish we had a different Panmina however (Roschmann)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417TF85NRQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Röschmann might be packing a few too many pounds for the ideal Pamina, but her vocal performance is hard to beat.  Yes, I think we all love Damrau's intensity and I agree that the costuming is terrific.  Keelyside's Papageno is first-rate, too.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 19, 2009, 04:44:33 AM
next




Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 19, 2009, 04:48:22 AM
Röschmann might be packing a few too many pounds for the ideal Pamina, but her vocal performance is hard to beat.  Yes, I think we all love Damrau's intensity and I agree that the costuming is terrific.  Keelyside's Papageno is first-rate, too.

Love the Keelyside character Papageno also..........
Roschmann seems to be hard to escape from in recent Mozart opera DVDs, she is also in the new Figaro:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51mTpLQIu5L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 19, 2009, 05:08:15 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PH8F4RB7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31WZZS31XPL._SL500_AA180_.jpg)

Couple more opera sets arrived this week.............

The Ostman/Lyre Figaro was mentioned a few times here and turns out to be very good indeed, no real weakness but also cannot say it is the very best available. For the low price used a welcome addition to my collection. I would not say that the Ostman is a clear choice over the Gardiner/Archiv, both very good but nether one is going to be my reference Figaro

Klemperer/EMI Flute is a real gem, Klemp is alert and vibrant with orchestra, Janowitz is a wonderful Pamina along with Gedda as Tamino, everyone is sharp and vocally fresh alive sounding. Lucia Popp is really on a very short list for best queen of the night performances here. The 1964 stereo sound still sounds very good, I actually prefer to have dialog parts removed so opera easily fits on 2 Cds as in this set.
 
Schwarzkopf and Ludwig actually appear in two minor "luxury" roles, a very deep cast!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 19, 2009, 12:48:47 PM
40 sopranos compared.............
Check this cool you tube video which has short samples of 40 sopranos doing the Der Hölle Rache aria.
The different costume designs are equally interesting! (and funny sometimes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pe9UTxyGbk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pe9UTxyGbk)

A range of vocal performance quality here from the sublime to the near absurd.................

Top two queens for me are Lucia Popp and Diana Damrau, Erika Miklosa also is extremely good as shown in several performances above sample.......don't really know too much about her myself, Dessay also near the top of the list
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 22, 2009, 03:14:20 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FQ84Y298L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BFQRC89YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FN0EV7RQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612AJYA5NML._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PH8F4RB7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

OK here are my preferred versions of the top Mozart operas so far............not many versions left to sample on my top versions list though so this could be the final ranking, still changes are possible as I explore more

Anyone else want to post thier top versions to get some discussion going here?
I think Q gave us his top versions a few pages back
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: rubio on July 22, 2009, 09:34:00 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FQ84Y298L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BFQRC89YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51FN0EV7RQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612AJYA5NML._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PH8F4RB7L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

OK here are my preferred versions of the top Mozart operas so far............not many versions left to sample on my top versions list though so this could be the final ranking, still changes are possible as I explore more

Anyone else want to post thier top versions to get some discussion going here?
I think Q gave us his top versions a few pages back

Did you sample Fricsay for some of these operas; e.g. for "Die Entführung..."?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 23, 2009, 03:13:47 AM
Did you sample Fricsay for some of these operas; e.g. for "Die Entführung..."?

I have had Christie, Gardiner, Solti CD versions and wonderful Minkowski DVD for "Die Entfuhrung".
I sold the Solti but still have Christie/Erato & Gardiner/Archiv CD sets.

How do you compare the Fricsay to any of those versions?
Rita Streich as Blonde sounds very good, but is there some weird thing with some dialog parts being read by different people than the singers  ???

Hopefully Rene Jacobs will do a version soon............
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 23, 2009, 03:52:32 AM
Did you sample Fricsay for some of these operas; e.g. for "Die Entführung..."?
How well do you know the Christie and Gardiner recordings?

Hopefully Rene Jacobs will do a version soon............
Yes, right after The Magic Flute...then he can retire, secure in the knowledge that he's made the world a better place!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on July 23, 2009, 05:00:22 AM
My favourite versions.

(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000241G3.03._SS300_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BFQRC89YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Oct02/Mozart_Giovanni_GROC_300.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/316915NXNTL._SL500_AA209_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DG8WS66FL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Yes I know that the Jochum Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail and the Bohm Die Zauberflote, have their faults, but I just couldn't bear to be without Wunderlich in both operas. As for Bohm's Cosi fan Tutte, I know it too has its detractors, but when I think of such sublime moments as the beautifully vocalised Soave sia il vento, Schwarzkopf's magnificent rendering of Per pieta (the preceding recitative a masterclass of vocal nuance and shading), and the erotic charge of her capitulation to Kraus's Ferrando in Fra gli'amplessi, it would still be the set I would cling to, if told I could have only one.



Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: rubio on July 23, 2009, 05:58:38 AM
I have had Christie, Gardiner, Solti CD versions and wonderful Minkowski DVD for "Die Entfuhrung".
I sold the Solti but still have Christie/Erato & Gardiner/Archiv CD sets.

How do you compare the Fricsay to any of those versions?
Rita Streich as Blonde sounds very good, but is there some weird thing with some dialog parts being read by different people than the singers  ???

Hopefully Rene Jacobs will do a version soon............

Actually, I don't own any of these versions, but I need some input on which recording to go for. As I'm generally a big fan of Fricsay together with the general high opinion of this recording - I probably will go for it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 23, 2009, 07:46:00 AM
TL
I am with you  100% as huge fan of Wunderlich, what a great expressive voice.
Also we share favorites for Figaro & Don Giovanni, Giulini was really on top of his opera game in the early 1960s

The competition for best Figaro is extreme,
but the female trio of Schwarzkopf, Moffo, Cossotto that EMI had for Giulini just refuses to be surpassed, essential
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 23, 2009, 09:26:29 AM
(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000241G3.03._SS300_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BFQRC89YL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Oct02/Mozart_Giovanni_GROC_300.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/316915NXNTL._SL500_AA209_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DG8WS66FL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Yes I know that the Jochum Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail and the Bohm Die Zauberflote, have their faults, but I just couldn't bear to be without Wunderlich in both operas. As for Bohm's Cosi fan Tutte, I know it too has its detractors, but when I think of such sublime moments as the beautifully vocalised Soave sia il vento, Schwarzkopf's magnificent rendering of Per pieta (the preceding recitative a masterclass of vocal nuance and shading), and the erotic charge of her capitulation to Kraus's Ferrando in Fra gli'amplessi, it would still be the set I would cling to, if told I could have only one.

Duplicates my own list of non-HIP faves and though I'm a born-again HIP/period instrument fanatic, I would not willingly part with any--the singing is just too extraordinary.  Wunderlich, ja, Schwarzkopf, you betcha, and don't even think about taking Ludwig's Dorabella from me--or any of the rest of that terrific cast with the greatest ensemble singing I know of.  That this recording still holds such a high place in my heart despite my gushing admiration for Jacobs's Cosi just underscores its greatness.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Franco on July 23, 2009, 09:57:01 AM
What is the opinion of this one:

Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer), Georg Solti (Conductor), Wiener Philharmoniker (Orchestra), Ruth Ziesak (Performer), Uwe Heilmann (Performer), Michael Kraus (Performer), Sumi Jo (Performer), Kurt Moll (Performer), Heinz Zednik (Performer), Lotte Leitner (Performer)  (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Die-Zauberfl%C3%B6te-Magic-Flute/dp/B0000041ZF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248375122&sr=1-1)

(http://www.kv-staatsopernchor.at/cdcover/cdzaufl.jpg)

It is the only one I own right now, but I am in the process of adding more alternatives to my Mozart Opera CDs and have been listening to it recently.  With nothing to compare to it, I just accept it on it's own terms.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 23, 2009, 10:22:05 AM
Duplicates my own list of non-HIP faves and though I'm a born-again HIP/period instrument fanatic, I would not willingly part with any--the singing is just too extraordinary.  Wunderlich, ja, Schwarzkopf, you betcha, and don't even think about taking Ludwig's Dorabella from me--or any of the rest of that terrific cast with the greatest ensemble singing I know of.  That this recording still holds such a high place in my heart despite my gushing admiration for Jacobs's Cosi just underscores its greatness.

The Bohm/EMI Cosi has made a swift rise in my depth chart...........I had the old CD version and recently upgraded to the GROTC version with ART remaster, very noticeable cleaning up and improvement of the sound as well as improved booklet/packaging. Yes Schwarzkopf/Ludwig make quite a sister combo! (as do Gens & Fink for Rene Jacobs)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Brünnhilde ewig on July 23, 2009, 05:18:40 PM
Everyone of Mozart's 22 operas in one outstanding collection of performances by the best orchestras and singers!

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Salzburg-Festspiele-Opera-Boxset/dp/B000I8OFKU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248401409&sr=1-2

You can also get the operas separate, one at a time and as the best to start with is Lucio Silla with Roberto Saccà in the title role.

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 23, 2009, 05:39:41 PM
What is the opinion of this one:

(http://www.kv-staatsopernchor.at/cdcover/cdzaufl.jpg)

It is the only one I own right now, but I am in the process of adding more alternatives to my Mozart Opera CDs and have been listening to it recently.  With nothing to compare to it, I just accept it on it's own terms.

It's a great one. And more than just on its own terms. Comparatively it stacks up extremely well to all others.

One amazing thing is how good the sound is. Virtually demonstration-quality (I've taken it with me while stereo shopping). But it doesn't end there. Singing, pacing, nuance, color, it's got it all.

Which, to be honest, caught me off guard the first time I heard it. Solti? Turbo-race, high-octane Solti? Showing nuance, grace, and finesse? Yep. He did it. And surprisingly enough a couple more of his late remakes - Cosi and Don Giovanni - show the same restraint. Impressive. This is very late Solti and perhaps he felt "mellowing" wouldn't actually harm anything for a change. :) Dunno. But it works very well. 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 23, 2009, 06:13:39 PM
Actually, I don't own any of these versions, but I need some input on which recording to go for. As I'm generally a big fan of Fricsay together with the general high opinion of this recording - I probably will go for it.

I rec'd three of the Fricsay recordings several posts back: Entführung, Figaro, and Don Giovanni. If comparisons are needed they certainly hold their own against the competition - and in fact come out on top every time for me.

This isn't just fanboy enthusiasm talking, either (I hope). I've owned or heard so many alternate versions I've lost count, both modern and HIP. Fricsay's endured.

DA mentions actors replacing the singers for the recitatives. Fair enough, but since it doesn't effect the singing it doesn't matter to me. It's a practice that's since been abandoned but I can't see dismissing a recording if everything else is done so well.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 24, 2009, 04:51:16 AM
Don't have the Solti/VPO Flute now, but I mentioned a few pages back that I did get his Figaro & Cosi:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/516FiXlA5pL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AyKYR002L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

On the strength of these performances I would not hesitate to get his Flute also, but I am reserving a spot for
Jacobs/HM Flute when a recording becomes available.
Although Solti did not make my top performance list, he is not too far down the list and you get great modern sound with his sets.

Besides my favorite Klemperer/EMI Flute I also have these CD sets:
-Christie/Erato
-Ostman/Lyre
-Gardiner/Archiv
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on July 24, 2009, 05:11:59 AM
On the strength of these performances I would not hesitate to get his Flute also, but I am reserving a spot for Jacobs/HM Flute when a recording becomes available.
Although Solti did not make my top performance list, he is not too far down the list and you get great modern sound with his sets.

Besides my favorite Klemperer/EMI Flute I also have these CD sets:
-Christie/Erato
-Ostman/Lyre
-Gardiner/Archiv
One more Flute worth considering is Abbado's with Erika Miklósa, René Pape, and Dorothea Röschmann -- well sung and well played with the fleetness and transparency we love in those "period" performances but on modern instruments.  Haven't heard it in some time but discussion here has me interested in giving it another go.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on July 24, 2009, 08:35:25 AM
I haven't heard them, but I remember both the Abbado and Solti Magic Flutes under discussion here, got very good reviews on this side of the pond, when they were first issued. I am often allergic to Solti in opera (I don't like his Verdi at all), but I have heard his Figaro, which I found surprisingly light and mercurial (and it does have a superb cast). I confess I did consider his Magic Flute as an alternative to Bohm with Wunderlich, but eventually plumped for HIP and Christie.

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 24, 2009, 08:37:30 AM
I love Klemp's way with Mozart; the clarity he brings to the music (especially the prominent winds).  His recordings of the symphonies are my top choices. So two of my five operas are conducted by Klemp, including this Cosi:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/july2009/MozCosiKlemp.jpg)

Solti often gets a back rap in this forum but this delightful recording of Figaro should disprove the stereotype this conductor's burdened with (and Stade is the best Cherubino ever  8) )

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/july2009/MozFigSol.jpg)

Having spent years listening to (and loving) heavily romanticized, 19th century-style Don's (Karajan, Barenboim), this Jacobs' recording was a breath of fresh air, returning the music to the 18th century:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/july2009/MozGiovJac.jpg)

The percussion convinced me on first listen that this was the way this opera should go  ;D

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/july2009/MozEntHarn.jpg)

Although I also love Solti II, Haitink, and Böhm, this really is the desert island pick:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/july2009/MozZaubKlemp.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 25, 2009, 05:53:42 AM
Amazon to the rescue with a couple more cheap ($11-12) used Flute sets for the collection:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419FMYWPHVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51T8TJWEWHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Klemperer/EMI currently is my reference, but always subject to being dethroned by new discoveries

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: MishaK on July 25, 2009, 06:13:07 AM
What is the opinion of this one:

Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer), Georg Solti (Conductor), Wiener Philharmoniker (Orchestra), Ruth Ziesak (Performer), Uwe Heilmann (Performer), Michael Kraus (Performer), Sumi Jo (Performer), Kurt Moll (Performer), Heinz Zednik (Performer), Lotte Leitner (Performer)  (http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Die-Zauberfl%C3%B6te-Magic-Flute/dp/B0000041ZF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1248375122&sr=1-1)

(http://www.kv-staatsopernchor.at/cdcover/cdzaufl.jpg)

It is the only one I own right now, but I am in the process of adding more alternatives to my Mozart Opera CDs and have been listening to it recently.  With nothing to compare to it, I just accept it on it's own terms.

Franco,

This is probably still my favorite Flute. The sound is superb, as said above, and Solti keeps a brisk tempo and relatively transparent textures. As usual with Solti, all vocal ensembles are stunningly together. Sumi Jo delivers a queen for the ages, Moll is still the gold standard for Sarastro, Ziesak is a Pamina that always brings tears to my eyes and the rest of the cast is equally strong. The only other two recordings of the flute I would put in the same league are Fricsay (where you have to deal with the Mono sound) and Abbado (who has just stunning orchestral color and transparent textures, the benefit of the electricity of a really extraordinary live event, and an absolutely stellar male cast (Strehl as Tamino is superb, and Pape is an excellent, if somewhat lighter Sarastro) while the female cast is not quite as convincing (Miklosa to my ears does not compare with the best and Röschmann sings beautifully as usual but also without much empathy for her character)).
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on July 25, 2009, 11:34:06 AM
Amazon to the rescue with a couple more cheap ($11-12) used Flute sets for the collection:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419FMYWPHVL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51T8TJWEWHL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Klemperer/EMI currently is my reference, but always subject to being dethroned by new discoveries

Since the wallet is open one more set from Amazon was dropped into the buy basket............

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31H166DMJZL._SL500_AA180_.jpg)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on July 25, 2009, 10:46:50 PM
What amazing riches. So many great recordings covering all the bases, if you are not either wedded to HIP or allergic to it.

I did write quite a long review about the Abbado Magic Flute, it is marvelous. I especially like the way the recits are truly part of the momentum of the performance, coming in instantly and not sounding like they were recorded separately. The whole performance has great pace. There are also marvelous singers as mentioned above.

The Klemperer, along with Fricsay, remain my favourites. Klemperer seems to have a perfect cast. Walter Legge insisted that the recording be made without dialogue. Despite this, it manages to feel like a performance rather than a series of excerpts.

On Figaro, I agree with those who respond well to Solti. Surely no better cast has been recorded? He does not drive the music, it is a loving interpretation. Guilini is also a fond favourite, his cast the equal and his ensemble sounding natural and as though they had worked together endlessly.

I like HIP, but somehow have not got much 'authentic' Mozart opera....I think I will just go and see if there are bargains to be had.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Marc on July 25, 2009, 11:22:30 PM
[....]
I like HIP, but somehow have not got much 'authentic' Mozart opera....I think I will just go and see if there are bargains to be had.

Mike,
do you already know the Jacobs' opera recordings?
They're pretty much affordable at www.jpc.de.
And they're worthwhile, IMHO. They're HIP, but certainly not in a 'stubborn' way, meaning: Jacobs isn't afraid to add a rather personal view to his recordings, and singers have the freedom to do so, too.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on July 25, 2009, 11:48:02 PM
Marc, Thanks, I am looking round for a good price. The Pound against the Euro is not a good exchange for me. I am looking round, again thanks.

Mike

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on August 02, 2009, 03:59:59 AM
Marc and David, Thanks both for your encouragement and tips on where to find HIP Mozart at a good price.

Having had the Jacobs set now for about a week and listened through twice plus bits in the car, I will share my thinking.

I do have some HIP Mozart opera, Elliot-Gardiner's Idomeneo plus a disc of arias from his various sets. I had the Ostman Don Giovanni, but got rid of it.

There were bits of that Ostman I liked a great deal: but it went because I thought the final scenes were a complete failure in terms of dramatic bite or thrust, or weight.

I have very mixed feelings about the Jacobs Figaro. There is a lot I like. But having thought about what I don't like, I think it is best explained as follows...with a Hollywood cliche.

There is the scene in 'The Shawshank Redemption' where the prison all stops as the magical sound of Mozart's duet 'Su l'aria; Che soave zeffretto' wafts over the buildings and yards. People are stopped in their tracks as they listen in rapt attention. It is a plot device, probably would never happen, but watching the film it seems not just believeable, but I also entered that rapt space of peace and as in the film itself, the feeling was sustained after the duet was finished.

The recording used was Bohm, the singers Janowitz and Mathis. That duet was timed at 3.13, a blissful 3.13. How does this new recording do against that?

Well, total failure in my books, but then possibly the drama and flow of the act is better served by the relatively pedestrian treatment, it is more integrated, but no magic that I can detect in the 2.55 it takes. I don't think this is just about the speed, 18 seconds shorter, but the phrasing is penny plain, the tone on the notes is not developed within the longer notes. I am not looking for treacle, do we now think that is what Bohm and his ilk poured over Mozart? There is no heartstopping beauty and I think this music ought to convey that very thing. Look at the words, it is about whispering, gentle breezes.

It does not help that the countess has a voice I actively dislike. Gens is much admired, but her top notes are hooted, her middle notes sound thick. I don't think her voice is integrated. Her two main arias are I think the least satisfactory of the entire performance...(well, apart from the Barbarina, acidic tone and the notes bulge). So, those elevated moments that I look for are absent almost entirely. I would have much preferred Ciofi as the Countess. I don't respond positively to Gens at all. What is it that gains her her reputation? Does anyone here get something out of her voice that I cannot hear?

Most of the tempi are very sane, some are a push for comic reasons and the singers cope well. The men are a strong team, if not having the kind of immediately identifiable voices I prize so much. I like the overall pacing, the orchestra sound is fresh, I like the acoustic. The voices are nicely forward.

Another litmus test passage is the act 4 reconciliation ensemble, a stunning piece that should melt the heart. Track 21 at 3.15 here. Well it is beautifully poised, but I hear Gens as being out of tune! The hush, the pacing all there.

What does it boil down to then...I am old fashioned, I don't like one choice of casting, I can't get 'with' the less artful approach now adopted.

Could be.

But I will persist and I will listen again, and again.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on August 05, 2009, 06:49:06 AM
Quite understandable, Mike.  We listen for different things, value and respond differently according to our interests.  What I prize most about Jacobs's Mozart is the sound and "attitude" of the orchestra.  To me he's first rate--exciting and beautifully judged...and the singers are good enough--though I definitely prefer Bonney and Auger, or Schwarzkopf & Moffo.  The same with his Cosi: as much as I enjoy others--especially Böhm's with Schwarzkopf & Ludwig--Jacobs's orchestra beats every other that I know. 

You, as a singer, weight things differently.  The vocal performances take precedence.  Perhaps we ought keep one anothers' predilections firmly in mind when weighing their judgments. 

BTW, I just listened to a few recordings of Su l'aria, all under 3 minutes, and though I find magic in them all, none quite match the otherworldly beauty I recall from the recording in the film you mention.  And though I understand how important it can be that a favorite passage measure up, I feel that the outstanding qualities in this 3 hour recording more than outweigh occasional disappointments. 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on August 05, 2009, 08:04:44 AM
That all sounds like sense to me David. I agree the orchestra is excellent.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Elgarian on September 08, 2009, 11:50:42 AM
Dark Angel sang the praises of this earlier in this thread:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sx0r0yI3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've just finished watching it, and I am stunned. Surely one of the best two or three opera DVDs I have ever seen. The acting is superb - I believed in those people; their responses seemed perfectly to cohere with the drama, and with the music - generating laughter one moment, but tears never being very far away.

Beautifully sung; beautifully acted; sets that are simple but wonderfully atmospheric. I shall watch and listen to this again and again.

Try this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As&feature=related)

and this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuhHb2ElpCA&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuhHb2ElpCA&feature=related)

(There are lots more samples on youtube.)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on September 08, 2009, 02:02:52 PM
Elgarian
A great find indeed......

The important thing for me is having a great DVD version of the opera now makes all my CD versions make
much more sense since I can visualize the scence of each aria, a reference to assist with CD listening

I need to post more info in this thread, I must have purchased 20+ Mozart operas last few months...... :o
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Daidalos on September 08, 2009, 08:19:09 PM
Dark Angel sang the praises of this earlier in this thread:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sx0r0yI3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I've just finished watching it, and I am stunned. Surely one of the best two or three opera DVDs I have ever seen. The acting is superb - I believed in those people; their responses seemed perfectly to cohere with the drama, and with the music - generating laughter one moment, but tears never being very far away.

Beautifully sung; beautifully acted; sets that are simple but wonderfully atmospheric. I shall watch and listen to this again and again.

Try this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As&feature=related)

and this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuhHb2ElpCA&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuhHb2ElpCA&feature=related)

(There are lots more samples on youtube.)

Yeah, I love that interpretation as well. Initially, I acquired it through -- ahem! -- somewhat less than legal methods, but having realised just how great the interpretation was (and how garbled the audio and video happened to become in the middle of Despina's first aria), I despaired for a short while and then ran out to buy it on DVD. Well spent money, I say.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidW on March 26, 2010, 04:21:15 AM
It was either this thread or the dedicated Magic Flute thread but one or both led me to purchase the Bohm recording of The Magic Flute with this amazing list of great artists including DFD, Hans Hotter, Wunderlich, etc and the performances are stellar.  By letting the music breath, I feel that it's dramatic and the BPO's playing is very nuanced.  So thank you for that, it is a cool bargain find! :)

However... the sound is dated, quite dated.  Perhaps this is the result of my listening so much through headphones but I find the lack of clarity and the high noise floor annoying.  So let me bring this thread back to life once again to ask what recordings would you rec for The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni that are

(a) in modern sound
(b) affordable, that is to say not $50 ;D
(c) has the emotional depth of Bohm (I make no mention of tempo, something faster or slower can be just as engaging if insightful)

If you are in the camp of Bohm is stodgy, tell me what I'm missing because I only have two other Mozart operas in my collection. ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on March 26, 2010, 06:14:54 AM
I don't really consider Abbado to be a great Mozartian, but I do enjoy his Magic Flute. I have plugged it earlier on in this thread and did write a long review, but cannot find it now. Perhaps it was on the old site, though surely time cannot pass as quickly as that.

For me the Abbado has it all, except for the Queen of the Night. She is well thought of, but I find the singer to be generalised in expression. But that is a superb modern set with young sounding, fresh voiced singers. It is not performed with a HIP orchestra, though the Mahler Chamber Orchestra are alert and lithe.

If you could contemplate a version in English, I cannot write too highly of the Mackerras on Chandos, first rate all round.

My other favoured sets are of the Bohm vintage: Klemperer and Fricsay, though Marriner has a lot going for him.

For Don Giovanni: There is the Abbado, good on paper, but somehow a pretty faceless performance. I keep listening to it, but it simply has not the personality of the Giulini, Kubelik or the live early Karajan on Orfeo. So perhaps someone else can suggest a sound-state of the art version.

Mike

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidW on March 26, 2010, 06:25:43 AM
Your review must have been on the Magic Flute thread, I think I now remember it vaguely.  I bet I can find it again. :)

I have Giulini in the Marriage of Figaro, great music making as I recall.  I can't remember the sq since it's been a few years since I listened, I'll put it out of my collection, if it's the same time frame and sounds good, I might also enjoy him in Don Giovanni then. :)

I watched Don Giovanni on dvd, it was Levine/Met, and I don't know if it was the extravagant costumes or Terfel's performance but I loved it!  It's just not on cd to my knowledge, and thus not really a portable answer for me.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Opus106 on March 26, 2010, 06:36:38 AM
I watched Don Giovanni on dvd, it was Levine/Met, and I don't know if it was the extravagant costumes or Terfel's performance but I loved it!  It's just not on cd to my knowledge, and thus not really a portable answer for me.

Despite missing one "Ah, padron," the a cenar teco from that production was the singular reason which made me put opera DVDs [actually, opera anything] on my wish-list -- albeit it's limited to the Da Ponte-Mozart collaborations at the moment.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 26, 2010, 07:07:05 AM
It was either this thread or the dedicated Magic Flute thread but one or both led me to purchase the Bohm recording of The Magic Flute with this amazing list of great artists including DFD, Hans Hotter, Wunderlich, etc and the performances are stellar.  By letting the music breath, I feel that it's dramatic and the BPO's playing is very nuanced.  So thank you for that, it is a cool bargain find! :)

However... the sound is dated, quite dated.  Perhaps this is the result of my listening so much through headphones but I find the lack of clarity and the high noise floor annoying.  So let me bring this thread back to life once again to ask what recordings would you rec for The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni that are

(a) in modern sound
(b) affordable, that is to say not $50 ;D
(c) has the emotional depth of Bohm (I make no mention of tempo, something faster or slower can be just as engaging if insightful)

If you are in the camp of Bohm is stodgy, tell me what I'm missing because I only have two other Mozart operas in my collection. ;D

If you liked Giulini's MOF, you might like his Don Giovanni as well. It is often regarded as the standard. I don't know if the sound is good enough for you. I find it to be the weakest link, but perhaps not so bad for you?

Personally, I think the version conducted by Sir Colin Davis is the one to get. The cast is outstanding (Te Kanawa, Arroyo, Freni, Burrows, Wixell, Ganzaroli, Van Allen, etc. ) and in good modern sound.

I have both of these and generally favor the Davis on all counts. Though both are good.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on March 26, 2010, 09:03:44 AM
If you liked Giulini's MOF, you might like his Don Giovanni as well. It is often regarded as the standard. I don't know if the sound is good enough for you. I find it to be the weakest link, but perhaps not so bad for you?

Personally, I think the version conducted by Sir Colin Davis is the one to get. The cast is outstanding (Te Kanawa, Arroyo, Freni, Burrows, Wixell, Ganzaroli, Van Allen, etc. ) and in good modern sound.

I have both of these and generally favor the Davis on all counts. Though both are good.
Agree, for non-HIPIsh recordings.  IIRC, I prefer Giulini's drive but Davis's cast.  On the other hand, as a HIPster, my heart once belonged to Gardiner but Jacobs stole it away.  Wish Gardiner's Gilfrey had the title role in Jacobs's production, however....
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Scarpia on March 26, 2010, 11:29:20 AM
Your review must have been on the Magic Flute thread, I think I now remember it vaguely.  I bet I can find it again. :)

I have Giulini in the Marriage of Figaro, great music making as I recall.  I can't remember the sq since it's been a few years since I listened, I'll put it out of my collection, if it's the same time frame and sounds good, I might also enjoy him in Don Giovanni then. :)

I watched Don Giovanni on dvd, it was Levine/Met, and I don't know if it was the extravagant costumes or Terfel's performance but I loved it!  It's just not on cd to my knowledge, and thus not really a portable answer for me.

There also a Met dvd of Zauberflote which is good, but this is my preferred video version:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417TF85NRQL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

A highlight is the pair of big arias by Queen of the Night, which are musically great, with acting which is campy in a good way.

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: cosmicj on June 18, 2010, 07:20:27 AM
If you liked Giulini's MOF, you might like his Don Giovanni as well. It is often regarded as the standard. I don't know if the sound is good enough for you. I find it to be the weakest link, but perhaps not so bad for you?

Personally, I think the version conducted by Sir Colin Davis is the one to get. The cast is outstanding (Te Kanawa, Arroyo, Freni, Burrows, Wixell, Ganzaroli, Van Allen, etc. ) and in good modern sound.

I have both of these and generally favor the Davis on all counts. Though both are good.

I consider the sound quality of both classic Giulini recordings (Don, Figaro) to be excellent and I am picky about these things.  They have a sweetness about them that always makes me wonder what the big deal is about digital.  If anything, the sonics of these two recordings is a strength, and not a weakness.

A few months ago, I was listening to both the Davis and Giulini versions of Don Giovanni and think that the latter is just clearly superior in terms of interpretation.  But I want to emphasize that the sonics of the Davis performance are a major negative (and I admit that the digital remastering may be at fault - but the end result is the same). 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: cosmicj on June 18, 2010, 07:33:41 AM
I love the Figaro scence where the love struck rogue Cherubino serenades Contessa with aria Voi Che Sapete
Have watched almost every available Voi Che Sapete video on You Tube, love the Cherubino character!

DarkAngel - That aria is a particular favorite of mine.  Love it. 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: cosmicj on June 18, 2010, 07:47:02 AM
I wanted to bring this recording up:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MYnnHQ53L._SL500_AA300)

I have spent the last couple of months listening to Cosi pretty intensively and have found this to be an absolutely stunning rendition.  Harnoncourt (FYI, I am not a fan most of the time) takes things very slowly for the most part, adding a sensuous veneer which really adds a dimension to the score.  The cast is very good.  Charlotte Margiono is not a name I know (I am not really an opera buff) but I think she gives an outstanding performance as Fiordiligi.  Sonics for this recording are excellent.  So that's my reaction.  Then I log on to amazon to check on some other opinions and several reviewers slam the recording(in particular the very good Despina, Anna Steiger.  Anybody here have either positive or negative reactions to this Harnoncourt set?

Have also been listening to the classic Schwarzkopf/HvK set, which I very much like -- totally different take from the Harnoncourt, light, spirited - and am in the middle of the Kuijken/Isokoski live recordings discussed at the beginning of the thread.  (So far I am liking it but would describe it as a second or third version and not as a first one.) 

I also have found Cosi to be the most difficult pre-20th-century opera to absorb in my listening experience.  The level of organization complexity and counterpoint is high, with multisection arias and ensemble pieces laced with Mozart's usual plethora of thematic ideas.  Repays repeated listening, to say the least. 

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on June 18, 2010, 07:54:35 AM
DarkAngel - That aria is a particular favorite of mine.  Love it.

I wonder if the impish Cherubino character is an alter ego for young Mozart, a daring worldly romantic navigating troubled waters ahead.....beautiful timeless arias written for Cherubino show a special empathy by composer
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on June 18, 2010, 08:12:08 AM
I wanted to bring this recording up:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MYnnHQ53L._SL500_AA300)

I have spent the last couple of months listening to Cosi pretty intensively and have found this to be an absolutely stunning rendition.  Harnoncourt (FYI, I am not a fan most of the time) takes things very slowly for the most part, adding a sensuous veneer which really adds a dimension to the score.  The cast is very good.  Charlotte Margiono is not a name I know (I am not really an opera buff) but I think she gives an outstanding performance as Fiordiligi.  Sonics for this recording are excellent.  So that's my reaction.  Then I log on to amazon to check on some other opinions and several reviewers slam the recording(in particular the very good Despina, Anna Steiger.  Anybody here have either positive or negative reactions to this Harnoncourt set?

Have also been listening to the classic Schwarzkopf/HvK set, which I very much like -- totally different take from the Harnoncourt, light, spirited - and am in the middle of the Kuijken/Isokoski live recordings discussed at the beginning of the thread.  (So far I am liking it but would describe it as a second or third version and not as a first one.) 

I also have found Cosi to be the most difficult pre-20th-century opera to absorb in my listening experience.  The level of organization complexity and counterpoint is high, with multisection arias and ensemble pieces laced with Mozart's usual plethora of thematic ideas.  Repays repeated listening, to say the least.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Hiid%2BR1%2BL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)    (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/bd/36/43a1228348a07271b8824110.L._AA300_.jpg)
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RLWHAk-uL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
Cosmic
I love Cosi and have many versions, these are my absolute favorites!
 
The Jacobs/HM is the best of his recent series for me and my very favorite modern version. For classic version I go with Schwarzkopf & Ludwig with Bohm/EMI (over the older Karajan Schwarzkopf also with EMI) the two sisters have great interaction/chemistry
 
The DVD/Blu Ray Cosi above is a superb performance and the picture quality is current reference for any Mozart Opera I have seen......stunning picture and sound quality
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DarkAngel on September 03, 2010, 11:03:07 AM
Time for another super bargain alert..........
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415XiKZg1xL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B002A32HK6/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cUaggZXML._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B001Q2RVQW/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music)
 
Decca Heritage Masters budget price series, 3CD sets with booklet but no libtretto, both mid 1950s mono but very good sound, Amazon sellers $10-12 new
 
Both operas have Lisa Della Casa and Ceasare Siepi, for Le Nozze we have great female pair with Della Casa - Hilde Gueden, Siepi plays Figaro with panache, and young rogue Cherubino is bright voiced Suzanne Danco
 
Great buys for Mozart opera fans.......
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Opus106 on April 25, 2011, 06:57:22 AM
Something to look forward to, I'd guess. Very little info at the moment.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-John-Eliot/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21
http://www.amazon.de/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-Ltd-J/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicgu03-21
http://www.amazon.fr/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-Ltd-J/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicgu0a-21
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on April 25, 2011, 06:59:10 AM
I wonder if the impish Cherubino character is an alter ego for young Mozart, a daring worldly romantic navigating troubled waters ahead.....beautiful timeless arias written for Cherubino show a special empathy by composer

Very muddy waters, these.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2011, 07:00:01 AM
Something to look forward to, I'd guess. Very little info at the moment.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-John-Eliot/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicguideco-21
http://www.amazon.de/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-Ltd-J/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicgu03-21
http://www.amazon.fr/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-Ltd-J/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicgu0a-21

Wow, 18 disks for 34£!!!  That will be worth the s & h!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Opus106 on April 25, 2011, 07:03:23 AM
Wow, 18 disks for 34£!!!  That will be worth the s & h!  :)

8)

And if I order it before the 15th, I won't have to pay for S&H. 0:) In any case, it's only a June release, and you can expect the price to come down even further in the US Amazon by then.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2011, 07:21:15 AM
And if I order it before the 15th, I won't have to pay for S&H. 0:) In any case, it's only a June release, and you can expect the price to come down even further in the US Amazon by then.

If US Amazon even has it at all... :-\  Don't care though, I would get it from the Brits. :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Opus106 on April 25, 2011, 07:24:36 AM
If US Amazon even has it at all... :-\  Don't care though, I would get it from the Brits. :)

8)

It's all yours for 7,687 Cents.
http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-John-Eliot/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicguideco
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2011, 07:28:29 AM
It's all yours for 7,687 Cents.
http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Opern-Gardiner-John-Eliot/dp/B004REXFRA/?tag=goodmusicguideco

Ah, well played, Navneeth. Merci beaucoup!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: karlhenning on April 25, 2011, 07:35:49 AM
Thanks, Nav! I've wish-listed that puppy.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on April 25, 2011, 11:10:51 AM
I'd rather have a nice and cheap reissue of this one.. ::) :-\

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5172kCE4oTL._SS500_.jpg)

From Gardiner's series, the Don is the most succesfull IMO.

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Harry Powell on April 25, 2011, 03:08:16 PM
In my opinion, both sets suffer from lackluster and boring singing.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidW on April 25, 2011, 03:41:54 PM
I don't know about the recordings discussed, but I'm following up on a rec via netflix (which I think is from Scarpia, but I can't quite recall):



I'm used to listening to the Bohm recording (which I really like despite the dated sound):



btw listening to that recording brought me once again back to fanaticism (for classical music as a whole) because I was deeply moved by the beauty. 0:)
And if you see this, thank you Knight for recing. :)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 25, 2011, 06:40:24 PM
I'd rather have a nice and cheap reissue of this one.. ::) :-\

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5172kCE4oTL._SS500_.jpg)


I used to have three from this series (Cosi excepted) and despite finding much in them to enjoy initially my enthusiasm seriously waned over time and I ended up dumping them. The principle problem for me was (is) the microscopic sound produced by the string section. It's practically no different in sound than if a single violinist were all that were playing.

Such a sound is absolutely anathema to Mozart - stripping the music to arid, bare-bones morsels isn't justified, else no reason at all for Mozart to have given his operas the robust, full-throated treatment as far as scoring. I think first of how ripe and colorful the wind and brass are made to sound (or should sound) and from there much of the musical argument is filled in by the extroverted singing - which then OUGHT to be augmented by strong string support. IOW, each of Mozart's multi-layered effects given full weight to carry the musical argument to its full fruition.

So.....if Östman views the music as somehow more virile without the strings it's not anything I'm able to come to terms with. For me Fricsay's proto-HIP style is how I've come to most appreciate Mozart's operas.

(Sorry, Q :()

 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mandryka on April 26, 2011, 08:10:16 PM
I don't know about the recordings discussed, but I'm following up on a rec via netflix (which I think is from Scarpia, but I can't quite recall):



I'm used to listening to the Bohm recording (which I really like despite the dated sound):



btw listening to that recording brought me once again back to fanaticism (for classical music as a whole) because I was deeply moved by the beauty. 0:)
And if you see this, thank you Knight for recing. :)

I have the Royal Opera  DVD add I saw Keenlyside in it at Covent Garden. While Keenlyside is an excellent Pappegeno, I'm not sure that there's anything special about the production really. Safe.

I think if I could only keep one Magic Flute DVD I would choose the Bergman film.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Que on April 26, 2011, 11:41:21 PM
I used to have three from this series (Cosi excepted) and despite finding much in them to enjoy initially my enthusiasm seriously waned over time and I ended up dumping them. The principle problem for me was (is) the microscopic sound produced by the string section. It's practically no different in sound than if a single violinist were all that were playing.

Such a sound is absolutely anathema to Mozart - stripping the music to arid, bare-bones morsels isn't justified, else no reason at all for Mozart to have given his operas the robust, full-throated treatment as far as scoring. I think first of how ripe and colorful the wind and brass are made to sound (or should sound) and from there much of the musical argument is filled in by the extroverted singing - which then OUGHT to be augmented by strong string support. IOW, each of Mozart's multi-layered effects given full weight to carry the musical argument to its full fruition.

So.....if Östman views the music as somehow more virile without the strings it's not anything I'm able to come to terms with. For me Fricsay's proto-HIP style is how I've come to most appreciate Mozart's operas.

(Sorry, Q :()

Thanks for you comments! :) I still feel attracted of having a series with more intimate approach, next to Jacob's more truly theatrical take. If the price would be right.

And you're right about Fricsay, he is exptional within the Old School - he and Bruno Walter (sadly we have to do with a few very old live recordings) really "got" the true Mozartian spirit before HIP set in (and to a lesser extent Krips).

Q
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidW on April 29, 2011, 08:17:11 AM
I have to take that back, netflix is not shipping me Die Zauberflote, they skipped over it in favor of Wagner's Lohengrin!  Well next week maybe I'll get a chance to watch that Mozart opera.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: yashin on April 29, 2011, 05:11:43 PM
Oh for the DVD version i would choose the DVD from Zurich with Nicholas Harnoncourt conducting.  Harnoncourt conducts beautifully in my opinion. Christoph Strehl is a wonderful Tamino -just as he was on the Abbado cd.   I really love his voice. Ruben Drole was a new name to me and he makes a terrific Papagano. The modern interpretation might not be to everyones taste- but you know i was gripped from start to finish and for once i really understood this opera.  Some productions i have seen dragged a little even though i love this opera. Not this one.  I really don't think i could find a better version on DVD -and therefore have not bothered  to buy other versions since.

I would like to see the recent Met version (was it in English) i thought this had been released but have not found it yet and i have yet to see the Kenneth Brannagh film of this opera- i did see some clips on youtube but that didn't exactly excite me.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on April 30, 2011, 01:54:03 AM
I would like to see the recent Met version (was it in English) i thought this had been released but have not found it yet and i have yet to see the Kenneth Brannagh film of this opera- i did see some clips on youtube but that didn't exactly excite me.

They Met does their Julie Taymor production in a full-length German-language version and a abridged, English-language, "family" version.  So far, only the abridged English version has been telecast and released.  It's on the Met's own label, and only available through the Met Opera Shop (http://www.metoperashop.org/product/detail/1000002505.aspx), or you can buy it through amazon.com (The Met Opera shop's still the seller, but I think shipping's a bit less if you buy it that way) at http://www.amazon.com/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Magic-Metropolitan/dp/B001MSC61A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1304159669&sr=8-1.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Octave on May 01, 2013, 09:52:47 PM
I just asked about Harnoncourt's recordings of Mozart symphonies in the general Mozart thread; while I'm at it, I'm curious which of his recordings of the operas (CD or DVD) you guys think are not just interesting but indispensable, contenders to sit among the front rank with all the alternatives, from any period or approach.  (Even if it's not your top pick or two or three for a given opera....it's a crowded field!)

One reason I ask is that I don't seem to run across Harnoncourt's name in this thread very often; perhaps that is answer enough?  Yet even in a crowded field His COSI was given strong praise by cosmicj: "...takes things very slowly for the most part, adding a sensuous veneer which really adds a dimension to the score."
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2013, 03:10:21 AM
I just asked about Harnoncourt's recordings of Mozart symphonies in the general Mozart thread; while I'm at it, I'm curious which of his recordings of the operas (CD or DVD) you guys think are not just interesting but indispensable, contenders to sit among the front rank with all the alternatives, from any period or approach?  (Even if it's not your top pick or two or three for a given opera....it's a crowded field!)

One reason I ask is that I don't seem to run across Harnoncourt's name in this thread very often; perhaps that is answer enough?  Yet even in a crowded field His COSI was given strong praise by cosmicj: "...takes things very slowly for the most part, adding a sensuous veneer which really adds a dimension to the score."

I'm not entirely sure that I even knew Harnoncourt did Mozart's operas, so I'm temporarily stumped by this. I have Ostman, Hogwood, Jacobs and Gardiner in at least the Da Ponte's (some on others too), and thought I had it pretty well covered. Harnoncourt, eh?  Hmmm.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: San Antone on May 02, 2013, 03:38:46 AM
I'm not entirely sure that I even knew Harnoncourt did Mozart's operas, so I'm temporarily stumped by this. I have Ostman, Hogwood, Jacobs and Gardiner in at least the Da Ponte's (some on others too), and thought I had it pretty well covered. Harnoncourt, eh?  Hmmm.... :)

8)

News to me as well.  Found this, not PI, but which I will get anyway



I always start with Cosi ...

I also saw a DVD, and don't know if he's done any with period instruments.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: San Antone on May 02, 2013, 03:42:53 AM
Nix that last post.  Seems I completely forgot that I already have this DVD



However, I do remember now, being underwhelmed and even somewhat bothered by the staging.  Which is why I usually prefer CDs to DVDs.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2013, 03:51:41 AM
Both the K.527 & K.588? Mmm, that's a temptation . . . .
 
How is it musically?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 02, 2013, 03:55:40 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NZZZEQCeL._SX300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YZlra%2BLbL._SX300_.jpg)


Original cover and reissue.
This has been my favorite Zauberflote on disc since it was released. It now has competition with my purchase of Jacobs last year. Harnoncourt truly animates this music, stretching it's lovely arias, and adding intensity to its fiery moments. Plus, the Zurich players perform with incredible passion. It features all the spoken dialogue (which I'm not sure if that's common with all recordings) so the theater experience is in tact.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Octave on May 02, 2013, 03:56:34 AM
There are iirc three of the Warner 250th Anniversary boxes that collect several of the Harnoncourt operas among them all.  I remember Sarge recommended Harnoncourt's ENTFUHRUNG very strongly, maybe even his single top pick for that one; apparently it makes bold use of some Turkish percussion in some places.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Octave on May 02, 2013, 04:00:23 AM
Gurn, put.....the credit card.....down!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: San Antone on May 02, 2013, 04:05:27 AM
Both the K.527 & K.588? Mmm, that's a temptation . . . .
 
How is it musically?

I honestly don't remember.  I was so bothered by the staging, they used a white board throughout, drawing and writing on it - that I found so out of character with the piece, that I turned it off.  I should listen with my eyes closed.  That was Cosi.  I never got around to Giovanni.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2013, 04:15:11 AM
Completely understand being put off by goofy stagecraft.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2013, 04:27:07 AM
Gurn, put.....the credit card.....down!

:D  Oh yeah, I'll be waiting for feedback on this one....  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2013, 04:43:47 AM
It features all the spoken dialogue (which I'm not sure if that's common with all recordings) so the theater experience is in tact.

And when you want just the music, this is an indispensable Zauberflöte. No dialogue at all (which I find a blessing). But it's more than that: if I could only take one Mozart opera to the island, this would be it. It has a great cast (save a slightly underachieving Gottlob Frick), especially the women. Klemperer conducts as though it were Beethoven (I like my Mozart as far from the music box as possible). Tempos tend towards the slow side but are never lumbering.




Sarge
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2013, 04:45:19 AM
Splendid, Sarge, thanks for the rec.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 02, 2013, 04:48:20 AM
And when you want just the music, this is an indispensable Zauberflöte. No dialogue at all (which I find a blessing). But it's more than that: if I could only take one Mozart opera to the island, this would be it. It has a great cast (save a slightly underachieving Gottlob Frick), especially the women. Klemperer conducts as though it were Beethoven (I like my Mozart as far from the music box as possible). Tempos tend towards the slow side but are never lumbering.




Sarge

And at a nice price. I just realized that all three of my Zauberflöte recordings include the dialogue.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2013, 04:56:08 AM
Vell, it iss a zingshpeel . . . .
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 02, 2013, 05:01:20 AM
Vell, it iss a zingshpeel . . . .

It was with Bergman's film that I first experienced Zauberflote, so I've always been attracted to the spoken parts.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on May 02, 2013, 05:10:24 AM
I always start with Cosi ...
Seems I completely forgot that I already have this DVD [Harnoncourt]

However, I do remember now, being underwhelmed and even somewhat bothered by the staging.  Which is why I usually prefer CDs to DVDs.
Love Cosi. Agree those Harnoncourt DVDs are less than thrilling. Best of the few I've seen is the Glyndebourne production with Miah Persson. Still prefer hearing the wonderful Walter Legge/Böhm CD or Kuijken or Jacobs.

If this Magic Flute were available on blu-ray or DVD, I'd snap it up:

http://www.youtube.com/v/s4yxYBu1y3I

Dazzling!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2013, 05:39:18 AM
It was with Bergman's film that I first experienced Zauberflote . . . .

Likewise!  (Probably at the College of Wooster, in the Wishart Hall lecture room . . . .)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Elgarian on May 02, 2013, 05:53:43 AM
Love Cosi. ... Best of the few I've seen is the Glyndebourne production with Miah Persson.

Not just the best Cosi I've seen: it's one of those productions that would alone make it worthwhile to own a DVD player. Visually, simply exquisite. Brilliantly acted. Singing, marvellous.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 02, 2013, 06:12:52 AM
Not just the best Cosi I've seen: it's one of those productions that would alone make it worthwhile to own a DVD player. Visually, simply exquisite. Brilliantly acted. Singing, marvellous.

Thanks, gents, good to know.  My wallet needs a witness protection program . . . .
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2013, 06:27:06 AM
Hmmm, must be this one here (for Americans);



I am quite fond of Ms. Persson; she is a classical era whiz!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: San Antone on May 02, 2013, 06:33:06 AM
Hmmm, must be this one here (for Americans);



I am quite fond of Ms. Persson; she is a classical era whiz!  :)

8)

Yes; I have plopped it in my shopping cart.  This month I have been on something of a buying frenzy, at least for me - so I am just a bit hesitant.  I am sure it won't last.

 :-\
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on May 02, 2013, 06:51:58 AM
Thanks, gents, good to know.  My wallet needs a witness protection program . . . .
Mine, too, at least when I spend too much time around GMG. I can go months without buying a CD, but hang around here for a while and before long I'm buying a few every week -- sometimes every day! Still, our wallets are better off than those needing a witless protection program!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mandryka on May 02, 2013, 11:57:37 AM
The most enjyable Cosi and Figaro productions I've seen are Ponnele's.

(http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTI3NTkzMjA0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODIyOTgyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_.jpg) (https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSvQaBGwqbK_I3USAKwiWElX-VNnKHmdYi5QEqL3wPm1nGQLTFzSA)

The Don Giovannies I've enjoyed the mot have been Peter Brook's and Calixto Bieito's

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UL15Q13W3SQ/SR7MpWLsA6I/AAAAAAAAD9I/fi_gSf9L8qY/s400/51fcJau2CmL__SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dR8fO_uZmyA/USu5_Kvb0tI/AAAAAAAAGVg/zyoYbKKEPcM/s1600/don+gi+bieito.jpg)

Peter Brook has produced a Magic Flute. I've never seen it but it's going to be revived at Le Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord this year, I have a tickert to see it in July.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Elgarian on May 02, 2013, 12:06:07 PM
Hmmm, must be this one here (for Americans);



That's the one, Gurn. Click below for (devastatingly beautiful) sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 02, 2013, 12:28:53 PM
That's the one, Gurn. Click below for (devastatingly beautiful) sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As)

Thanks for sharing, Elgarian. It's now in my wish list.  :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 02, 2013, 12:39:40 PM
For those who haven't seen the 1975 film version of The Magic Flute by Ingmar Bergman, here are a few clips. It was originally produced as a made for TV film, but later released into theaters. The film is never shy about revealing it's "theater" atmosphere. The audience is shown during the overture, there's clapping after Arias, and best of all, during the intermission the camera goes backstage to capture the performers relaxing, smoking while playing cards, and preparing for the next act.


http://www.youtube.com/v/3ltD-bsrcHE  http://www.youtube.com/v/DpF6LRLGZLo http://www.youtube.com/v/nE7SbiKzDzE 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 02, 2013, 12:43:50 PM
That's the one, Gurn. Click below for (devastatingly beautiful) sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wi7UsXW1As)

Wow, certainly liked everything I saw/heard there! Simple sets and costumes too.  Thanks for that, Elgarian!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Parsifal on May 02, 2013, 12:51:15 PM
This is a favorite of mine



Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: kishnevi on May 02, 2013, 06:23:22 PM
They Met does their Julie Taymor production in a full-length German-language version and a abridged, English-language, "family" version.  So far, only the abridged English version has been telecast and released.  It's on the Met's own label, and only available through the Met Opera Shop (http://www.metoperashop.org/product/detail/1000002505.aspx), or you can buy it through amazon.com (The Met Opera shop's still the seller, but I think shipping's a bit less if you buy it that way) at http://www.amazon.com/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Magic-Metropolitan/dp/B001MSC61A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1304159669&sr=8-1.

I've seen that abridged version on the DVD shelves of one of the local Barnes and Nobles, so the Met may not be the only way to get it, if interested. 

Among the DVDs waiting to be watched in my pile is a Magic Flute from Zurich conducted by Welser-Most and a Glyndebourne Figaro with Renee Fleming conducted, IIRC, by Haitink.  I'm hoping I like the Zurich Flute as much as I did their Figaro, which I also have on DVD.

I too am one of those people who first experienced the Magic Flute via the Bergman film.  My second experience came a couple of years later, when the Met was on tour in Atlanta, and brought along the Chagall production (and that was truly magical!)
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: The new erato on May 02, 2013, 09:21:33 PM
Still, our wallets are better off than those needing a witless protection program!
Also known as a wife?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: The new erato on May 02, 2013, 09:25:16 PM
For those who haven't seen the 1975 film version of The Magic Flute by Ingmar Bergman, here are a few clips.
The Bergman Flute is wonderful. I saw it 4 times (an extremely rare occurence for me) back in the days before DVDs and even VCRs, but haven't seen it since.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mandryka on May 02, 2013, 10:14:02 PM
The problem with the Bergman Flute is that it's in Swedish.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: The new erato on May 02, 2013, 10:17:14 PM
The problem with the Bergman Flute is that it's in Swedish
Well; subtitles and translations are a fact of life for us Scandinavians....and I feel Swedish "sings" very well in that version. 
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Mandryka on May 02, 2013, 10:20:48 PM
Re Nicholas Hytner,  I've been really unimpressed by everything I've seen from him , including that Glyndebourne Cosi. As far as I can see his productions aren't much more than an inoffensive pretty backdrop for the singers.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Elgarian on May 02, 2013, 11:40:38 PM
Re Nicholas Hytner,  I've been really unimpressed by everything I've seen from him , including that Glyndebourne Cosi. As far as I can see his productions aren't much more than an inoffensive pretty backdrop for the singers.

Of course there's no reason why the same production is going to appeal to everyone, and it sounds as if the Glyndebourne Cosi isn't for you, but I certainly wouldn't describe it as 'an inoffensive pretty backdrop'. I'd call it a masterly and sensitive understatement. The 'blue sky' feeling pervades the whole production, and I find it unforgettable, deeply attractive, and very moving. That atmosphere (as well as the delightful singing and acting) has drawn me back to this DVD again and again ever since I first watched it.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 03, 2013, 01:12:17 AM
The problem with the Bergman Flute is that it's in Swedish.

I consider that more a characteristic than a problem.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: San Antone on May 03, 2013, 02:24:34 AM
I consider that more a characteristic than a problem.

 :D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on May 04, 2013, 03:22:13 AM
I consider that more a characteristic than a problem.
Better yet, a bonus!
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: DavidRoss on May 04, 2013, 03:30:00 AM
Also known as a wife?
Frequently true. (Don't you dare tell her I said that!)  ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Drasko on February 27, 2015, 07:06:24 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61o8odFJ32L.jpg)

Any opinions of Bohm's mid 60s Prague recording of Don Giovanni? I found relatively cheap Supraphon LP set of it (this one (http://www.discogs.com/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Dietrich-Fischer-Dieskau-Martti-Talvela-Birgit-Nilsson-Martina-Arroyo-Peter-/release/4448536)) and thinking of picking it up. In previous 25 pages of this thread there's no single mention of it, amazon reviews look mixed.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: ritter on February 27, 2015, 01:35:41 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61o8odFJ32L.jpg)

Any opinions of Bohm's mid 60s Prague recording of Don Giovanni? I found relatively cheap Supraphon LP set of it (this one (http://www.discogs.com/Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart-Dietrich-Fischer-Dieskau-Martti-Talvela-Birgit-Nilsson-Martina-Arroyo-Peter-/release/4448536)) and thinking of picking it up. In previous 25 pages of this thread there's no single mention of it, amazon reviews look mixed.
I personally don't have a very good opinion of this recording (but must admit I haven't listened to it for many, many years). Although I am a great admirer of Karl Böhm in Mozart, on this occasion I think the result is rather heavy-handed, and there's very little of giocoso in this dramma. As for the singing, well, FiDi is FiDi (I like him), but Birgit Nilsson is a singer I've never warmed to (in this or any repertoire--too clarion-voiced and one-dimensional, IMHO), Reri Grist soubrettish as Zerlina, Flagello rather coarse as Leporello. Only Martina Arroyo left a pleasant impression...

Böhm's later (1977) live recording from Salzburg (also on DG) is a vastly superior affair, I think, and very enjoyable (even if it shares the very germanic-sounding Peter Schreier as Ottavio with the previous recording):

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on February 27, 2015, 11:47:04 PM
Ii agree, Nilsson was never a comfortable fit with Mozart. Now a days, that weight of voice would never be asked to sing that part.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Drasko on February 28, 2015, 09:24:25 AM
Thank you for your opinions gentlemen! I just found that the complete recording is on youtube, so I'll just try to hear it before deciding whether to get it or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8fshhOF_Pw
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Drasko on June 23, 2015, 04:04:49 AM
Cross posting from listening thread:

(http://s9.postimg.org/kgylx24dr/clemenzamunich1_copy.jpg)

(http://s9.postimg.org/k2x9xgka7/clemenzamunich2_copy.jpg)

Mozart - La clemenza di Tito

Tito Vespasiano: Toby Spence
Sesto: Tara Erraught
Vitellia: Kristine Opolais
Servilia: Hanna-Elisabeth Müller
Annio: Angela Brower
Publio: Tareq Nazmi

Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Conductor: Kirill Petrenko

Direction: Jan Bosse
Bayerische Staatsoper 15. Februar 2014

I liked the staging, simple and effective. Stylized Roman senate for the first act and singed rafters of the same for the second. Fancy costumes for the first, getting disheveled for the second (except Tito). Orchestra raised, in white in first then in black for second act. Acting good all around. Singing: Erraught, Müller, Brower excellent, Spence bit cautious on top and in more florid passages but fine overall, Opolais has tendency to hurl herself at her top notes in a manner that made me wince couple of times in the first act, better in the second. It's not an easy role. Petrenko's conducting I thought was mostly excellent, good balances, flexible with tempo. Shame there is no DVD.

Video can be found here (http://intoclassics.net/news/2014-02-20-35347).   
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: knight66 on June 25, 2015, 03:49:29 AM
I heard Spence in Gerontius a few weeks ago and he was in good voice. He seems to be making a good recovery from cancer and I hope he recaptures his top form. He seems to have lots of high profile bookings ahead this year.

Mike
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: André on April 07, 2016, 12:54:31 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61p7ZAuGTHL.jpg)

The "little cousins" of the Countess and Susanna are found in this wonderful pocket opera, one of Mozart's best efforts in the genre. Mind you, that is a nincompoop, as there is not a snitch of effort here.

This wonderful version does it all for me: it has naturalness written all over. Highs and lows (vocal of course) are sung and played with splendid élan and brio. The most amazing to my ears was the quality of the sound (1954), full and ringing, with plenty of space and presence.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Jo498 on April 08, 2016, 02:57:19 AM
There is another Abduction with Fricsay, a broadcast production with a slightly different cast, also very good (but it's probably not necessary to have both and the sound quality on the DG studio is better, I think).

For a singspiel of its time, the Abduction is very elaborate, with wonderful and luxurious instrumentation and great characterization. At least the huge "Martern aller Arten" Aria with concertante woodwinds is far too serious and grand for a singspiel, so Mozart is already mixing genres here. I also especially love the pseudo-medieval romance with its pizzicato and strange harmonies: Pedrillo's "Im Morgenland gefangen war".
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: André on April 08, 2016, 03:06:12 AM
Yes, Pedrillo's romance is a little gem. I also very much like Beecham's version with Leopold Simoneau and Lois Marshall. Beecham gives it the grand treatment, but does not overinflate the work.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: kishnevi on April 08, 2016, 09:09:16 AM
One of the odd things embedded in the Callas Recitals boxes I am now listening to is the presence of German and French arias (even the Bell Song from Lakme!) sung in Italian:  and it takes a minute to figure out what "Tutte le torture" actually is.   I have to admit the translation does not really serve the music well, and the difference in languages does have an impact on the overall presentation.   
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: zamyrabyrd on April 09, 2016, 02:08:57 AM
One of the odd things embedded in the Callas Recitals boxes I am now listening to is the presence of German and French arias (even the Bell Song from Lakme!) sung in Italian:  and it takes a minute to figure out what "Tutte le torture" actually is.   I have to admit the translation does not really serve the music well, and the difference in languages does have an impact on the overall presentation.

I don't mind anything that Callas has sung. In fact, the "Bell Song" is rather interesting in Italian. As for translations, Mozart's operas were frequently done in at least two languages: German and Italian. In the classical era, this was no big deal.

German singers at least into the 1950's were singing standard operatic repertoire in their own language.  For example, Fritz Wunderlich sang Lenski's aria in German. The Russians consistently returned the compliment, importing any opera into their own language. At least the audience could understand what was going on.

I read somewhere that even into the 1920's it was possible to hear singers on the same stage singing in different languages. That must have been some polyglot-phony.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Jo498 on April 09, 2016, 02:54:18 AM
Opera in the language of the audience was frequent in Europe at smaller theatres until the 1970s or 80s and even today one of the three opera houses in Berlin has almost everything in German (it used to be everything until a few years ago). The polyglot mixtures were supposedly frequent already at the first German public opera theatre (Hamburg, "am Gänsemarkt" (at the Geese's Market) with Keiser, the young Handel and later Telemann.
There were occasions of guest singers singing in another language even until the 1950s or 60s in Germany and Austria, I believe, but I am too young to name examples.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on April 09, 2016, 09:42:47 AM
One of the odd things embedded in the Callas Recitals boxes I am now listening to is the presence of German and French arias (even the Bell Song from Lakme!) sung in Italian:  and it takes a minute to figure out what "Tutte le torture" actually is.   I have to admit the translation does not really serve the music well, and the difference in languages does have an impact on the overall presentation.

She actually sang four performances of the complete opera (her only performances in a complete Mozart opera), in Italian, at La Scala, in April 1952:

KONSTANZE MARIA CALLAS Soprano
BLONDE TATIANA MENOTTI Soprano
BELMONTE GIACINTO PRANDELLI Tenore
PEDRILLO PETRE MUNTEANU Tenore
OSMIN SALVATORE BACCALONI Basso baritone
BASSA SELIM NERIO BERNARDI Attore

Maestro concertatore e direttore JONEL PERLEA

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: kishnevi on April 09, 2016, 12:20:00 PM
I don't mind anything that Callas has sung. In fact, the "Bell Song" is rather interesting in Italian. As for translations, Mozart's operas were frequently done in at least two languages: German and Italian. In the classical era, this was no big deal.

German singers at least into the 1950's were singing standard operatic repertoire in their own language.  For example, Fritz Wunderlich sang Lenski's aria in German. The Russians consistently returned the compliment, importing any opera into their own language. At least the audience could understand what was going on.

I read somewhere that even into the 1920's it was possible to hear singers on the same stage singing in different languages. That must have been some polyglot-phony.

Someone I knew in my college days once attended a performance of Boris Godunov in Vienna c. 1970 that was sung in German.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: kishnevi on April 09, 2016, 12:25:22 PM
Opera in the language of the audience was frequent in Europe at smaller theatres until the 1970s or 80s and even today one of the three opera houses in Berlin has almost everything in German (it used to be everything until a few years ago). The polyglot mixtures were supposedly frequent already at the first German public opera theatre (Hamburg, "am Gänsemarkt" (at the Geese's Market) with Keiser, the young Handel and later Telemann.
There were occasions of guest singers singing in another language even until the 1950s or 60s in Germany and Austria, I believe, but I am too young to name examples.

The English National Opera is still going strong (albeit the current production is Sunset Boulevard).
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Jo498 on April 09, 2016, 12:45:50 PM
I think in the German speaking countries the practice changed from audience language to (mostly) original language in two waves: First the big international houses, like Vienna and Berlin wanted to boast star casts from all nations whereas until the 1950s they had kept comparably fixed ensembles and only occasionally star soloist from elsewhere. The second wave was when many international singers entered German/Austrian/Swiss ensembles (those countries have by some margin the highest number and the highest density of theatres playing opera in the world) even in the provincial theatres. As most singers, regardless of where they hail from, can sing some halfway recognizable Italian it made more sense to have them sing bad Italian than worse German in often cheesy oldfashioned translations. Of course, there are still quite a few important operas in German, so they also get to sing in bad German (and bad French, occasionally, I guess).
The Russian and Czech of most non-native singers is probably terrible. (I have often been told that native speakers frequently do not recognize the language if non-native singers try to sing Czech or that it is laughably bad.) So some of these operas are more frequently performed in German whereas with e.g. Mozart's Figaro performances in German have become rare.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: André on April 09, 2016, 02:36:40 PM
She actually sang four performances of the complete opera (her only performances in a complete Mozart opera), in Italian, at La Scala, in April 1952:

KONSTANZE MARIA CALLAS Soprano
BLONDE TATIANA MENOTTI Soprano
BELMONTE GIACINTO PRANDELLI Tenore
PEDRILLO PETRE MUNTEANU Tenore
OSMIN SALVATORE BACCALONI Basso baritone
BASSA SELIM NERIO BERNARDI Attore

Maestro concertatore e direttore JONEL PERLEA


Amazing: Callas, Prandelli, Munteanu and Baccalone. Wow !! The only name I know nothing about is Tatiana Menotti (a relation of the composer ?). And of course Perlea was an excellent conductor. Have there been recorded incarnations of those evenings ?
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: kishnevi on April 09, 2016, 02:54:39 PM


(Re Callas in Mozart)
The only trace on Amazon beyond those recital recordings is
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bMWt4LKxL.jpg)

Which you can purchase for a mere 1800USD.  Plus $20 shipping.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: André on April 09, 2016, 02:57:24 PM
Skata...  :(
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Wendell_E on April 10, 2016, 04:11:21 AM
Amazing: Callas, Prandelli, Munteanu and Baccalone. Wow !! The only name I know nothing about is Tatiana Menotti (a relation of the composer ?). And of course Perlea was an excellent conductor. Have there been recorded incarnations of those evenings ?

No recordings, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: André on April 10, 2016, 06:16:52 AM
3 x Martern aller arten on youtube, by Callas and Gencer in Italian ( aka "Tutte le torture") and Schwarzkopf, vintage 1945. Callas has the notes, the charater, the volume. Gencer has the delicacy, the notes, the colours. Schwarzkopf has the gall to attempt it, but fails to convey anything but cautiousness.
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: jochanaan on April 10, 2016, 03:13:55 PM
...polyglot-phony.
Very nice! ;D
Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 14, 2016, 10:43:23 PM
She actually sang four performances of the complete opera (her only performances in a complete Mozart opera), in Italian, at La Scala, in April 1952:

KONSTANZE MARIA CALLAS Soprano
BLONDE TATIANA MENOTTI Soprano
BELMONTE GIACINTO PRANDELLI Tenore
PEDRILLO PETRE MUNTEANU Tenore
OSMIN SALVATORE BACCALONI Basso baritone
BASSA SELIM NERIO BERNARDI Attore

Maestro concertatore e direttore JONEL PERLEA

This was also the opera's La Scala premiere, believe it or not!

Title: Re: Mozart operas
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 14, 2016, 10:54:49 PM
3 x Martern aller arten on youtube, by Callas and Gencer in Italian ( aka "Tutte le torture") and Schwarzkopf, vintage 1945. Callas has the notes, the charater, the volume. Gencer has the delicacy, the notes, the colours. Schwarzkopf has the gall to attempt it, but fails to convey anything but cautiousness.

Callas is one of the only singers I know who captures the aria's defiance and the danger of the situation. Edda Moser is another. Sutherland's singing is spectacular, encompassing its technical demands with ease, and her diction (in German) not at all bad (I'm thinking of the version on The Art of the Prima Donna), but I don't get any sense of the aria's meaning or context.

Callas can be heard singing it at a rehearsal for a Dallas inaugural concert in 1958. This was quite an occasion, the chorus joining her for the whole of the Final Scene from Anna Bolena. She also sang Violetta's Ah fors' e lui and Sempre libera, Lady Macbeth's Vieni t'affretta and the Mad Scene from I Puritani. Sounds like the audience certainly got their money's worth!