Mozart Da Ponte Opera recordings

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RE: Mozart Da Ponte Opera recordings

Dear Mark,

On a music forum such as this you are bound to get an array of opinions about which modern recordings are the best choice. It depends whay you mean by modern. Do you mean recent recordings or good sounding recordings from the past?

My personal choices are:

Figaro - Solti on Decca with Ramey, Popp, Te Kanawa, Allen or Guilini on EMI with Taddei, Moffo, Waechter, Schwarzkopf.

Don Giovanni -  Haitink on EMI with Allen, Vaness, van Alan, Ewing or Guilini on EMI with Waechter, Sutherland, Taddei, Schwarzkopf

Cosi - Haitink on EMI with Vaness, Ziegler, Aler, Duesing or Bohm with Schwarzkopf, Kraus, Ludwig, Taddei.

I have listened to these recordings over many years and even though I have purchased many others, these remain my favourite stereo versions.

The recommendations are firstly from studio recordings from the 1980s followed by recordings from the early 1960s, although I think the Don Giovanni with Guilini may have been recorded in 1959. All the above are in very good sound.

Hope this helps.

RE: Mozart Da Ponte Opera recordings

Hi all, perhaps I am old-fashioned, but for me I still keep coming back to:

Don Giovanni - either the Mitropoulos live 56 recording or one of the two Furtwangler ones. I used to have the Giulini one that everyone seems to extol but in my view Sutherland is not expressive enough when put against Grummer. I don't hear enough indignation or passionand Schwarzkopf as Elvira is almost a mad woman! And Siepi is so seductive; a real class act and sung so clearly. No, my money is those recordings from the early 50s when the ensemble was truly one snd they all practised together for a long time. I bought the Jacobs recording, not impressed; not dramatic enough for me.

Figaro - I enjoy the Giulini very much; and the Kleiber; again, here Siepi for me makes an almost perfect Figaro and della Casa expresses her feelings as the Countess, as opposed to just beautiful singing. But for the me the gem in many ways is Furtwangler's extraordinary German version live version of 53. The ensemble are truly magical. A recording to treasure. I have too the Jacobs one and although good, doesn't come close to the above ones.

Cosi - anyone of the four Bohm recordings. No one I think probes as deeply as he did.

 

That said, folks perhaps I'm just old-fashioned. 

 

Happy listening.

Andrew
Don Giovanni

What bugs me about most performances is that the murder of the Commendatore (as well as his womanising) seems to be seen as the reason for the Don's descent. Whereas the only thing he does in the opera that a noble man should not have done, is touch the statue... Few performances get this... Haitink's Glyndebourne recording and Muti's underrated but brilliantly singularly dark reading come closest to finding this dark core, for my two cents.

Mark, you have the best

Mark, you have the best resource already. Spotify will allow you to compare and choose those recordings you respond to most. You will find plenty of people on this forum loudly claiming that their choices are best and that the others are all rubbish. Well they are not. My preference tends to be for singers from a previous generation, but that does mean modern instruments and I also derive pleasure from hearing performances using more authentic resources. The Jacobs have all been well receieved as, more recently, has a more recent performance of Figaro from Teodor Currentzis. Try and compare. there is no "one way" with any great work of art, and certainly not with Mozart. The great thing about a resource like Spotify is that it gives us the chance to hear a whole range of different performances and make our own conclusions.

The best resource?

It is interesting to see how a "means" of accessing music can replace the authority in and of Music.

So "try and compare", even if one might not be (necessarily) able to listen properly, i.e. to identify certain basic elements of the work and the performance. Having said that, I do not wish to negate the significance of smooth accessibility to works and recordings that, otherwise, would be extremely difficult and costly to approach. However, this accessibility cannot replace the knowledge of some people of authority, whether these are reviewers, musicians themselves, professors, scholars etc.

A combination of various sources of information is always better than the exclusive use of one "resource", even if it is heralded (by some) as the "best".

Parla

two timely posts

In another thread tagalie wrote:

If there's any nostalgia or a hint of regret, one posting from Parlous-Pargliacci banishes it immediately.

And here above (post 22) is the clearest example of what prompted him to write it.  Nothing changes here, I see.  What a pity.

Vic.

parla wrote:

parla wrote:

It is interesting to see how a "means" of accessing music can replace the authority in and of Music.

So "try and compare", even if one might not be (necessarily) able to listen properly, i.e. to identify certain basic elements of the work and the performance. Having said that, I do not wish to negate the significance of smooth accessibility to works and recordings that, otherwise, would be extremely difficult and costly to approach. However, this accessibility cannot replace the knowledge of some people of authority, whether these are reviewers, musicians themselves, professors, scholars etc.

A combination of various sources of information is always better than the exclusive use of one "resource", even if it is heralded (by some) as the "best".

Parla

 

So "accessibility", listening to various versions for oneself via Spotify or whatever, is inferior to accepting the judgement of the the voice of "authority", is it?

 

Accessibility, inferiority, judgement, authority. Next?

It is not a matter of "inferiority", Vic, but of a deficit in building the best possible and more complete picture about a -usually- complex, multi-faceted work of Classical Music and the soloists involved in the history of its performance and recordings. Spotify and the rest cannot replace the knowledge and experience one may get from the exposure in reading specialised material, discussing relevant issues with people of this business, attending live performances etc.

In sum, the more relevant info you get, the more well-educated and prepared listener you can be.

Parla

I agree with Vic that one

I agree with Vic that one knows when the right version comes along - one can't hear every version of everything to decide. Very often I've found that the perceived "best" version according to Gramophone or a professed expert is not the one for me after I've maybe bought several different versions.

Each to his own, surely. I've got too many recordings in my collection which were supposed to be the best but have been found wanting by me for one reason or another.

It is a different thing to

It is a different thing to know "when the right version comes along" and the significance of a Karlos Kleiber in Beethoven or the importance of the repeat in the First Movement of the Last Piano Sonata by Schubert (defended by more than half of the pianists but vehemently objected by eminent soloists like Brendel), regardless of whether, eventually, you may opt for the omission of it as "the right thing" coming for you.

Parla

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