Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

Awards Issue 2008

Disc of the Month

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Strauss - Don Juan & Eine Alpensinfonie

Awards:

Gramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - Awards Issue 2008

Label:

RCO Live

Catalogue No:

RCO08006

Discs:

1

Release date:

29th Sept 2008

Barcode:

5425008376332

Length:

70 minutes

Medium:

SACD (download also available)

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel
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Strauss - Don Juan & Eine Alpensinfonie

Recorded Live at Concertgebouw 19, 20, 21 & 23 September 2007 (Alpensinfonie); 18, 21 October 2007, 16, 17 January 2008 (Don Juan)


Strauss, R:

Don Juan, Op. 20

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64


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After the successful release of Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben in 2004, Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra once again present two familiar symphonic poems by Richard Strauss, who had close ties with the then fledgling Concertgebouw Orchestra. This CD brings together live performances of Don Juan and Eine Alpensinfonie which were recorded during the 2007-8 season and which met with great acclaim both in and outside the Netherlands.Although Don Juan and Eine Alpensinfonie were not dedicated to Willem Mengelberg and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, as Ein Heldenleben was, both works sound here as if they were written for the Amsterdam-based orchestra.

"A rich, dramatic Don Juan, built on bitter-sweet woodwind timbres, magnificently bright brasses and uncommonly velvety strings." [Don Juan] The New York Times concert review

Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20, TrV 156

Don Juan, Op. 20, TrV 156

Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op. 64, TrV 233

Nacht (Night)

Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise)

Der Anstieg (The Ascent)

Eintritt in den Wald (Entry into the Wood)

Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering by the brook)

Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall)

Erscheinung (Apparition)

Auf blumigen Wiesen (On Flowering Meadows)

Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture)

Durch Dickicht und Gestrupp auf Irrwegen (Straying through Thicket and Undergrowth)

Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier)

Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments)

Auf dem Gipfel (On the Summit)

Vision

Nebel steigen auf (Mists rise)

Die Sonne verdustert sich allmahlich (The Sun gradually darkens)

Elegie

Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm before the Storm)

Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg (Thunder and Storm, Descent)

Sonnenuntergang (Sunset)

Ausklang (Final Sounds)

Nacht (Night)

Applause

Applause

BBC Music Magazine

October 2008

*****

“…Mariss Jansons's… great lover is beefier if less nimble-footed than George Szell's (on Sony), with the woodwind repeated-note support crystal clear behind spacious strings. …Jansons's…Alpine Symphony… is unique in its grave beauty, and as fine a love recording as any we've had from the concert-halls of late.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“Mariss Jansons opens with a very exciting account of Don Juan, splendidly played, with plenty of impetus, and a touchingly gentle and sensuous account of the seduction scene. His richly expansive shaping of the great horn theme presents Juan as a nobly romantic seducer rather than one carried away by physical passion. But this makes a fine introduction to a truly outstanding account of the Alpine Symphony that ranks alongside Wit's celebrated Naxos version (see below) with the Weimar Staatskapelle, and in some ways is even finer.
Jansons structures the work unerringly and the Concertgebouw sound picture, with extraordinary vividness of detail at every stage of the journey, is remarkable. The entry into the forest is evocative indeed, as are the hunting horns echoing in the woods, while the spectacle of the storm and summit sequences are electrifying; the closing sequence with the Amsterdam deep brass as night falls has a wonderfully rich sonor- ity. The Concertgebouw string-playing has, of course, an eloquent sweep, and if the violins are less sensuously ravishing than at Weimar (partly the effect of closer microphone placing in Amsterdam) they play particularly beautifully in the score's gentler moments.
In short, this magnificent performance, gripping from the opening to the last chord, will be hard to beat.”

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Mozart - Symphonies

Mozart - Symphonies


Mozart:

Symphony No. 35 in D major, K385 'Haffner'

Symphony No. 29 in A major, K201

Symphony No. 33 in B flat major, K319

Symphony No. 38 in D major, K504 'Prague'

Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551 'Jupiter'


ABBADO 2008 is a celebration of Claudio Abbado's 75th birthday in June, and a cornucopia of six releases is planned to mark the occasion. These include two new Mozart recordings; a new version of his landmark Beethoven symphony cycle plus a new collection of Beethoven concertos; a DVD of Abbado in Concert; as well as a new CD compilation, for which Abbado himself made the selections. Two Times Mozart – Symphonies and Violin Concertos. The two new recordings are both Mozart themed. They feature the Orchestra Mozart, a handpicked group of players founded in Bologna in 2004, with Abbado as their artistic director – and with Giuliano Carmignola as concert-master. Both recordings bear witness to Abbado’s continuing love of Mozart. Abbado has prepared the orchestra by touring throughout Italy – gathering acclaim for their performances, not only for their Mozart, but also Bach (Brandenburg Concertos) and other composers. The energy and freshness found in the performances of the Violin Concertos is also evident in the recordings of five Mozart symphonies, including the "Haffner", the "Prague" and the "Jupiter". Consider these as Abbado’s “home recordings” of the five symphonies – recorded live from concerts in Bologna, Bolzano, Modena and Ferrara between 2004 and 2006 – giving them an extraordinary, raw energy, with the impact of drama and lyricism at the forefront. The recordings of Symphonies nos. 33 and 38 (Prague) are new to Abbado’s discography.

“Throughout these symphonies, recorded "live" with his young, hand-picked orchestra, articulation is crisp and pointed, vibrato abstemiously applied. Mozart's intricate contrapuntal textures in the first movement of the Prague and the finale of the Jupiter have rarely sounded so lucid. There is no denying the finesse of Abbado's phrasing and his care for inner detail. The flowing tempos for the andantes are ideally chosen. Too often, though, I hear coolness, a touch of over-calculation, in Abbado's conducting. Some of the detached, period-style bowing can sound finicky. The outer movements of the Jupiter and the stupendous first movement of the Prague have nothing like the incandescence of Charles Mackerras's recent Scottish Chamber Orchestra recordings (Linn).” The Telegraph, 26th July 2008

“The booklet quotes Abbado saying, “The study of phrasing in Mozart is endless.” Yes indeed, and the fruits are borne out in the conductor's live performances of five selected symphonies with his bouncy, young Orchestra Mozart. The Haffner first movement is especially thrilling and the pianissimos in No 29 would charm a mouse. Effects in No 33 seem more heavy-handed, but the set’s major drawback is the sound: constricted in tuttis, lacking air.” The Times, 25th July 2008 ***

“Mozart emerges here as a vital elixir: using the period-instrument orchestra he founded to perform music of the classical era, Abbado brings a time-honoured Mozartian tradition, learnt from the pianists Friedrich Gulda and Rudolf Serkin, to bear on these much-recorded works. The prestos of the Haffner and “Prague” positively tingle with excitement; the great finale of the Jupiter reveals Mozart’s complex counterpoint with unerring clarity. Textures are bright and clear, the balance between wind and strings is ideal and the sublime melodies of the slow movements are “sung” with an Italianate cantilena Mozart would surely have revelled in. A classic set.” Sunday Times, 10th August 2008 *****

“This is some of the best Mozart conducting you will ever hear. These performances are above all triumphs of experience, innate musicality and understanding, meticulous yet clear thinking, and… the art of listening.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2008

DG Archiv - 4777598

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Daniel Hope plays Vivaldi

Daniel Hope plays Vivaldi


Vivaldi:

Violin Concerto in D major, RV234 'L'Inquietudine'

Concerto in E minor, RV 273 for violin, strings and basso continuo

Trio Sonata, Op. 1 No. 12 for Two Violins & Continuo in D minor, RV 63 'La Follia'

Lorenza Borrani (solo violin)

Violin Concerto, Op. 8 No. 5 in E flat major, RV253 'La tempesta di mare'

Sovente il sole (from Andromeda liberata)

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano)

Concerto, Op. 3 No. 11 'Con due Violini e Violoncello obligato', RV 565

Lorenza Borrani (solo violin) & William Conway (solo cello)


Daniel Hope (violin), Kristian Bezuidenhout (harpsichord and organ), Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo, lute, Baroque guitar), Siobhan Armstrong (Baroque harp) & Erin Headley (lirone)

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Daniel Hope’s second album for DG finds him reunited with the esteemed Chamber Orchestra of Europe for their third partnership in the recording studio. Hope made his DG debut with Mendelssohn; he now turns his attention to Vivaldi with a selection of the composer’s greatest violin concertos. When presented by passionate, energetic performers this music is guaranteed to provide an uplifting and entertaining listening experience.

Hope and his band play on modern instruments, but in period style, a method they previously perfected in their acclaimed recording of Bach concertos (Warner). This recording attracted a remarkable amount of critical acclaim: “Modern-instrument Bach may not be fashionable, but these alert, fresh accounts of much-recorded concertos have all the zing and brio we expect from period ensembles.” (The Sunday Times)

Replace Bach with Vivaldi and the above quote anticipates what will be next. Vivacity and humour combine with Vivaldi’s timeless appeal for a best-selling formula.

“Hope and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe play… with the clarity and ensemble precision of a top-class Baroque orchestra… Hope's obviously relish for Vivaldi's stiller moments brings memorable results… guest soloist Anne Sofie von Otter catches the mood superbly.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

“In these concertos Daniel Hope reveals himself as an ardent Vivaldian. …with dynamic playing that pays more than lip-service to the example provided by historically informed performances.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2009 ****

Presto Disc of the Week

13th October 2008

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2008

DG - 4777463

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Gustavo Dudamel - The Promise of Music

Gustavo Dudamel - The Promise of Music

Documentary & Concert


 

The Promise of Music

Documentary

Beethoven:

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'

Ginastera:

Estancia, Op. 8: Final Dance ‘Malambo’

Encore

Moncayo:

Huapango


The Promise of Music is a full-length feature film about the story of Gustavo Dudamel and his Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.

The film documents Dudamel preparing his orchestra in Caracas for their upcoming concert at the Beethovenfest in Bonn. By following different musicians in their day-to-day lives, the film shows how classical music is changing the individual characters as much as their environment.

The climax of the film is the Bonn concert, a stunning success with standing ovations given to every work on the programme, which included Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and repertoire from the orchestra’s Latin-American homeland.

Director Enrique Sánchez Lansch also created the award-winning documentary Rhythm Is It! About Sir Simon Rattle’s education project with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

The Promise of Music will be the first full-length documentary on the Venezuelan Sistema that lives up to the highest European TV standards.

Given the worldwide interest in Dudamel, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and the Sistema, this film will be in high demand.

“Anyone who was fortunate enough to have attended last year's sensational Proms performance from the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra under their charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel will want to view this inspirational and heart-warming DVD.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 *****

“The "sistema" has been going in Venezuela for more than 30 years. It is probably the most ambitious programme of music education and orchestra training in the world. This uplifting, superbly paced documentary should be required viewing for every government minister in the UK.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

“Nearly 30 years have elapsed since Boulez and Chéreau last created a new production together – the Paris premiere of the Cerha completion of Lulu. In the interim the conductor has taken on repertoire he might have blanched at in those days (Bruckner, Janácek, even Richard Strauss) while the director became more involved in the cinema and the plays of his late partner Bernard- Marie Koltès. Their return, in a staging shared by four houses, shows the old fires undiminished, although the heightened realism and visual beauty still practised by Chéreau's team (his designer Richard Peduzzi has worked with him since their schooldays) have changed little over the years and, inevitably, lack the radical edge they had in the 1970s.
Janácek's (and Dostoyevsky's) prisoners are modernised painlessly to a non-specific 20thcentury gulag surrounded (except in the river bank scene, here a huge rubbish dump, that opens Act 2) by Peduzzi's trademark steep Italianate high walls. As in all his productions and films, Chéreau's directing turns everyone into such complete and natural actors that the descriptive term 'acting' seems almost redundant.
Even in Act 3, where Janácek's dramaturgy calls for perhaps one prisoner story too many, the staging's pulse never falters. Only the plays in Act 2 feel a little too carefully stylised (and Eastern-influenced) for these prisoners to have put on themselves, although they're unfailingly reflective of the characters in the main story.
Boulez once said that he began conducting in order to achieve really good performances of modern works. Now in his 80s, he is still operating at that level in this tricky score (he uses the Mackerras/Tyrrell critical edition), treading the finest balance, as did Janácek, between reported emotion and outright passion. It really is invidious in this ensemble piece to pick out individuals, but Ainsley creates a compellingly dangerous near-ballet out of Skuratov's insanity, and Bär and Stoklossa limn beautifully the growing closeness of the nobleman Gorjancikov and the young Aljeja. The sound picture does justice to Boulez's balances, while the camera-work and editing are a lot happier than the bumpy film of the 2005 Chéreau/Aix Così.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - Awards Issue 2008

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DG - 0734427

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Gloria Cheng - Piano music of Salonen, Stucky, Lutoslawski

Gloria Cheng - Piano music of Salonen, Stucky, Lutoslawski


Lutosławski:

Sonata For Piano

Salonen:

Yta II

Three Preludes

Dichotomie

Stucky:

Four Album Leaves

Three Little Variations For David


Gloria Cheng (piano)

Acclaimed pianist Gloria Cheng performs world premiere recordings of works by three leading contemporary composers, Witold Lutoslawski, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Steven Stucky. American composer Steven Stucky’s “Four Album Leaves” and “Three Little Variations for David” are his first fully realized piano pieces written since his childhood. Cheng performs three works by the Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen. She premieres “Three Preludes”, and also performs “Dichotomie”, which was specially written for her and “Yta II” which explores the subtleties of the piano, as well as the virtuosity of the musician playing it. Witold Lutoslawski wrote his piano sonata in 1934 while he was still a composition student at the Warsaw Conservatory but the work was never published during his lifetime. Gloria Cheng’s premiere recording is based on a combination of three sources: the PWM edition, a photocopy of a manuscript of the sonata written in the hand of the composer’s late wife, Danuta, and detailed discussions with Charles Bodman Rae, a leading expert on Lutoslawski’s music.

“All three composers have so far written relatively little for solo piano: indeed, Steven Stucky's two brief sets of pieces, attractive if stylistically anonymous, are distinctly minor works. The Salonen pieces cover the greater part of his composing – from the Boulezian clar- ity of Yta II (1985) to the Dutilleux-like poise of Three Preludes (2005); though it is only the Ligetian duality of Dichotomie (2000), the stark discontinuity of 'Mécanisme' vividly complemented by the gradual accumulation of 'Organisme', that stands out as a notable addition to the contemporary repertoire.
Much the most important item here is Lutospawski's Piano Sonata (1934). His earliest surviving major work, it remained unpublished until after his death and is only now receiving its first recording. Perhaps Lutospawski's rapidly evolving idiom led him to doubt the authenticity of a piece influenced by Ravel and, to a lesser degree, Debussy and Fauré; yet the control of momentum in the opening Allegro and the understated eloquence of the Andante unfold with no mean formal mastery, and if the finale's attempt at apotheosis is at all self-conscious, the winding-down of its coda is effortlessly achieved.
Cheng dispatches it with sensitivity and insight (as she does this collection as a whole), and one can only echo Stucky as to the timeliness of this recording. Clear, well balanced sound and a disc that no one interested in modern piano music should pass over.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2008

Telarc - CD80712

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$14.25

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Neeme Järvi conducts Taneyev & Rimsky-Korsakov

Neeme Järvi conducts Taneyev & Rimsky-Korsakov


Rimsky Korsakov:

Russian Fantasy in B minor Op. 33 (Fantaisie de Concert sur des Thèmes russes) for Violin & Orchestra.

Taneyev, S:

Suite de Concert Op. 28


Lydia Mordkovitch, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Neeme Järvi have a lustrous history of performing Russian works for Chandos, including the violin concertos of Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Shostakovich, the two concertos of the latter winning the Gramophone Award. ‘Mordkovitch’s passionate intensity combined with hushed support from the SNO at the very opening of the First Concerto set the ears tingling’, wrote Gramophone.

They return with two seldom heard works by Taneyev and Rimsky-Korsakov. The Suite de concert is a relatively late, and the only, work for violin and orchestra by Taneyev, and this recording, only its second, is currently the only one available. The work was dedicated to the great violinist Leopold Auer, whom Taneyev had known for over thirty years. Its conception represents a fusion of several different traditions – the idea of an updated baroque suite and baroque dance, the high romanticism of Schumann, and Taneyev’s mentor Tchaikovsky. But the Suite de concert is also a formidable display piece, designed to show off the technique of a violinist of the highest calibre, evident from the very opening where the soloist enters immediately with a brilliant cadenza-like passage of scales, arpeggios and trills, establishing a level of Paganini-like virtuosity from which the music seldom declines. This monumental work for the violin is here coupled with the Fantasy on Russian Themes by Rimsky-Korsakov, his only substantial work for violin and orchestra.

This unusual coupling of concertante works by two great friends neatly symbolises the era of the last decades of the nineteenth century in Russia. With their great conservatories, the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg dominated Russian music, but they were divided in influence. Rimsky-Korsakov, the youngest of the ‘Mighty Five’, was a professor of composition in St Petersburg, while Taneyev, the protégé of Tchaikovsky, taught at the Moscow Conservatory. The two works give evidence of the two composers’ contrasted attitude to the past and are sure to garner interest from all Russian music enthusiasts, especially when performed, as here, by musicians of such a high pedigree.

“Mordkovitch has mellowed. She has refined her intonation, curbed her edgy dynamism. She is seeking and finding more tenderness.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

“Lydia Mordkovitch plays throughout with a winning sincerity and burning sense of commitment…” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ****

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2008

Chandos - up to 40% off

Chandos - CHAN10491

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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93

Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 28 August 1986.


Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony was first performed shortly after Stalin’s death in 1953. This was the first of his works to be completed without the restraints of strict communist artistic control hanging over him. A dark and tragic tone is projected throughout the symphony and the distinct contrasts create a dramatic and intense work.

Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall during the 1986 BBC Proms under conductor Bernard Haitink, the London Philharmonic Orchestra gives a compelling account of this monumental symphony. He instinctively knows with this symphony when to increase tension and when to relax - and whilst relaxing he never loses your attention, there is always direction and an onward undercurrent. The tiny rays of sunshine in the otherwise ominous slow opening are perfectly judged examples of this.

“The 10th is almost equally impressive [as Haitink's Shostakovich Symphony No. 4]: taut and controlled in the first movement, wonderfully introspective in the third movement Allegretto and the introduction to the finale.” The Guardian, 22nd August 2008 ****

“Haitink's long-term vision of the music's organic development comes across compellingly in this live recording. While there are distinct contrasts between the propulsive scherzo, the ghostly dance of the third movement and the inexorable force of the first movement and finale, the thread of the argument is sustained with probing power.” The Telegraph, 23rd August 2008

“…the sense of occasion brings an extra charge to the Allegretto's climactic battle between Shostakovich's personal signature and the Mahlerian horn cry of liberations, and to the conflicts of the ultimately triumphant finale.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2009 *****

“The Tenth has never seemed dependent on performers steeped in the Russian tradition and the only drawback of Haitink's well played, expertly recorded studio account (1977) was its over-confident tone in the enigmatic third movement. Attempts to decode that Allegretto have gone through several phases since but it remains desirable to convey a mood of wistfulness and frustrated self-assertion.
There's no lack of subtlety in this 1986 Prom relay which also has the advantage of a true sense of euphoria at the end. The applause is earned, frenzied rather than merely respectful though rather abruptly faded. In other respects little has changed. The inexorability and stoicism of the big opening Moderato is predictably impressive and there is no hint of restraint in the Scherzo which some, Kurt Sanderling among them, have been prepared to accept as a portrait of Stalin himself.
Whatever the truth of this, Haitink's musical priorities always deliver the goods and his admirers will welcome this unexpected reclamation from the archives of BBC Radio 3.
The famously resonant acoustic of the Royal Albert Hall gives us the sound from the bottom up, with great weight in the cellos and basses. The booklet-note by Geoffrey Norris appropriately eschews speculative revisionist comment. Is the Tenth Shostakovich's greatest single achievement? Haitink may make you think so.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2008

LPO - LPO0034

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Mozart: Lucio Silla, K135

Mozart: Lucio Silla, K135

Libretto: Giovanni di Gamerra & Reductions in recitatives made by Richard Lewis


Henriette Bonde-Hansen (soprano), Susanne Elmark (soprano), Kristina Hammarström (mezzo soprano), Jakob Næslund Madsen (tenor), Simone Nold (soprano), Lothar Odinius (tenor) & Richard Lewis (harpsichord)

Danish Radio Sinfonietta & Ars Nova Copenhagen, Adam Fischer

3 CD's for price of 2

“With a fresh-voiced young cast and orchestral playing of crackling energy, this Danish Radio recording eclipses its closest CD rival, from Leopold Hager (Philips)...As the Emperor's sympathetic sister, Susanne Elmark despatches her many high staccato passages with effortless grace. Mezzo Kristina Hammarström makes a fiery Cecilio, while Simone Nold, as the suffering heroine, invests her pure, gentle soprano with a touching intensity of feeling.” The Telegraph, 5th July 2008

“Adám Fischer encourages playing of quivering energy from the trim, lean-toned Danish orchestra. While there are no big names among the soloists, they have fresh, youthful-sounding voices, and cope elegantly with Mozart's coloratura demands. …this is now the version to have of an ambitious, over-long but often richly expressive opera that has still not had a fully professional production in Britain.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008

“The Milan premiere of Lucio Silla, on Boxing Day 1772, was a near-fiasco: ham acting from the last-minute tenor and the prima donna in a sulk. But from the second performance Mozart's second opera seria was an unalloyed triumph.
The libretto is lumbering, sententious and dubiously motivated, culminating in an astonishing volte-face in which the sadistically ruthless Emperor suddenly morphs into a paragon of Enlightenment clemency. Not that this would have bothered 16-year-old Mozart's audiences one iota. What they came for – and got in spades – were varied and inventive arias that showcased the star singers.
The central roles of Giunia and her betrothed, the banished senator Cecilio (written for the castrato Rauzzini), inspired Mozart to his most powerful operatic music to date: darkly coloured accompanied recitatives that look forward to Idomeneo, Cecilio's anguished aria of parting, 'Ah, se a morir', a Gluckian ombra aria for Giunia as she prepares for death, and a dramatic trio that pits the two lovers against the raging Emperor.
This 2001-02 recording from Danish Radio archives is well sung and excitingly conducted.
Adám Fischer encourages playing of quivering energy from the trim, lean-toned Danish orchestra. In the accompanied recitatives the players grieve and rage as vividly as the singers.
Only Fischer's jerky tempo fluctuations, à la Harnoncourt, in the trio fail to convince.
While there are no big names among the soloists, they have fresh, youthful-sounding voices, and cope elegantly with Mozart's coloratura demands. As the put-upon heroine Giunia, Simone Nold sings with grace and agility, and fiery intensity, too – try the agitated Act 2 aria 'Parto, m'affretto'. Kristina Hammarström impresses especially in Cecilio's sombre memento mori scene in Act 1 and the spectacular vengeance aria 'Quest' improvviso tremito'. The secondary pair of lovers, Cecilio's friend Cinna and the Emperor's blithely innocent sister Celia, are equally well cast, Susanne Elmark dispatching high staccato passages with delightful insouciance.
The recording gives the orchestra plenty of presence without short-changing the singers.
This is now the version to have of an ambitious, over-long but often richly expressive opera.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2008

Dacapo - 8226069-71

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Arturo Toscanini - Live recordings from the 1940s

Arturo Toscanini - Live recordings from the 1940s


Verdi:

Va, pensiero (from Nabucco)

Recorded 31/01/1943

Westminster Choir

Qual voluttà trascorrere (from I Lombardi)

Recorded 31/01/1943

Vivian Della Chiesa, Jan Peerce, Nicola Moscona, Mischa Mischakoff

I vespri siciliani Overture

Recorded 21/01/1943

Luisa Miller Overture

Recorded 25/07/1943

Quando le sere al placido (from Luisa Miller)

Recorded 25/07/1943

Jan Peerce

Rigoletto: Act 3

Recorded 25/05/1944

Leonard Warren (Rigoletto), Zinka Milanov (Gilda), Jan Peerce (Duke), Nan Merriman (Maddalena), Nicola Moscona (Sparafucile)


GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - Awards Issue 2008

Opus Kura - OPK7038

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