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Mozart: Arias For Tenor / Raul Gimenez, Barry Wordsworth


Release Date: 12/02/1992 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 5300   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

No one wanting an all-Mozart recital can possibly go wrong with this issue.

The Argentinean tenor Raúl Giménez, born in 1951, made his operatic debut at Teatro Colón in 1980, when he sang Ernesto in Don Pasquale. He came to Europe four years later and soon appeared in all the great opera houses, primarily in the bel canto repertoire – Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti – and in Mozart roles. He made his American debut in Los Angeles in 1991 as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and in 1995 he bowed at the Metropolitan in New York in the same role. I heard him as Ernesto at Covent Garden somewhere around 1990 and was really taken aback by his smooth delivery, his elegance and beauty of tone, combined
Read more with brilliant top notes and no mean acting ability. He seems to have been rather neglected by the record companies but he set down three Rossini operas for Teldec, Medea in Corinto for Opera Rara and a very fine live recording of La sonnambula for Naxos. Nimbus have two more recitals with him in their catalogue: one Rossini disc and one with Bellini and Donizetti arias. Both discs are among the best of their kind and worth anyone’s money. There is also a disc with duets that I haven’t heard.

To me his voice and technical accomplishment makes him an ideal Mozart singer. Since the war we have had some truly great Mozarteans: Anton Dermota, Ernst Haefliger, Leopold Simoneau, Cesare Valletti, Nicolai Gedda and Fritz Wunderlich, maybe also Luigi Alva, to mention a good handful from the 1950s and 1960s. Raúl Giménez is certainly in their league.

The two opening arias from Il Re Pastore amply demonstrate his qualities: the mellifluous tone, the effortless runs, his fine legato and his flexibility. Together with the following aria from La Finta Giardiniera they are rather rare birds in recital programmes and it is good to have them in such excellent readings. It is hard to imagine them better done.

But this impression remains also when we come to standard fare. The light and shade of Dalla sua pace, for instance: so scaled down and beautiful. We have to go to Leopold Simoneau for something comparable. The complete Philips recording with him is again available. (See review). And in Il mio tesoro Giménez sings with a fluency and vitality that even Simoneau is hard pressed to challenge.

For the concert aria Misero! O sogno it is again Simoneau who is my touchstone on a recital he recorded with his wife Pierrette Alarie for Concert Hall in 1960, now available in a boxed set (see review), and here I think Simoneau scores through his greater intensity. The Canadian tenor is again the natural comparison when it comes to Così fan tutte (the legendary Karajan recording), but Giménez runs him close, even though he may lack the last ounce of elegance. As Tamino even Simoneau must give way to Fritz Wunderlich’s stupendous recording, but Giménez is at arm’s length to both which is praise indeed.

The final number, Se all’ impero from La clemenza di Tito, is a winner in every respect, full of vitality and forward drive. The Covent Garden Orchestra play to the manner born and the sound quality can’t be faulted. No one wanting an all-Mozart recital can possibly go wrong with this issue.

- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Così fan tutte, K 588: Un' aura amorosa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Così fan tutte, K 588: In qual fiero...Tradito, schernito by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Dalla sua pace by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
4.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Il mio tesoro intanto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
5.
Il rè pastore, K 208: Si spande al sole in faccia by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
Language: Italian 
6.
Il rè pastore, K 208: Se vincendo vi rendo felice by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Salzburg, Austria 
7.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Se all' impero by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
8.
La finta giardiniera, K 196: Ah non partir...Gia divento freddo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1775; Munich, Germany 
9.
Misero! o sogno...Aura che intorni spiri, K 431 (425b) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Vienna, Austria 
10.
Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Raúl Giménez (Tenor)
Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 

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