This is a reading that conveys a sense of joy on all sides in actually performing the piece. Krause is a seductive and articulate Guglielmo, Bacquier among the most ebullient of Alfonsos.
As I have suggested, Solti's own contribution isn't its most pleasing feature. There's plenty of life and vigour in the performance, but not much care for the niceties of the score or for its inner emotions. Solti too often seems keen to make dramatic points without caressing the music when that's needed. In the work's larger structures, the two long finales, he is at his best, as SS pointed out in his first review, controlling them tightly and providing buoyant rhythms—as indeed he does throughout. The set is almost exactlyRead more contemporaneous with the Sir Colin Davis version on Philips (also absolutely complete), and it's noticeable time and again how the younger conductor lavished love on the music, to its great benefit, where Solti is content with efficiency.
...Lorengar's Fiordiligi is affectingly interpreted and confidently delivered but the flutter can be troublesome—to others perhaps more than to me... Berganza sings with supple phrasing and firm tone but the expression on the face is too often a blank one when compared with Baker's vivid portrayal for Davis... Ryland Davies's Ferrando is keen and pleasing in tone, secure in line, a great improvement on Gedda (Davis), and particularly eloquent in eventually breaking down the vulnerable defences of Lorengar's Fiordiligi. "Un' aura amorosa" would yield to tenderer accents, but the two Second Act arias are faultless in delivery. Krause is a seductive and articulate Guglielmo, Bacquier among the most ebullient of Alfonsos, who makes the most of every opportunity—a performance that brings the singer's very individual presence into the home.
Some decorations are offered. The recitative is taken in lively fashion with Jeffrey Tate providing nice touches at the harpsichord. Decca provide plenty of 'production'—both movement across a wide spectrum and the equivalent of stage nudges (plus a few unwanted thumps on the podium and a touch of pre-echo in a couple of places)— but the sound, especially when compared with the Philips, wants immediacy and is too distanced... In spite of that and my earlier strictures, maybe a shade on the severe side, I enjoyed hearing Solti's version again more than I expected, not least because it conveys a sense of joy on all sides in actually performing the piece—that counts for much.
Così fan tutte, K 588by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Performer:
Tom Krause (Baritone),
Arthur Davies (Tenor),
Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone),
Pilar Lorengar (Soprano),
Jane Berbié (Mezzo Soprano),
Teresa Berganza (Mezzo Soprano)
Sir Georg Solti
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Classical Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria Language: Italian
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