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Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Karajan, Van Dam, Freni, Et Al

Release Date: 06/03/2003 
Label:  Opera D'oro   Catalog #: 1390   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  José van DamWilly CaronJane BerbiéMichel Sénéchal,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera ChorusVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 49 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Hearing Karajan's work before the early-to-mid-'80s, when his navel-gazing self-indulgence, odd casting, and control-freakery decimated and distorted every opera he directed/conducted/engineered, is invariably a treat, and this Figaro, live from Salzburg in 1974, is no exception. For the most part his tempos are fleet, with recitatives at honest conversational speed. The exceptions are "Porgi amor", luxuriated in by Elizabeth Harwood, who, while not singing it perfectly, manages to end it more beautifully and sadly than I've ever heard, and the Count's aria, delivered with such clarity and calculated hatred by the never-better Tom Krause that it's positively terrifying. (Those who thought that Fischer-Dieskau's was the last word Read more in vitriol should hear this.)

José van Dam's Figaro finds this always interesting singer at his vocal best (rare on discs), and he gives us a complete picture of this complicated man. Susanna is Mirella Freni, simply ideal--pert but not too pert, knowing, and vocally right on the money. Frederica von Stade rounds out the principals as Cherubino, and she sings with rich, warm tone and fine attention to detail. The rest of the cast is Festival-level: Jane Berbié's Marcellina, Michel Sénéchal's Basilio, and Paolo Montarsolo's Bartolo are great. "Legato" is the order of the day for all singers; this is a wonderfully Italianate performance. Orchestra and chorus are superb and the sound is surprisingly good, with voice/orchestra balance clear and true most of the time. This is a very hearty recommendation, and at this price, it's unbeatable.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Le nozze di Figaro, K 492 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  José van Dam (Bass), Willy Caron (Bass), Jane Berbié (Mezzo Soprano),
Michel Sénéchal (Tenor), Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano), Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Tom Krause (Baritone), Elizabeth Harwood (Soprano), Paolo Montarsolo (Bass),
Zoltan Kélémén (Baritone), Elke Schery (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Venue:  Live  Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 168 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

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