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Solti Conducts The Mozart Operas [15-CD Set]

Release Date: 10/16/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001745402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Tom KrauseArthur DaviesGabriel BacquierPilar Lorengar,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden ChorusLondon Opera Chorus,   ... 
Number of Discs: 15 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Così fan tutte
"There's plenty of life and vigour in the performance...Lorengar's Fiordiligi is affectingly interpreted and confidently delivered... Berganza sings with supple phrasing and firm tone... 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
Read more 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. 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."

-- Gramophone [3/1991]

Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail
"Talvela is a gloriously rotund, relishing Osmin, brandishing his faintly ludicrous trappings of power with vocal assurance and fruity tone. He makes a welcome return to the Decca camp. Only his fellow Finn, Matti Salminen, on the Harnoncourt/Teldec version, presents a more menacing and equally characterful reading of the role. Talvela's Osmin finds his match in Kathleen Battle's bewitching Blonde. I like Battle's winning ways, her cheeky exposition of the text, her bright, wide-eyed delivery of her arias, while still preferring Lillian Watson's tougher reading for Harnoncourt. As Battle's partner, Heinz Zednik is as lively and fresh as all Pedrillos should be, and has a decent stab at the heroic "Frisch zum Kampfe". Then, Edita Gruberová hasn't been bettered, in technical terms, by any of her rivals as Constanze on record, even her own earlier self for Wallberg. She also has that touch of metal in her tone that gives her portrayal a dramatic bite, which should be part of Constanze's vocal make-up."

-- A. B., Gramophone [4/1987]

Le Nozze Di Figaro
As I have often been reprimanded for harking back to the past for vocal glories, let me say at once that, where Mozart is concerned, present day singers need fear nothing in comparison with their predecessors; indeed, they seem to become better and better at interpreting him as the cast in this new Figaro amply demonstrates. It certainly could not be improved on today, and though I may prefer individual interpretations in some other recordings, I count this the most successful all-round cast of singers assembled for this opera.

It is headed by a Count and Countess of aristocratic manner, both possessed of the ideal voice for their roles. Kiri Te Kanawa, who began her Covent Garden career as mistress of the Almaviva household, here interprets the part with her familiarly warm, soft tone unimpaired and a much greater understanding than in the past at achieving the maximum with the text. Her recitative, particularly in her tiffs with her husband and her flirtation with Cherubino, is neatly delivered and, in ensembles, her clear line is always secure and well managed. Thomas Allen's Count, also much cherished at the Royal Opera House, transfers to disc magnificently with its cutting edge undiminished, its sexual dimension evident in every bar, most of all in his last-act exchanges with Susanna. He charges his recitative with the relevant emotions and the biting confidence of a man who expects to be obeyed even when he knows he's stretching beyond the bounds of traditional decorum, and his third-act aria has the demonic touch of this singer's Giovanni. The coloratura at the aria's end, such an obstacle to most baritones, gives Allen no problem and he sings it up to tempo.

You may find his voice somewhat hard to distinguish from that of Samuel Ramey's Figaro. Although Ramey's tone is a shade darker, the voices are startlingly similar in timbre, so that in their exchanges you need to be alert to keep them apart. That hardly matters when Ramey makes such a formidable rival to the Count, a servant full of indignation and youthful agility, no prancing barber but an incipient revolutionary, "Se vuol ballare" challenging and the bitterness of the fourth-act aria very palpable. This Figaro would definitely dominate his own opera were not his Susanna also such a lively character. The attraction of Lucia Popp's stage portrayal is happily carried over into this recording, where everything she does has quick-witted humour, a spirited girl very much at the centre of affairs, and Popp's singing is equally pointed culminating in a poised, ravishing account of "Deh vieni non tardar". She is also the life and soul of the recitatives.

Frederica von Stade repeats her Cherubino sung for the well-cast but idiosyncratically conducted Karajan version (Decca DI32D4, 9/79), the most recent to be issued in this country, and seems happier here; indeed, she is the very epitome of restless, ardent youthfulness, reminding me of how she charmed everyone in the part at Glyndebourne a few years ago. She is a trifle hurried here by the faster tempo adopted for a first aria as compared with Karajan's more leisurely pace. There is no falling off in standards when we come to the more minor parts. Moll is a rollicking Bartolo, accurate and steady in his aria. Tear's Basilio is even more insinuating than for Davis (Philips), and he even succeeds in making his aria interesting, quite a feat. Berbie has a little more trouble with hers than she did for Karajan but otherwise makes a lively Marcellina. I particularly liked Giorgio Tadeo's Antonio, a garlicky, rip-roaring character from below stairs.

-- Gramophone [11/1982]

Die Zauberflöte
Memory has a trick of losing the good, the nice and the normal, and retaining only the oddities, which then swell into grotesque self-caricatures. So, taking a preliminary mental survey of Solti's Die Zauberfiöte, I recalled stingingly fierce sforzandos in the Overture, accomplished contortions in the Queen of Night's passage-work, a craggily gigantic Sarastro, and the whole thing punctuated by claps of thunder whose every onset threatened a heart attack. Reality, of course, proves much less extreme. The sforzandos do jab too insistently but as a whole the Overture is finely played, with its due complement of majesty and mystery, energy and grace. Cristina Deutekom certainly produces a curious effect as she juggles with the scales and triplets, slaccati and altissinii of her arias; however, her accuracy and firmness earn gratitude, while the strange cold glitter of her tone characterizes aptly. As for Talvela's Sarastro, its phrases are often rough-hewn, but there is rich magnificence in the ample range, the notes themselves and the authority of utterance. The thunder, roaring lions and all else in the producer's effects department take their places quite naturally; and from the background (or what memory had relegated to the background) emerges a wide assortment of pleasures, partly a matter of individual performances, but adding up to a highly viable, competitive account of the opera... Solti's direction of the opera has sometimes been found too restless; once the Overture is over, I can hear little to substantiate the criticism, whereas his feeling for excitement is a great asset in this opera where a very slight excess of solemnity or relaxation can be deadly.

-- Gramophone [9/1986] Read less

Works on This Recording

Cosě fan tutte, K 588 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Tom Krause (Baritone), Arthur Davies (Tenor), Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone),
Pilar Lorengar (Soprano), Jane Berbié (Mezzo Soprano), Teresa Berganza (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
Don Giovanni, K 527 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Bernd Weikl (Baritone), Margaret Price (Soprano), Sylvia Sass (Soprano),
Stuart Burrows (Tenor), Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone), Lucia Popp (Soprano),
Alfred Sramek (Baritone), Kurt Moll (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Opera Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague 
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Edita Gruberova (Soprano), Martti Talvela (Bass), Gösta Winbergh (Tenor),
Kathleen Battle (Soprano), Heinz Zednik (Tenor), Will Quadflieg (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 124 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: German 
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano), Robert Tear (Tenor), Kurt Moll (Bass),
Yvonne Kenny (Soprano), Philip Langridge (Tenor), Giorgio Tadeo (Bass),
Lynda Russell (Soprano), Samuel Ramey (Bass), Lucia Popp (Soprano),
Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano), Jane Berbié (Mezzo Soprano), Thomas Allen (Baritone),
Anne Mason (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Opera Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
Die Zauberflöte, K 620 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Hans Sotin (Bass), René Kollo (Tenor), Renate Holm (Soprano),
Hetty Plümacher (Alto), Hanneke van Bork (Soprano), Yvonne Minton (Mezzo Soprano),
Pilar Lorengar (Soprano), Gerhard Stolze (Tenor), Herbert Lackner (Baritone),
Kurt Equiluz (Tenor), Martti Talvela (Bass), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Baritone),
Hermann Prey (Baritone), Stuart Burrows (Tenor), Cristina Deutekom (Soprano),
Wolfgang Zimmer (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1969 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna 
Length: 156 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: German 

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