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Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro Highlights / Solti, Te Kanawa


Release Date: 10/25/1990 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 417395   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Samuel RameyKurt MollFrederica Von StadeDame Kiri Te Kanawa,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

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,
Read more 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, reviewing the original LP release of the complete Solti Figaro]
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Works on This Recording

1. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
2. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Se vuol ballare, Signor contino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Samuel Ramey (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
3. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: La vendetta, oh, la vendetta by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Kurt Moll (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
4. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
5. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Non più andrai farfallone amoroso by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Samuel Ramey (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
6. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
7. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
8. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Venite, inginocchiatevi by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
9. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Hai già vinta la causa!...Vedrò, metr'io sospiro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
10. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
11. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Sull' aria...Che soave zeffiretto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano), Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
12. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Tutto è disposto...Aprite un po' quegl' occhi by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Samuel Ramey (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
13. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh vieni, non tardar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
14. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro! by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Thomas Allen (Baritone), Lucia Popp (Soprano), Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano),
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano), Samuel Ramey (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
15. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Contessa, perdono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucia Popp (Soprano), Thomas Allen (Baritone), Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano),
Samuel Ramey (Bass), Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Le nozze di Figaro, K.492: Overture
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 1: "Se vuol ballare, signor Contino"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 1: "La vendetta, oh, la vendetta"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 1: "Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 1: "Non più andrai"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 2: "Porgi amor"
Le nozze di Figaro / Act 2: "Voi che sapete"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 2: "Venite... inginocchiatevi..."
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 3: Hai già vinta la causa!...Vedrò mentr'io sospiro...
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 3: "Riconosci in questo amplesso"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 3: "E Susanna non vien!" - "Dove sono i bei momenti"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 3: Cosa mi narri?...Che soave zeffiretto
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 4: "Tutto è disposto" - "Aprite un po' quegli occhi"
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 4: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh, vieni, non tardar...
Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 4: Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro

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