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Mozart: Don Giovanni / Harding, Mattei, Cachemaille, Et Al


Release Date: 08/01/2000 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45425   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Till FechnerLisa LarssonGuodjon OskarssonMark Padmore,   ... 
Conductor:  Daniel Harding
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber OrchestraAix-en-Provence European Music Academy Soloists
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 35 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

An irresistible set -- hands down the most exciting Don Giovanni available. Peter Mattei is as spontaneous and mercurial a Don as we'd like, and Veronique Gens' Donna Elvira is daring and remarkably well sung.

Whew! This may not be the most perfectly sung Don Giovanni available, but hands down it's the most exciting--more so than the Gardiner, which is more polished, and up there with the old, and somewhat old-fashioned Mitropolous on Sony. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra plays on modern instruments but with period timpani (which add great "thwap" and tension whenever they appear) and period brass (which makes Mozart's score buzz with agitation every time they show up). Twenty-three-year-old conductor Daniel
Read more Harding leads a furiously fast reading, with recitatives flying by at conversational speed. Indeed, these busy characters interact in what feels like real time (the recording is taken from a live performance, so there's plenty of dramatic give-and-take, and stage noises rarely get in the way). The final chord of the penultimate scene is held to a point of almost unbearable tension and the final sextet begins immediately on its heels. The effect is stunning.

In Peter Mattei (a Swede of Italian background, I believe) we have a Don as spontaneous and mercurial as we'd like. His light, Hampson-like baritone is agile and beautiful (even more than Hampson's), and vocally at least, he's a smooth actor, capable of both real seduction--in "La ci darem..." and the second act Serenade--and stupendous arrogance. He polishes off "Finch'an del vino" in 70 seconds and never backs down--rhythmically or tonally--even when faced with eternal damnation. The Leporello is Gilles Cachemaille, so superb with Arnold Östman on L'Oiseau-Lyre but even better here, singing with real bite. Mark Padmore's Don Ottavio is very light-voiced, but he focuses the tone right on the text and is very effective nonetheless (although Harding almost drives him crazy in "Il mio tesoro"). Till Fechner's Masetto is outraged but servile and Gudjon Oskarsson's Commendatore has great presence, even without a true booming-bass sound.

The women, aside from Veronique Gens' daring, offended, remarkably well sung Donna Elvira, are more problematic. Carmela Remigio's Donna Anna is nicely conceived and she has all the notes--even for the most challenging parts of "Non mi dir"--but the sound itself has little appeal. Lisa Larson's Zerlina strays from pitch often enough to be irritating. As suggested above, the playing of the orchestra is first rate (though a bit scrambly in very fast passages) and the 12-voice chorus has all the energy needed. I've played this set five times now, and while I keep wishing for more firmness from the two troublesome women (and a bit more heft from our Ottavio), I find this set irresistible.

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Don Giovanni, K 527 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Till Fechner (Baritone), Lisa Larsson (Soprano), Guodjon Oskarsson (Bass),
Mark Padmore (Tenor), Véronique Gens (Soprano), Carmela Remigio (Soprano),
Peter Mattei (Baritone), Gilles Cachemaille (Baritone)
Conductor:  Daniel Harding
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Aix-en-Provence European Music Academy Soloists
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague 
Date of Recording: 07/1999 
Venue:  Live  Th¿¿tre de l'Archev¿che, Aix-en-Provence 
Length: 155 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Don Giovanni: Overtura
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Notte e giorno faticar
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Leporello, ove sei?
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Ah! del padre in periglio
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Fuggi, crudele, fuggi
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Orsu, spicciati presto
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Ah, chi mi dice mai
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Chi è là? Stelle che veco!
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Madamina, il catalogo è questo
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: In questa forma dunque
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Giovinette che fate all'amore
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Manco male è partita
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Ho capito, signor sì
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Alfin siam liberati
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Là ci darem la mano
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Fermati, scellerato
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Ah, fuggi il traditor!
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Mi par ch'oggi il demonio
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Ah, ti ritrovo ancor.......Non ti fidar, o misera
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Don Ottovio, son morta
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Or sai chi l'onore
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Come mai creder deggio
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Dalla sua pace
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Io deggio ad ogni patto
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Fin ch'han dal vino
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Masetto, senti un po'
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Batti, batti, o bel Masetto
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Guarda un po'
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Presto presto pria ch'ei venga......... Su svegliatevi da bravi
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Tra quest'arbori celata
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Bisogna aver coraggio
Don Giovanni, ATTO 1: Riposate, vezzose ragazze

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