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Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro / Karajan, Schwarzkopf, Seefried, Kunz, London, Jurinac


Release Date: 11/17/2009 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 66807   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Irmgard SeefriedElisabeth SchwarzkopfErich KunzMarjan Rus,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera ChorusVienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It is an embarasse de riches for Mozart devotees to have this set released concurrently with Decca's similarly legendary 1955 recording with Erich Kleiber and the same orchestra. They do not come into direct comparison as Karajan wallops away all the recitatives (sensible to my mind) whilst Decca's is almost complete to the letter. Still, 'Figaro' has always been a magnificent battleground for singers and in both sets we have the cream of Mozartian singing in the 1950's.


Erich Kunz's 'Figaro' is unsurpassed, his characterization is second to none and although Siepi is a match to him in diction, Kunz carries all before him in a display of superb Mozartian singing. One only needs to turn to 'Non piu' andrai, the
Read more classic conclusion to that remarkable First Act to listen to Kunz in full flow. The young Schwarzkopf is also mercurially vivid although Lisa della Casa on the Decca set is altogether superior, that radiant voice is indeed one of the greatest Countesses ever. Schwarzkopf's 'Porgi amor' reveals her lack of Italianate command and in some other numbers she is also slightly Germanic but otherwise it is a definitive interpretation especially in the emotional 'Dove sono', another miracle of mixed emotions in Mozartian opera.

George London's Count is aristocratic and demeaning, what he lacks in inveterate charm he makes up for in superb singing although his occasional exclamations may seem slightly studious, one must turn to Poell for a really superb Count. Sena Jurinac's Cherubino is also winningly done; this is indeed a delightful role to sing! I've kept the ace of this set till last and that is Irmgard Seefried Susanna, one may argue that this is the greatest Susanna of all time. Such is the emotional depth behind Seefried's singing that she despatches Gueden's role on our selected comparison set with ease, this is one of the greatest Mozartian roles ever recorded.

And at the centre of all this we have Herbert von Karajan, a demoniac in the very best sense of the word, coaxing his singers to exalted heights and conducting the orchestra with real passion (just sample the overture). EMI's reissue features some intriguing studio photographs and a superb essay by Richard Osborne, surely must-haves for the Karajan devotee. You may want to sample before buying but this 'Nozze' is definitely an essential part of the discography where this opera is concerned alongside Kleiber's. The sound is adequate; typical early 50's EMI although it has been somewhat improved since its last reincarnation.

-- Gerald Fenech, MusicWeb International [11/1999] Reviewing earlier issue
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Works on This Recording

1.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Irmgard Seefried (Soprano), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano), Erich Kunz (Baritone),
Marjan Rus (Bass), Hilde Czeska (Soprano), Rosl Schwaiger (Soprano),
George London (Bass Baritone), Anny Felbermayer (Soprano), Erich Majkut (Tenor),
Wilhelm Felden (Bass), Elisabeth Höngen (Mezzo Soprano), Sena Jurinac (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1950 
Venue:  Music Society Hall, Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster): Overture
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Cinque...dieci...venti (Figaro/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Se a caso madama (Figaro/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Se vuol ballare (Figaro/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: La vendetta, oh la vendetta (Bartolo)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Via resti servita, madama brillante (Marcellina/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio (Cherubino)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Cosa sento! (Conte/Basilio/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Giovani liete, fiori spargete (Coro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 1: Non più andrai (Figaro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Porgi amor (Contessa)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Voi, che sapete che cosa è amor (Cherbuino)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Venite, inginocchiatevi (Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Susanna, or via sortite (Conte/Contessa/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Aprite, presto, aprite (Susanna/Cherubino)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Esci omai, garzon malnato (Conte/Contessa)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Signore! Cos'è quel stupore? (Susanna/Conte/Contessa/Figaro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Conoscete, signor Figaro (Conte/Figaro/Susanna/Contessa/Antonio)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 2: Voi signor, che giusto siete (Marcellina/Bartolo/Basilio/Conte/Susanna/Contessa/Figaro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Crudel! Perchè finora farmi languir cosi? (Conte/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Hai già vinta la causa!...Vedro, mentr'io sospiro (Conte)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Riconosci in quest'amplesso (Marcellina/Figaro/Bartolo/Don Curzio/Conte/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: E Susanna non vien?...Dove sono (Contessa)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Sull'aria...(Susanna/Contessa)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Ricevete, o padroncina (Coro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 3: Ecco la marcia!....amanti! costanti! (Figaro/Susanna/Conte/Contessa/Due ragazze/Coro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: L'ho perduta, me meschina! (Barbarina)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Tutto è disosto...Aprite un po'quegl'occhi (Figaro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh, vieni, non tardar (Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Piano, pianin, le andrò piùpresso (Cherubino/Contessa/Conte/Susanna/Figaro)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Tutto è tranquillo e placido (Figaro/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Pace, pace, mio dolce tesoro (Figaro/Conte/Susanna)
Le Nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro' (1999 Digital Remaster), Act 4: Gente, gente, all'armi, all'armi (Tutti)

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