Mozart: Le Nozze Di Figaro Highlights / Varady, Titus, Davis

Release Date: 9/12/2000
Label: RCA
Catalog Number: RCA 63707
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$11.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Of all the new Mozart opera recordings that have come my way this bicentenary year, this one gets my vote for best conducting. Davis has been presiding over performances of Figaro for, I'd guess, thirty years now, and he knows exactly how the score should go. He “plays“ his Bavarian Radio Symphony the way a great Lieder accompanist plays the piano, bringing out inner voices at will, underlining every shift in mood, never overpowering the vocal line. His orchestra often seems to be singing along with the voices, sometimes in unison, sometimes in counterpoint, always enhancing the import of the text. There's a world of sadness, for instance, in the sighing of the strings as they introduce the Countess's “Porgi amor,“ just as, by contrast, there's fury and indignation in the music of the Count's aria. There are innumerable small expressive details as well. When Figaro tersely reprises his “Se vuol ballare“ in act II, he sounds more determined, more minatory, simply because of the way Davis uses the double basses to reinforce his words. Every new episode in the great act II finale, every twist in plot, is gleefully seconded by the orchestral voices, yet there's never any hint of exaggeration. Dynamics ebb and flow easily, tempos are always just, and it all sounds so perfectly sane and natural that you may have to refer to recordings led by lesser conductors to appreciate Davis's extraordinary skill. His previous Figaro for Philips, first issued in 1971, is fiercer in spots and always dramatically telling, if less smooth overall and less rich in detail. It was a good job, but the new account is altogether more masterly. I'd rank Davis's achievement in Figaro with that of Giulini or Erich Kleiber. Among contemporary conductors, I don't think anyone can touch him—at least not until some record company coaxes a Figaro out of the younger Kleiber (Carlos), who shares Davis's uncanny ability to make an opera orchestra sing.

...[Varady]'s a serious, long-suffering Countess who's out of place among these conniving people, a Ruth amid the alien corn, and all the more poignant because of it. Her arias are beautifully, dolorously sung, though she's a bit short of breath in “Dove sono“... [Titus is] believable as both the feisty lover and the quick-witted schemer. I don't think he's done anything better on records... [T]his latest Figaro has a theatrical vitality that's hard to resist.

-- Ralph V. Lucano, FANFARE [11/1991]
reviewing the complete Figaro recording, RCA 60440
Works on This Recording
1. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord)
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
2. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Se vuol ballare, Signor contino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Alan Titus
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
3. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: La vendetta, oh, la vendetta by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Siegmund Nimsgern
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
4. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Marilyn Schmiege
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
5. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Non più andrai farfallone amoroso by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Alan Titus
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
6. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Julia Varády
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
7. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Marilyn Schmiege
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
8. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Crudel, perchè finora by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
9. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Hai già vinta la causa!...Vedrò, metr'io sospiro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Ferruccio Furlanetto
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
10. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Hai già vinta la causa!...Vedrò, metr'io sospiro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Ferruccio Furlanetto
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
11. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Julia Varády
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
12. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: E Susanna non vien...Dove sono by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Julia Varády
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
13. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Sull' aria...Che soave zeffiretto by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Julia Varády, Helen Donath
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
14. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Tutto è disposto...Aprite un po' quegl' occhi by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Alan Titus
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
15. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh vieni, non tardar by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer: David Syrus (Harpsichord), Helen Donath
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
16. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Gente! Gente! by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
Period: Classical
Written: 1786 ; Vienna, Austria
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