Notes and Editorial Reviews
Così fan tutte is Mozart's third opera to a Da Ponte libretto. It is in opera buffa style and has only six characters, two couples and an elderly philosopher and a trusted maid. In this recording Lesley Garrett sings the part of the maid, Despina, and the celebrated veteran Sir Thomas Allen the philosopher, Don Alfonso. Despite the somewhat cynical storyline this opera contains some of Mozart's most memorable and sublime music. The conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras, has spent many years researching performance practice of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is a noted authority on Mozart's operas. He writes of this recording, 'it is indeed a pleasure having the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment lending its expertise in tonal colour, phrasing and rhythmic impulse to Mozart's wonderful score...I have chosen to record this English version of Così fan tutte with the traditional cuts, thus making it closer to a staged performance'. The English translation, by the Rev. Browne, was first used in London at a performance conducted by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford in 1890.