After the success of Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro, René Jacobs' CD recording of this centrepiece of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy offered us his reflections on Classical opera and garnered serious acclaim worldwide. Performed at the Innsbruck festival in August 2006 and filmed in Baden-Baden, this production is nourished by his thoughts on Don Giovanni as taboo-breaker but still respects Mozart's intentions as closely as possible.
In the documentary Looking for Don Giovanni, the director Nayo Titzin follows the creation of this production in the search for musical truth.
"…More importantly, it just feels right, and that’s important for this piece where mood and atmosphere can have such an impact on the reading. I might even suggest that, next to the frenzied Jacobs and the rather serious Gardiner, this could come close to being a prime choice for a period version. " –MusicWeb International
At long last, Bel Air Classiques has released a DVD of the Jun 2004, Theatre des Champs-Elysees (Paris), Rene Jacobs/Concerto Koln performances of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Those productions along with the ones in Oct 2001 were a treat to attend and having a DVD of the 2004 event is a dream come true… By rhun10
Renowned for his work in Baroque vocal music, René Jacobs is most frequently credited as a countertenor and as a choral director. He is somewhat less familiar as a conductor of Classical symphonic music, though he has increasingly delved into this repertoire in recordings with one of Europe's best early music groups, the Freiburger Barockorchester. This 2007 release from Harmonia Mundi features Jacobs and the orchestra in bright and finely detailed performances of two of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's late symphonies, the Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504, "Prague," and the Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, "Jupiter."
…The greatest pleasure of this sonically vivid recording is the splendid orchestral playing, from the taut brilliance of the overture to the delicate tracery of the strings in the final chorus. Jacobs is more than a musicologist/provacateur, he’s a conductor whose charisma comes across in recordings—just listen to the overtures to any of his Mozart operas or his “Jupiter’ Symphony…
"It begins startlingly: brisk, staccato, pistol-shot chords, and the oboe is off at a fashionably rapid pace which is arrested at the orchestral statement ‘Cosi fan tutte’: and then the Presto, at a tempo that tests the agility of the woodwind (and does not find it wanting). This is not, in short, a conventional performance, either of the traditional or the ‘period-instrument’ type. Rene Jacobs tends to make the fast music faster than usual and the slow slower. Several numbers emerge with a real brilliance of sound and execution: the last of the three trios in the opening scene, for instance, the sextet, the men’s laughing trio, the stretto of the Act 1 finale, or the end of the ‘lesson-in-love’ quartet. In much of the slower music he is apt to luxuriate. The farewell quintet is a case in point, but it is agonizingly lovely; the heavenly trio that follows too is leisurely, with a cloudy, sensuous quality to the sound…"