Recorded at the Edinburgh Festival in 1995, Sir Charles Mackerras led the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Chorus and an outstanding cast, including Bo Skovhus, Alessandro Corbelli, Christine Brewer, Jerry Hadley and Felicity Lott, in an insightful and scholarly performance of Don Giovanni. Renowned Mozart scholar Sir Charles Mackerras masterfully interprets one of the world's most treasured operatic masterpieces. The superb cast beautifully renders the alluring charms and heavy dramatic turns of this celebrated piece.
Stanley Sadie, Gramophone.
This is the second fine Don Giovanni we have had within the past year. Like Gardiner (Archiv), Mackerras includes every note Mozart wrote for both the original Prague version and the Viennese revival. Moreover, it is easier than ever for listeners to ‘programme in’ their preferred version: all Prague die-hards have to do is to bypass Don Ottavio’s ‘Dalla sua pace’ in Act I – a beautiful aria, in all conscience, though it holds up the dramatic action at a crucial stage. By coaxing a modern orchestra into a real awareness of period style, Mackerras seems to have the best of both worlds: the playing has admirable liveliness and intensity, and there are none of the intonation problems that so often plague actual period instruments. Mackerras does use natural trumpets, and their rasping sound lends real bite, not least to the overture’s chilling opening chords. In his introductory essay Mackerras argues that Mozart’s Andantes in ‘cut-time’ (ie two beats to the bar) are often taken too slowly.
Don Giovanni is one of the timeless classics of all opera. Mozart's music, and the words of his great collaborator Da Ponte, are brought to life in Francesca Zambello's engrossing production from 2002 with its rich and colourful designs by Maria Bjornson. The music is memorable, dramatic and enjoyable: from the seductive solo voices of the famous 'La ci darem la mano' to the fabulous ensemble as Don Giovanni's infatuated conquests, vengeful victims and their outraged relatives join forces for justice. And retribution does finally come to Don Giovanni, a serial womanizer and a murderer, with the searing flames of Hell ready to engulf him. Simon Keenlyside heads the outstanding cast, conducted by renowned Mozart expert Charles Mackerras.
Raimondi has advantages: the dark coloring of his voice, the vocal menace, the power of his bass." The three ladies - especially the Te Kanawa has become livelier, more insistent - Maazel has the singers and Mozart firmly in hand.– Hermes Lexikon
When it comes to Mozartian perfection on the opera stage, one needn’t always seek it in Milan, Vienna, Salzburg or New York! At the Sferisterio Opera Festival in the centralltalian city of Macerata, a rapt audience was treated to a production of Don Giovanni ..that will enter the annals of opera (ForumOpera.com). This magnificent reading of Mozart’s timeless masterpiece sweeps the viewer into a libertine, 1B’h-century society dominated by sensuality and erotic impulses. They are acted out on the stage’s main prop, a large, unmade bed, not only by Don Giovanni, but also by justabout everyone eise in the .. nearly faultless cast” (ForumOpera.com). ln his role debut as the title hero, lldebrando D’Arcangelo is .. incandescent” (Gazzetta di Parma) and “doesn’t do Don Giovanni; he is the Don. Unsurpassable” (24 Ore).
The tale of womaniser Don Giovanni and his servant Leporello. Giovanni's attempts to woo Donna Anna end in tragedy when he kills her father in a duel. Anna and her fiancé Don Ottavio swear vengeance. Giovanni then attempts to seduce Zerlina at her wedding reception, but is foiled when his former mistress Donna Elvira warns the bride of Giovanni's reputation. Giovanni now has everyone out for his blood, but tries to trick his pursuers by switching places with Leporello. Wilhelm Furtwängler conducts the Vienna State Opera Chorus and Philarmonic Orchestra performing Mozart's famous opera. The principle singers are Walter Berry, Erna Berger, Otto Edelmann, Anton Dermota, Elisabeth Grummer and Cesare Siepi as Don Giovanni.
For some reason, Daniel Barenboim's recordings of the Mozart-Da Ponte masterpieces have been overlooked. All three have splendid casts - and among them, this may be the least spectacular, but it is nonetheless a wonderful performance. Joan Rodgers has a gorgeous voice, and sings Zerlina with radiant and womanly warmth - no voce infantile here, thank the gods. It's a pity she hasn't recorded more. She is, fortunately, in Barenboim's two other Mozart-Da Ponte operas, singing her heart out as Susanna and Despina. Furlanetto has an interesting take on the role of the Don. He usually sings Leprello, but here he sings the part of Don Giovanni with a rather unique interpretation.