Our new recording of quartets by Haydn, Mozart, Vanhal and Dittersdorf who played quartets together in Vienna in 1784. Michael Kelly, the Irish tenor who was the original stammering Don Curzio in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, tells us in his Reminiscences about the occasion and we are delighted that the world-famous actor, Simon Russell Beale, has recorded a script for us, adapted from Kelly, which sets the scene.
In 1988 when this period-instrument Figaro was released, the style was still a novelty, and Ostman gained some notoreity for his rushed tempos as well as the scrawniness of his chamber orchestra, by far the smallest to play this great opera on CD. Yet when I read a glowing review by Andrew Porter in the New Yorker, I immediately bought the performance, shortly discovering that it was a true gem in the extensive Figaro catalog.
By Santa Fe Listener
An absolute delight for collectors, this new series showcases Decca's rich heritage of singers' recitals, featuring performances from some of the biggest names of the 20th Century - José Carreras, Birgit Nilsson, Hans Hotter, Lisa Della Casa and many more! Of the fifty titles in the series, the majority have never been recorded on CD before.The range of repertoire encompassed by these recitals is very broad - from opera arias and Lieder to popular songs, folk tunes and the hits of Broadway.