Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Operas I by Daniel Barenboim was released Jan 01, 2010 on the Warner Classics label. Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Operas I is a 9-disc set.
Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro is an unforgettable opera about love, desire and the primal force of uncontrollable passion. Concluding the Salzburg Festival’s highly successful Mozart / Da Ponte cycle, director Sven-Eric Bechtolf sets this emotional tour de force in a stately English country house during the 1920s. The renowned Vienna Philharmonic ensures an exceptional evening of music from Mozart’s birthplace. “Everything about the show exuded immediacy and naturalness: the intriguingly updated production by the director Sven-Eric Bechtolf; the winning performances of a compelling cast; and the supple, glowing playing that the conductor Dan Ettinger drew from the Vienna Philharmonic…”. (The New York Times)
This disc of Mozart's opera arias manages to capture the perfection of Kathleen Battle's first disc of Mozart concert arias conducted under Previn. We are accorded the opportunity and privilege to hear Ms. Battle essay characters that she never did in the opera house, Constanze, Cherubino, and the Countess among them. In "Porgi amor," the CD's opening track, she negotiates the long passages of the Countess' aria with seeming ease. Hers is a smaller voice than we are used to hearing in the role but this is unimportant as her vocal acting is superb, bringing the heartache housed in the libretto fully to life…By M. Bish
The reissue of keyboardist Claude Bolling's recordings of the 1960s may prompt a positive reevaluation of his contributions. Bolling has been known, at least outside France, mostly for the flute-and-piano works he composed for Jean-Pierre Rampal; his recordings with Rampal hit a certain popular groove and stuck with the formula. They were undeniably appealing in a simple way, but they became fatally overexposed. Bolling's earlier recordings reveal more imagination in his treatment of the relationship between jazz and classical music. Take for example this 1965 album, recorded in Paris. It's one of the few successful jazz treatments of Mozart, who is notoriously resistant to jazz treatment. The difficulty comes as a result of Mozart's reliance on harmonic rhythm, or the speed of the rate of change of the harmonies in the music. This feature seems impossible to capture in jazz, which heavily relies on regular chord changes, but Bolling's solutions here, making use of a classic jazz sextet, are brilliantly imaginative.
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