Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A somewhat listless giovanni...
Tanner J. Knight | greenbelt, md United States | 01/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"i bought this set mainly because kubelik's interpretation of mozart, particularly the late symphonies is nearly peerless, at least it is in today's day and age. however, i cannot give this set more than 3 stars due to my overall reaction to the work as a whole. of course, everything is there, rich orchestral tones from the bavarian radio orchestra, big name singers singing wonderful, especially titus, who is performing wotan more recently, and arleen auger, one of my favorite mozart singers...or singers period. however, pretty singing isn't enough for this dark story in which every single character goes through the emotional gamut. auger's elvira is too pretty, and i am suspect of the possibility that perhaps she never sang it in a large house, or any house for that matter. she doesn't sing with reckless abandon in those passages where we have heard te kanawa do so, not to mention leontyne if we are lucky enough to have heard the leinsdorf set on lp, or cd for the 2.7 seconds decca released it in the us, among others. the same can be said of varady's anna, she is distraught, but i don't imagine her with fire in her eyes singing of the horrible maledictions she has witnessed. titus' singing is also a bit listless in its sheer beauty, and we never sense giovanni's complete committal to his life of seduction and exertion of power. after hearing such legendary performances by siepe with mitropoulos, krips, and furtwangler, and the more modern giovanni of terfel (before he joined the pop-circle) we have no need for a giovanni who is less than interested in his conquests, which titus seems to be. thomas moser is a passable ottavio, but if you are like me, you are sick and tired of passable ottavios...where is the ottavio who could run giovanni through in a second if he wanted to? i know the ottavio case is a lost cause for future generations, unless some young hot-head is willing to take the innitiative upon himself to recreate the character in a masculine mold, but that prospect is looking grim...i digress. kubelik's conducting is much like bohm's without the magic which bohm found in every measure he laid down. that is to say it is often lacking in dynamic contrast, and electricity which would or should in turn inspire the singers to reach new heights of character development. the one shining aspect of this set is the leporello, rolando panerai, who rises to the occasion despite his fellow cast members. this is a singer with style, class and an exceptional balance of buffo and tragidy which makes leporello more than a boob who suffers the repercussions of giovanni's actions. all in all, if you are a giovanni-o-file like myself, its an interesting collection of singers, but it doesn't offer anything new as far as the opera is concerned. first, get the colin davis, then get either bohm's studio version with fischer-dieskau and arroyo, or if you can find it, his live from salzburg performance with MILNES! then check out mitropoulos or krips, maybe one of the karajan's, the klemperer or giulini set and...then check out this one if you are not broke......i am broke."