Greg Abrams | Largo, FL USA | 05/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie for the first time at sixteen and was immediately captured by the music. Sure, I'd heard Mozart in the past...but never quite so well done! Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields brought the music to life on a level I've yet to hear matched.
The choice of compositions was perfect not only for those appreciating the movie, but also anyone interested in a "Greatest Hits" album. Obviously, this is a subjective assessment. But I do believe that the Amadeus soundtrack provides an excellent starting point for someone who might be new to Mozart and interested in some highlights from his amazing career. Here we have selections ranging from chamber music up to the best symphony orchestra and imperial opera.
In September of last year, I had an opportunity to hear the full Requiem performed in Amsterdam's Westerkerk and I was carried back to the first time I heard the composition in the late 1980s. The version of Requiem on this album is abbreviated, but it does represent the high points of Introitus, Dies Irae, Rex Tremendae Majestatis, Confutatis, and Lacrimosa.
This is an exceptional production all around - from the instruments, to the voices, all the way to the recording itself. Every element contributes to a finished work of sophistication and grace. Highly recommended!"
Beautiful, but not genuine
S. Constantine | 03/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How could anything by Mozart that is recorded by such professionals be anything but beautiful? The selection of music is superb, magnificently performed and recorded.
I was disappointed though, that some of the music is not that used in the film. For example, the "Queen of the Night" Aria was sung by June Anderson according to the film credits, but is not on the CD. The soprano on the CD is lovely but June really was special in the film. Also many of the recording in the film were in English were as they are not on the recording. Good English recordings are difficult to find.
Overall, 5 stars for quality, but loses one star for the lack of "trueness" to the film."
D. E. Karasek | High Tax, NJ | 03/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A physicist tried to explain to his class the most complex theory in physics, something called the Unified Field Theory that Einstein passed away before solving, and no one has solved to this date. Wait, said the teacher, I have it! The instructor whipped out a CD of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and played the K 492 - Act 4: Ah Tutti Contenti. In the film Amadeus, this is the piece that F. Murray Abraham, in the character of Salieri, praises as the first kind statement of a husband to a wife in years, which explodes into a musical dialog of reconciliation.
I was thinking about this and Russian dolls when I opened a large box that arrived last week. I was expecting a CD, I thought, so what's inside this huge box? Well, 7/8 of the box was air, literally inside bubble wrap. And then the packaging of the box set itself, and then, cut into a small hole in the box set itself, was a standard size CD jewel case. Granted, the reason for the large packaging was the inclusion of a beautiful vinyl album sized collection of pictures and information from the film and track listing.
But, back to the metaphor on physics, after playing the 3 CDs in the case, I felt that no box on the planet, indeed in the whole universe, would have been big enough to contain this music.
No one can say enough about the performances of St. Martin of the Fields. I was also greatly impressed by the piano performances by all the performers, especially Imogen Cooper's playing of Mozart: Piano Concerto In D Minor, K 466 - 2. Romanza.
Also granted, as others have noted here, some of the Opera performances could have been more fully represented, and there are other renowned recordings, especially of the Operas, that are undeniably better.
But as an almost complete collection, any Mozart lover, indeed any music lover, should not be without this box set, the accompaniment to my favorite film of all time.