Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart, Schreier, Varady|
Clemenza Di Tito
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Karl Bohm Once Again Shows His Interpretative Mind, Hand, an
Gregory E. Foster | Portland, ME, USA | 03/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you can only have one recording of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, it should be this wonderful recording from 1979 with the illustrious Karl Bohm leading the Staatskapelle Dresden forces with an all-star cast.
Bohm was the leading Austrian Mozart conductor of the postwar period, and his recordings (nearly all of them) of these great operatic masterpieces sit in the position of being the standard(s) by which all subsequent or other recordings are measured.
In this marvelous effort we have Peter Schreier in the title role of Tito, giving a commanding performance, equal to, or outshining every other effort on disc. Julia Varady, somewhat steely toned, excels as Vitellia. She is notable, and her presence here plays against all the other's voices to great effect. Edith Mathis gives a lovely interpretation, with luscious and richly-sweet tones, as Servilia. Theo Adam, as always, turns in a marvelous performance as Publio. I have never heard him do anything less than a wonderful, and always well-turned, interpretation of anything he tackles. Teresa Berganza? What can I say about this most wonderful singer, certainly the reigning mistress of anything she ever surveyed to do. How sadly missed she is on the stages of the operatic world. Her performance, beautifully executed, and sensuously toned, outshines all others in the role of Sesto. Of all the casts recorded in this "second tier" Mozart opera, Bohm so far outshines all others assembled, that this recording alone should do much to raise this beautiful work to "first tier". And, of course, with him at the helm, leading the Staatskapelle Dresden, you know, already, before even listening, you are going to be hearing some of the most sumptuously played and executed music, produced by top-rank musicians, fulfilling Maestro Bohm's interpretive genius. This is some of Deutsche Gammophon's finest sound from their late stereo period, shining in it's clarity, and lucidity. The tone, also, is immediate and clearly focused.
Sadly, in Mozart's "Italian Opera Catalogue", this work must vie for attention with Le nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutti, and Don Giovanni, so it always seems to take second rank, but under Bohm, these soloists, and the Staatskapelle Dresden, it soulds like Great Mozart, and truly does rise to top tier status. This is a great recording, and belongs (firstly) in your collection for a representation of La Clemenza di Tito. Gardiner's recording is spliced from many performances, and is spotty and patchy (although very satisfying, of course, because it IS great conducting, and capable first-class singing), and the Davis recording, of course, is a highly-ranking rendition of this work (becoming dated in its sound however), and I would certainly want NOT to be without it, but the Bohm more closely hits the mark, and is the one that other recordings must bow to.
*--This recording, sadly, has been removed from the catalogue, as so many other great works have of late. I Strongly Urge you to seek out and obtain a copy of this most wonderful recording before those copies still available are gone. I have a strong feeling with things the way they are, of late, in the world of classical and opera recordings, that most of these recordings will not be re-released again, and will, sadly, be lost to us.