"Of all of the recordings of Cosi on the market today, I believe this to be one of the very best. The typical vocal brilliance from Te Kanawa and Von Stade, both alone and in ensamble, is evident throughout the recording, but especially in their beautiful duet at the opening of Act II. The gentleman also do a fine job; as a performing tenor myself, I was especially pleased with the handling of Ferrando, who's undercurrent of vocal sensitivity never waxes cold. The baritone and bass have a cloudy vocal overtone, but never muffle their diction, and always match their fellow performers in the ensamble pieces. The conductor's handling of tempos indicates great sensitivity to the lushness of the score, and allows the sublime nature of Mozart's music to truly come through."
Not very complete.
operalover | 06/22/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"All I have to say, is that this recording has a pretty good sound, the singing is fine, Te Kanawa sings Fiordilgi very well especially with the Grande Aria:"Come Scoglio". The Dorebella sings well. Ferrando, Guilgemio (Excuse for bad spelling) are good as well, and the comics, Alfonso, and Despina are superb (Especially, Despina's Notary and the doctor in the two act finales) The Sound is good, the orchestra is good. It's those tempos that Lombard create in order to fill up the 3-hour space of the original length of the opera. The duet of the sisters are slow, and the two act finales are slow as well. The first act finale is only about 17-18 minutes long, Mr. Lombard has interpreted these finales so slow, that the first act finale lasted 2 minutes longer than the original time of the opera. In addition, the opera is missing the recititive to the first act finale, the little duettino after the sextet and the act II finale is missing half of the quartet in the second part in the finale, and the tempos, are very slow, there is no synopsis and I don't trust the translations, they are way out. The sextett in the first act, is not to crisp. I suggest the Rene Jacobs, especially the Sir Colin Davis version with Cabballe, Baker, etc. If you are new to Mozart get this version of the "Cosi fan tutte""
Erik D. LOFQUIST | Shoreline, WA | 08/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This has maintained a place among my favorite opera recordings. The female soloists are three of the finest Mozart singers of our time, and need no introduction, I hope. I am writing this review to single out a particularly fine performance by the tenor, David Rendall. Those of us who thrilled to his career at the Met, surely also lament its all too brief duration. Thank God for tenors like him! Sweet but not saccharine, powerful but not harsh, Rendall is perfect for the role of Ferrando, and vice versa. His aria "Un Aura Amorosa" in this recording, is one of the finest tenor performances ever recorded. Tenors much more famous than Rendall should stand in awe, and a bit of shame as well. I don't find conductor Lombard's tempi noticeably slow. And certainly with singers like these, a conductor can and probably should take the luxury of drawing out the vocal lines to the greatest extent possible. Only Huttenlocher and Bastin keep this recording from being a 5-star. While they are perfect in the more comic scenes, their voices lack the sheer opulent beauty of the other four soloists."
Glorious Mozart, lame conductor
operalover | Australia | 05/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No one can doubt the genius of Mozart and in Cosi it is an entire showcase of his many talents for comedy and sublime music but not subject choice. Nevertheless beautiful melodies abound in this wonderful work. The artists in this particular recording are outstanding. Kiri te Kanawa once again defies all criticism. Her beautiful lyric soprano voice is most suited to this role. She does display a deep commitment to this work but I must say that at times she needs to invest more in the meaning of the words. But such critism seem minor when you are constantly flooded with her golden vibrant tone. It is exceedingly rare that one feels transported to a different level of appreciation in music but te Kanawa has that magic. You can find it in 'Ah guarda sorella', her first duet with von Stade. Schwartzkoft, although she offers a very insightful reading in Karajan's recording, has a rather nasal quality to her singing. She sounds as if she is singing with her teeth clenched half the time. The wonderful Renee Fleming in Solti has some lovely moments but I find her rather exaggerrated at times although her 'Per pieta' is sublime. Caballe is surprising but I find her voice too maternal. Lisa della Casa is very good indeed but she rather lacks spontaneity. The Dorabella is no other than the magical Von stade who sings a wonderful Cherubino in Solti's Figaro. In 1977 she was in excellent form but her singing is marred by some of the most lackadaisical conducting by Lombard ever. Very disppointing. There seems so much more that she can do with music. The gentlemen make a fine duo but Huttenlocher can be bland. Stratas is annoying, overacting with her voice. Bartoli is divine.All in all a very satisfying performance hampered only by some poor conducting"
A bit slow, but still beautiful.....................
Sam | Seahurst, Washington | 09/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On Erato, Kiri Te Kanawa's voice sounds radiant, rich and creamy of tone; she is commanding in 'Come scoglio' and tenderly affecting in 'Per pieta; which is more moving here than with Levine. Lombard is a sympathetic accompanist, if not always the most perceptive of Mozarians; some of his tempti are on the slow side, but his sextet of young singers make up a team that rivals almost any other, giving firm, appealing performances. With warm recording of high quality, this is most enjoyable and could be a first choice for anyone who loves to follow the singers in question in this opera. Me, I adore the voice of 'Kiri Te Kanawa.'"