A fascinating and worthy tribute to a great conductor
Mike Willis | Trafalgar, Victoria Australia | 09/27/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although he died very young, Toscanini protege Cantelli made a number of very fine studio recordings which attested to his talent, skill and sheer verve. This recording is not a studio effort but a rather dimly recorded live performance which stands as an excellent testimonial to the exceptional talents of this conductor. The orchestral playing is lithe and disciplined, yet it is never overforced or too ruthless. More importantly is the choice of tempi throughout, which feel absolutely "right" rather similar to those chosen by (Erich) Kleiber in his Decca/London Marriage of Figaro. Here is a conductor who new how to make phrases breathe and sing: Cantelli shows himself to be an almost ideal opera conductor. The singing is rather more variable, but all of the key singers live up to their reputations, and some of them - such as Schwarzkopf, seem to settle into their roles after a while. Cantelli's Mozart style reminds one less of Toscanini than the young Karajan who also inspired orchestras to play in a lithe, energetic yet always supremely aristocratic fashion. In fact, although this recording is somewhat let down by pallid (but never unlistenable) sound, the performance is one to treasure - an almost perfect balance between the various elements of Mozart interpretations. At the price, this is a bargain to anyone who loves the opera, and everyone who has an interest in this gifted and sadly missed conductor."
A great one-off from a Mozart newbie
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cantelli had to step in at the last moment to conduct this Cosi, having never conducted the work before. He did an amazing job, and his premature death in a plane crash in 1956 surely deprived the world of a potentially great opera conductor. the sound is boxy mono but listenable, and the cast is one of the best, especially for a live performance."