Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Eugen Jochum, Wilhelm Schulz|
Mozart: Cosė fan tutte
DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU 3 CD SET
Listen to Samples
DIETRICH FISCHER-DIESKAU 3 CD SET
A Wonderful Ensemble Performance
Virginia Opera Fan | Falls Church, VA USA | 10/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a delightful surprise. It's been many years since I heard the LPs of Jochum's Cosi and I had forgotten how the many merits of this vintage performance combine to make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. First, there is the masterful Eugen Jochum on the podium pacing the proceedings with a sure hand and bringing out all sorts of wonderful (and funny) details of the orchestration with the cooperation of the excellent Berlin Philharmonic.
The cast is primarily German speaking - Nan Merriman is the exception. A decent handling of the Italian text is a prime consideration for Mozart's Italian text operas. Fortunately, the cast does very well. The dreaded 'dunkveh' pronunciation of 'dunque' is not to be found. The recitatives have the requisite conversational quality and everyone seems to be having a good time. The vocal lines are sung pretty much as written. You won't find the ornamentation of the lines that has become the standard in recent years.
Fiordiligi was a favorite role for Seefried. Although not in her absolute prime by this stage, the tone is pure and far less reedy than that exhibited in some of her other commercial work. The role is filled with hurdles for a lyric soprano, so it isn't surprising that her florid singing is a little on the careful side and the trills tend to be more approximate than precise. For those who don't care for her contemporary Schwarzkopf's more specific vocal characterization (particularly in the rival EMI set under Bohm recorded about the same time) you should hear her. Reservations aside, this is a distinguished performance.
Nan Merriman made a speciality of Dorabella and her experience in the theater shows. The voice is characterized by a quick vibrato that may not be to all tastes, which I find very appealing. Interestingly, she sounds fresher in 1962 than she did with Karajan in the EMI set of 1954.
My familiarity with Erika Koth is limited pretty much to her Kostanze, also under Jochum, where she is severely taxed by the role. Her Despina is breezy and well sung. The only disappointment is her creaky vocal distortions as the bogus notary in Act II, surprising given her funny, but vocally restrained characterization as the magnetic doctor in Act I.
For those who know Haefliger from his many Bach recordings and Beethoven's Florestan, his Ferrando may come as a surprise. He sounds fresher of voice than he did a few years earlier as the St. Matthew Evangelist under Richter. This is a good piece of singing.
Prey's youthful sounding Guglielmo is also very good. If you enjoy his later Figaro under Bohm on DGG you will like this as well.
I've never been much of a fan of Fischer-Dieskau's dour Don Giovanni or boorish Count Almaviva. The characters are placed before us in bold relief, but too often at the expense of singing. It is a pleasure to hear him actually sing the role of Alfonso. This is a first class and witty portrait of the aging cynic who instigates the plot.
The rather banal first act departure duet for Ferrando and Guglielmo is cut as is Ferrando's 'extra' aria in Act II. The sound has held up very well. No texts and translations are provided. The booklet includes a track by track synopsis, but no information on the performers. I still recommend Jacobs complete performance on Harmonia Mundi as the first choice for Cosi, but this recording, along with EMI/Bohm is a worthy supplement."
Can Cosi survive a tired, out of tune Fiordiligi?
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Imgard Seefried was a beloved singer in Germany, but by 1962 her tone had soured and her intonation was decidedly faulty. Both problems show up prominently in this reissued Cosi under Jochum. It was compared so unfavorably on its initial release with the Bohm set on EMI that it quickly disappeared. DG has brought it back occasionally, but Seefried is sad and tepid despite her best efforts.
Jochum leads a hit or miss account, sometimes veering towards bluntness and at other times into blandness. On the whole, he is good enough, and he's much aided by the impeccable Berlin Phil. Given the major casting flaw in this reading, the rest of the cast doesn't matter as much. Fischer-Dieskau is amusingly urbane and vile as Don Alfonso, and the two faux Albanian rivals, Haefliger and Prey, belong in a much better performance. Nan Merriman's fast beat in the voice bothers me, but she is excellent in every ohter way as Dorabella. I originally bought this recording on the recommendaiton of a so-called authority from the Metropolitan Opera, but it really is too deficient to be a general recommendation, even if there are enjoyments along the way."