Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, William Christie, Les Arts Florissants|
Mozart - Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Schäfer, Petibon, Bostridge, Paton, Ewing, Löw, Les Arts Florissants, Christie
It was only a matter of time before William Christie got around to recording Mozart's delightful 1782 singspiel, and the results are very happy indeed. Period instruments are just right for the raucous "Turkish" music Moza... more »
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It was only a matter of time before William Christie got around to recording Mozart's delightful 1782 singspiel, and the results are very happy indeed. Period instruments are just right for the raucous "Turkish" music Mozart composed for Entführung, and they go very nicely with the light voices Christie has chosen as well. Most successful is the Belmonte of tenor Ian Bostridge, already famous for his lieder singing. This is a sensitive yet ardent portrayal, and while the voice may be somewhat limited at the bottom end of the scale, its colors and expressive use more than make up for any limitations. Not only is Christine Schäfer's Konstanze handsomely sung, but for once we feel her rage in "Martern aller Arten," and not at the aria's difficulties. The secondary couple, Pedrillo and Blonde, are sung by Iain Paton and Patricia Petibon, respectively, and they are nice foils for the other two: Paton is impetuous and Petibon is coy where their betters are thoughtful and serious. Alan Ewing's light Osmin seems at first to be too light, but he has the low notes required for the role and shows his sensitive side in his opening aria about love. Still, he could use a bit more heft. Christie's tempi are ideal, his band plays superbly, and the singers embellish their vocal lines tastefully. And the little march before Pasha Selim arrives has never been recorded before. Where did it come from? This may not be the most laugh-heavy performance of the work on CD, but it's beautifully performed. --Robert Levine
Another wonderful recording from Les Arts Florissants!!!
email@example.com | 06/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was eagerly awaiting this recording. I was pretty much ready to pay an arm and a leg for it, so I almost ordered it from overseas because I was getting tired of waiting for it to be released in the U.S. Somehow I managed to wait, and my patience was rewarded by this cheap price from Amazon ($23 is not bad!). I am not a Mozart fan per se; I'm a Christie fan. If not for Christie, I probably wouldn't be in a such a hurry to get acquainted with Die Entfuhrung. It is the authenticity and elegance of Christie's direction that attracted me to this recording, and I knew I could count on the highest quality. I wasn't disappointed. In fact I'll be surprised if this recording doesn't win some major prizes this year. Les Arts Florissants orchestra delights with crisp and virtuosic playing (especially the violins). The cast is excellent. Christine Schafer has been deservedly praised for her Konstanze: her bright and clear soprano carries Konstanze's difficult coloratura arias convincingly and impeccably. Alan Ewing's deep but elegant and expressive bass is very appropriate for Osmin. The light voiced Patricia Petibon is enchanting as Blonde. The tenors in the roles of Belmonte and Pedrillo are a good match for each other. The spoken dialogue is superbly acted: pretty amazing considering that half of the cast are English. Iain Paton's German pronunciation is well nigh perfect! Since drama in Mozart operas is always so important, the attention paid by Les Arts Florissants to every detail of intonation, inflexion and timing really pays off. Let's face it, the main attraction on this recording is Ian Bostridge. Christie must have realized that this was going to be the case when he decided to sign up Bostridge instead of one of Les Arts Florissants regular tenors like, say, Paul Agnew. Christie wasn't mistaken: Die Entfuhrung has turned out to be the best selling Les Arts Florissants recording ever. I never before heard Bostridge in opera, so I was really curious as to whether he would bring to the recording some extra artistic merit, in addition to serving as a box office draw. I must say that although his Belmonte is very good, I am not convinced that Paul Agnew could not have done the job. Moreover, Bostridge's and Paton's singing voices on this recording sound distressingly alike. Their speaking voices are easier to distinguish. In fact, Bostridge talks exactly like he sings, which is probably one of the reasons that he is such a superlative leader interpreter. Part of me says: it's good that Bostridge took part in this recording, look - Christie can sign up the hottest star. But another part of me, the hard-core LAF fan, is a bit sore that Christie passed up on some of his old faithful tenors in favor of a dazzling cameo. Overall, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail exhibits the superb craftsmanship and maturity of Les Arts Florissants, but perhaps not the magic of some of their earlier operatic productions such as Medee or La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers."
The best entfuhrung on the market
wenarto | SEATTLE | 01/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been listening to entfuhrung since 1970 and have heard many recording. This album is definitely the best...far better that Solti overpowering on London with the flamboyancy of Edita Gruberova. This is definitely the set to buy. Christie's tempo is right on the money and all singers are in excellent shape and provide best interpretation. I just love this set."
I love Christie's direction, it feels like Mozart
firstname.lastname@example.org | 12/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful and fun recording. The cast are all great, a little light voiced, but this is a singspiel after all. So the casting is appropriate. The orchestra and chorus are fantastic. Christie's tempos and conducting are perfect. The digital sound is great. I was extremely pleased. Energetic and appropriately "Turkish." The drums and exotic effects shine through better with a smaller ensemble and authentic instruments. This is not the first time that I have heard the charming little march. A budget recording I had bought from Laserlight had an excerpt of a recording by the RIAS chamber chorus and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra that included the little march and the following chorus. Not having heard Gardiner's Abduction recording, I cannot cast a vote between them, but Gramophone criticized Gardiner's Abduction for being too serious. In Christie's hands though, the charm of the opera shines through as if Mozart himself was conducting."