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Mozart - Don Giovanni / Sir Colin Davis Vol. 41
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sir Colin Davis, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Mozart - Don Giovanni / Sir Colin Davis Vol. 41
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #3


     
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CD Reviews

As good as "Don Giovanni" gets
madamemusico | Cincinnati, Ohio USA | 05/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have heard every recording of "Don Giovanni" from the 1935 Fritz Busch version to the more recent John Eliot Gardiner production. There are good performances in all of them, but for some reason this opera is so difficult that even top professionals do not always "jell" in it. For that reason, as well as my own personal tastes, I have gravitated to only four recordings over the years: this one, the 1955 Krips set with Siepi et. al., the 1959 Giulini recording and the 1986 Karajan version. All have strengths and weaknesses, but overall this is the one that satisfies me most musically and dramatically. The biggest problems with the Krips set are the lightweight singing of Danco and Della Casa as Anna and Elvira and the lack of dramatics throughout. In the Giulini, neither Taddei nor Sutherland sing their rhythms properly--Sutherland keeps a steady legato throughout, which is not a good thing--and Luigi Alva is a tight, nasal-sounding Ottavio. In the Karajan recording, Tomowa-Sintow is rough and wobbly, Agnes Baltsa is a mezzo Elvira with a short high range, and Samuel Ramey just sings his part in a straightforward, blulstery manner.This leaves the current set which, oddly enough, I owned on LPs almost 30 years ago. I enjoyed the conducting, but Philips' LP sound of the era was shrill and blasting, with all soprano high notes sounding like shattered glass, and both Wixell and Ganzarolli sounded wiry and rough which was not my ideal for the Don and Leporello. Thanks to the miracle of digital remastering, however, most of these technical problems are eliminated. Now the sopranos sound full and rich-voiced, their brightness in the upper register coming across with naturalness and beauty. Moreover, Wixell and Ganzarolli now sound only a little rough-hewn, not grating. The only problems stem from the fact that Martina Arroyo always had a habit of "sliding into" notes instead of hitting them dead-on, and because of this she goes flat a couple of times in the opening scene, and the fact that Wixell and Ganzarolli sound so much alike it is hard to tell which is the Don singing and which is Leporello.As a balace, however, this is BOTH a musical (like the Krips) AND a dramatic (like the Karajan) performance. Everyone is very much "into" their parts, everything is sung properly, all the syncopations and dotted rhythms are observed, and Davis' conducting digs into the music, in my opinion, even better than Krips, Giulini or Karajan. The end result is a very satisfying performance, one that I think you will listen to over and over again, which is not necessarily the case with the other three versions I mentioned.One other thing. The album cover pictured here is not the Davis recording, but the Roger Norrington recoridng on EMI which is, quite frankly, weakly sung and conducted. If you want a scaled-down "Giovanni" you would be better going with the Gardiner, even though the Elvira and Zerlina have terrible voices."
Great sound, & perfect singers
Sam Cotten | Brentwood, Tennessee | 02/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD of Don Giovanni is very very good. I love to listen to it. The singers are all perfect sounding for Don Giovanni, & sing like they have known their lines since they were born. Ingvar Vixwell sounds very beautiful & straight as Don Giovanni. He has a baritone voice like no other in the world. Waldimiro Ganzaroli as Leporello sounds great, accept at some parts he sounds a little whiny. Martina Arroyo is perfect for Donna Anna. She sings very clear with very good tone that is easy to understand. Stuart burrows is a great Don Ottovio, with the perfect, & most beautiful tenor voice for the part. Mirella Freni is a sweet & pretty sounding Zerlina able to sing such high notes very easily. Richard Van Allen is a good Masetto with a good bass voice(the character, Masetto is actually sung as a bass or a baritone). Luigi Roni is a solemn Commendatore with a very beautiful bass voice vith a very serious sound. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as Donna Elvira sounds very beautiful with the perfect soprano voice for Donna Elvira. Nobody can sing Donna Elvira or anyone else better than Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis is very clear sounding with no problems at all. There are many CDs of Don Giovanni available, but I do think that you will like this one the most."
Stupendous recording of my favorite opera
philistine | San Diego, California USA | 10/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A wonderful cast of singers and a great orchestral balance. Te Kanawa is surely one of my favorite sopranos and once again she shines here. For the interpretation of Leporello, Ganzarolli in my opinion does the best job out of all the recordings I've heard. Wixell has a wonderfully rich baritone that is so well suited for the role of Don Giovanni. Arroyo's soprano is sweet and lovely Donna Anna, though there were some times where she seemed to lose a little bit of her oomph (but this was pretty rare). Burrows is a solid Don Ottavio. I especially felt great emotiveness by the singers in bringing out the nuances of their respective roles. I felt the anguish of Donna Anna following her father's death and the tense and chilling fear when the Commendatore demands repentance of Don Giovanni and he is eventually dragged into Hell. With respect to the orchestra, I felt the were well balanced with tempos that were well on. Overall, a stupendous recording."