Amazing Recordings Together on One Set
Strephon | Montana, USA | 03/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a re-release of the Complete Mozart Edition on Phillips without notes, libretti or tranlations.
This set features Bastien und Bastienne, Die Gartnerin aus Liebe, Zaide, Der Schauspieldirektor, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and Die Zauberflote.
Bastien and Bastienne is a small one act piece written for a boys choir. This is the only recording to feature boy sopranos performing the piece. It is simply amazing. Each singer is stunning. The only drawback comes from taste as some people don't like boy sopranos.
Die Gartnerin aus Liebe is the German translation of La Finta Giardiniera and in my opinion the better of the two. Recitatives are turned into dialogue, a few things are changed here and there, but for some reason the play suddenly becomes so much more funny in this adaptation than the Italian one that it's hard to reccomend anything else.
The recording is a delight from start to finish with surprising performances from every singer. Even Jessye Norman's completely serious interpretation winds up being funny simply because the singer takes her role in a comedy so seriously. It truly is a funny recording of a comedy, something that is rare in the opera world.
This is one of the few opera recordings that I would consider perfect.
Anything that could be salvaged from the opera fragment Zaide, is. Presented here with taste and refinement, Zaide sounds quite lovely on the modern instruments -- something that sometimes changes the feel of an opera.
Der Schauspieldirektor is abridged only to Mozart's music, ignoring the rest of the play but presenting us with the two arias, two ensembles and an overture. The music and performance are nice, but there are much better recordings of these five pieces available elsewhere.
I haven't heard all of this recording of Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, but what I have heard is quite good. It is one of my favorite Mozart operas, however, and I would have a hard time not recommending it.
I have not heard the Die Zauberflote at all and cannot comment.
However, due to the quality of the other operas in this set it is hard to deduce points for anything. You may be able to find different recordings with their own qualities and merits, but this set is a wonderful collection in itself and highly recommended. If you want to try to find the original Phillips releases from this set with the libretti and notes, I can recommend that as well.
It is hard to beat the collection of music on this set."