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Mozart: Don Giovanni [Box set]

René Jacobs Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £24.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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With more than two hundred recordings to his credit and an intensive schedule as singer, conductor, scholar and
teacher, René Jacobs has achieved an eminent position in the field of Baroque and Classical vocal music. He
received his early musical training as a choirboy at the cathedral of his native city of Ghent. Alongside his
advanced studies of Classics at the University of ... Read more in Amazon's René Jacobs Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Mozart: Don Giovanni + Mozart - Così fan tutte + Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro)
Price For All Three: £73.44

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
  • Conductor: Rene Jacobs
  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B000SKJR10
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,770 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Don Giovanni - 65 tracks on 3 CDs - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astringent and Pungent 21 Sep 2008
Format:Audio CD
Although I've never found a recorded version of what is probably the greatest opera ever written to replace the superbly cast and directed Guilini (EMI) this new version from Jacobs makes a real alternative. For a start the period instruments give a far more pungent feel than the playing of the vintage Philamonia Orchestra and the whole weight of the piece is different. Whereas Guilini's Don is a demonic creation, Jacobs' is possibly nearer to Mozart's intentions - a thoughtless and licentious young man. Johannes Weisser sounds lighter and younger than Wachter on EMI - not better or worse, just different. That said, the singing isn't quite up to the standard of the EMI's dream cast, but, driven by Jacob's rather more unconventional view of the work it is often extremely exciting. While I would still recommend the EMI as one of the greatest opera recordings ever made, this new version makes a really welcome alternative. Get both and enjoy the differences!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aurea mediocritas with dash 5 Nov 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am neither a musicologist, nor a musician, so, please, take my opinion for what it is: the simple description of the feelings risen by a beloved opera. Maybe yours will be very different.
I love Don Giovanni so much that I would love it even sung by a parish choir. I also respect deeply the work and labour of serious professionals. Thus, I could never give a real low rate to this disc; however, I cannot bring myself to truly love Jacobs' reading of Don Giovanni.
Two main reasons: my (humble) vision of Mozart's work and the cast.
I have always thought that the Da Ponte trilogy is a wonderful compendium of a christian illuminism. In these operas there is plenty of sinners, poor frail people, prey of desires and human weaknesses; but there is almost always space to forgiveness, pity and affection (among man and wife, son and mother, master and servant). These feelings are expressed by music. The instrument that binds and amalgamates them to redemption is the clear serenity of Mozart's music, its superhuman beauty, transcending our nature in a very human way, so far away form the over-human trascendence of Bach's music.
I think that Jacobs' rendition is not the best one to emphasize these aspects: it is to my ear too rushed, sharp, disharmonious; well, it is never boring, neither commonplace nor trite, it is often dashing, but I find it sometimes also a bit coarse. I must confess that I love much more Giulini, or Boehm, because they draw from the score that part of humanistic religiosity that in my vision are so deeply embedded in Mozart (note that I am not religious, so I am not looking for a mass where there is none!).
Moreover, Don Giovanni is also an opera about seduction and love, but Jacobs' rush in conducting gives rarely the time to seduce anybody.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth it! 25 Feb 2008
Format:Audio CD
If you are new to this opera than there are a multitide of options out there gullini,bohm for instance possibly for a cheaper price. But, if you want a new (old fasioned) look on an old favourite like myself then this recording is a must! I simply can not and won't fault it. for a start you really do get a feel of being there, which for me is very important when listening to any opera recording. Jacobs and co have managed to equal in both measures the intimacy and rawness of a live experience with a performance that can rival any, and I mean any previous recording. Those who have heard his marriage of figaro will know what Im talking about. For me it was like hearing the opera for the first time again. I don't normally go for period instrument recordings for the sake of it- especially when it comes to composers like mozart who I'm sure would have welcomed the best sound poss. However, this recording gives us a raw, powerful account of what it might have been like to be their first time round. fabulous!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Parts greater than the Sum 24 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD
The search for the perfect Don Giovanni has parallels with the quest for the Grail: it is not meant to be consummated this side of the Pearly Gates.

There is much to like here. This is a Don Giovanni that is well enough sung and dramatised. Others have commented on the voices. I concur with the consensus that the Don / Leporello / Elvira eclipse the other principals by a wide margin. The Donna Anna here is a pale reflection of Sutherland; she is also outshone by Tomowa-Sintow in the '85 Karajan.

There are flaws. The string section of the Freibruger Barockorchester is skeletonised. Whenever the score calls upon them to shed some lustre at key junctions, they are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Listen, for instance, to the Act 2 Finale where Don Ottavio begs Donna Anna to marry him, `Non mi far languire ancor'; in the hands of a Guilini or a Karajan, the figuration for strings is imbued with an unbearable longing. Here, it is such a non-event. Their feebleness means that the performance sounds as if it is riddled with lacunae from beginning to end. Miner's-lamp on head, one is almost prompted to send out a search-party. I am all for bringing out Mozart's wondrous writing for woodwind et al but not at the expense of the strings. It is an irritant throughout.

The other flaw is Jacobs. Don Giovanni might be a demiurge of procreation but he is also a thinker. Any cerebral activity in the characterisation here is minimal (and much could be said of the other dramatis personae). Take the Supper Scene: not once does Don Giovanni take a breath to evaluate his response to the intruder even if he still sings "A torto di viltate. Tacciato mai saro!". It's all submerged in the headlong rush to project high drama. The tempos throughout are unremittingly fast.
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