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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recording that does justice to Mozart's score!, 13 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
I simply cannot find a fault with this recording - Ramey's Figaro and von Stade's Cherubino are, for me, highlights, but the entire cast, orchestra and conductor perform without flaw. The sheer joyous radiance of the music and the performing makes me smile every time I listen to it. This must surely be the best recording of Figaro around? If I could have but one CD set in my collection, I would have to have this.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best!, 9 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
Although this recording is now seventeen years old, it remains (for me, at least) the best one available by a long way. The all-star cast cannot be bettered and I would single out Lucia Popp for her brilliant portrayal of Susanna. If you only want one recording of "Le Nozze di Figaro", you won't getter a better one than this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best!, 16 Sept. 2011
By 
M. Joyce (Cairo, Egypt) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
I have multiple versions of the great operatic works and I thought that it might be helpful if I posted my thoughts on my favourite recordings.

Although I do not really think of Sir Georg Solti as a natural Mozartian (he is a little too hard-driven for my tastes), his version of "Le Nozze di Figaro" is my favourite by quite a large margin, thanks almost exclusively to the excellence of its cast, which surpasses that on all other recordings. Samuel Ramey may not be the most characterful exponent of the role, but his gorgeous basso cantate is just right for the role and contrasts well with the leaner, higher, more incisive baritone of Thomas Allen as the Count. Sir Thomas has one of the most beautiful male voices of the recording era and he is on magnificent form here in what is one of his signature roles. The women are equally fine. The star for me is the sparkling Lucia Popp, whom I consider to be the best Susanna on records, but Frederica von Stade runs her close as an ideal Cherubino, managing to convince as an adolescent boy whilst singing gorgeously. There have been some marvellous recorded Countesses (Schwarzkopf, Janowitz and Price to name but three), but Kiri te Kanawa is right up there with the best of them in what I believe is her best role, both vocally and histrionically. The stellar casting of the supporting roles is quite extraordinary, with such celebrated singers as Yvonne Kenny and Philip Langridge allocated the minor roles of Barbarina and Don Curzio. Jane Berbié does well as Marcellina, a role that is difficult to carry off, while the great German bass Kurt Moll is the finest Bartolo on record; it is a wonderful voice, of course, but the way in which he tosses off the patter in "La Vendetta" is really something special. Robert Tear is a bitingly witty Don Basilio and the cast is rounded off by a splendidly garlicky Giorgio Tadeo as the gardener Antonio. A marvellous recording then and a cast whose all-round excellence is unlikely to be surpassed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Marriage Ever, 1 Dec. 2009
By 
Bedino Stefano "steven albert" (Piedmont, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
Absolutely a must for everybody who loves Mozart. There should be a sixth star available for performances oustanding like this one. The Solti's direction, the London Philarmonic Orchestra and all the cast are superb. All characters sound very real and the voices, beautiful of course, are easily recognizable and fit together in a wonderful way. Times are brisk and the action always flows naturally without losing grip of the listener's attention. Moments of pure musical beauty, such as the arias sung by solo singers (Kanawa's Countess, Ramey's Figaro, von Stade's Cherubino, Popp's Susanna and Allen's Count, to name only the principal ones), alternate with moments of exhilarating musical comedy, where the acting is as convincing as the singing is good. In comparison other available performances sound as dull as school exercises. This Marriage of Figaro is a moment of joy, not only for all the cast, but also for the listener. Lot of thanks to Mozart and everybody.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technically and aesthetically brilliant production, 4 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
The furious pace of Solti's overture annoyed some early critics but I find it totally in keeping with the inane plot of this great opera. Described as demonstration quality by the Penguin Guide on release, this version of Mozart's masterpiece is also a masterpiece of human engineering. Twenty years on, it is still the yardstick for opera on CD. Now for the music. If you know opera, you know how good this cast is, and they perform at their peak here. It's silly to have favourite bits of opera, but we all do it, and mine is less than four minutes on disk 1. Cherubino's aria "Voi, che sapete" is, in my view, one of the most sublimely beautiful pieces of music ever written. Only Mozart could have assigned such a joy to so ludicrous a character. But, the whole work is littered with almost equal gems. I've had this since it was released and it still sparkles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does not get better ..., 22 Nov. 2008
By 
James Ghani (Richmond Upon Thames, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
I believe, like many other reviewers here, that this recording is the finest of this perfectly proportioned opera. It is quite literally flawless. Amongst the many wondrous highlights, I am at a loss to describe the tender and layered vocal beauties contributed by Lucia Popp. Recorded at her musical peak, her version of 'Deh vieni non tardar' sets the benchmark in the art of perfect vocals. An angelic delight. A categorical must-have disc for any music collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Figaro and the Causeway of the Divine, 21 Nov. 2014
By 
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
Wyndham Lewis, prophet of Vorticism, was fashioned by the Great War. Auden called him "that lonely old volcano of the Right." He was a polyglot in art and literature. Whatever his claims on immortality might be, the following resonates down the years:

"We can assert that a God that swam in . . . the music of a Bach fugue, or the stormy grandeur . . . of the Sistine Ceiling . . . who moved with the grace of Mozart . . . such a God would be the highest we could imagine; that God would be so perfect in power and beauty that, however much people may assert they find it possible to experience a greater God . . . or analogically to posit one, we are entirely justified in not believing them."

Solti's 1981 recording of Figaro is a good chance to test this theorem. After all, there's no reason to comment on it in the usual sense: longevity becomes it. If civilisation does not fail, this endeavour will command the field in centuries to come.

What is the baseline here?

Figaro is a Big Bang in itself. Deconstructed, it yields a periodic table of its own. Just as much as "the love that moves the sun and other stars", Mozart animates and then glorifies his creations; even Bartolo and Antonio are brought to life from dust and loved beyond reckoning for their foibles. In itself, this is reassurance. A Divine Comedy is in play whose ends we cannot necessarily see and yet the narrative is undeniable.

On paper at least, perfection - and over two hours of it - should be caustic to mere flesh and blood; we're more attuned to the grease of concupiscence. How easy it is to luxuriate in this splendour and emerge on the other side as something more than the tattered old suitcase of the self. Who suspended the Law of Diminishing Returns? What underwrites this plenitude? Is it not an encounter?

Handel commented that music should make one better. If interpreted ethically, this assertion is trite. If it denotes transfiguration, a bullseye is resultant. Come the finale of the Fourth Act, who is not aglow with the Word? The very stones speak. When the aesthetic experience is so boundless in grace - as it is here - Steiner's concept of Real Presence comes into play and that leads one into realms of danger and discovery.

Nothing can be predicated of the One. Contrary to Lewis' proposition, inky staves and bar-lines will not imprison the Unmoved Mover. Nevertheless, in these Shadowlands of ours where trinkets and fakery are sovereign, that a Figaro of this mettle should exist and dwell among us is a cause for jubilation - in hoc signo. And who is to say where its roots ultimately run?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without equal, 24 Jan. 2008
By 
Mark Hilton (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
Mozart's music simply defies belief. Possibly the greatest three hours in musical history. Whatever your musical taste, this compilation will fire your spirit to an unimaginable high. Not a single note is wasted, so sit back and let the music wash over you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Near Perfect, 12 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
It's difficult to see how this recording could ever be bettered; the cast is to die for - Sir Tom and Dame Kiri as the Almavivas especially. If I were to nit-pick, Sam Ramey's Figaro could do with a bit more line in his singing, and a lot of the recits feel rushed by live-performance standards - although most listeners will be waiting for the numbers, so probably won't find that such a drawback anyway. Especially since it's now available at around half its original selling price, there's really no excuse not to own a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream cast in a dream performance, 1 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Audio CD)
The more detailed reviews here and the penguin guide spell out the special claims of this performance, which certainly tops my list as a primary recommendation. A dream cast and the LPO in fine form under Solti's inspired direction. All of the principals are excellent and I am not going to describe their individual qualities except to add that this very fine, superbly characterised set, is crowned by Kiri Te Kanawa's radiant Countess.
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Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Audio CD - 1984)
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