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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musically good, but vocally a little lacking, 10 Mar 2002
This review is from: Mozart: Don Giovanni (Audio CD)
Don Giovanni is an opera not easily placed into any of the established categories: although there are a number of comic scenes, the impact both of the attempted rape and murder in the first few minutes does hang over the rest of the opera until the terrible moment of reckoning in the penultimate scene. No more however can it be described as a tragedy. It is therefore a very difficult opera to perform, as the characters don't have the same degree of certainty as to their role that they do in other operas.
In terms of the cast, among the major parts, Renee Flemming is the best. Donna Anna is a hard part to sing, as the role demands dramatic elements in her first big aria "Or sai chi l'onore", and more lyrical elements in "Non mir di". Fleming manages these very well, her voice can be, in some recordings, a little large for Mozart, and one sometimes feels that she would be more effective if it was toned down a little, however in this recording she keeps everything in control, and her phrasing, which is always the key to singing Mozart well, is excellent: both her arias are sung with great elegance. Terfel singing the title role provides more vigour in the singing, and has a bigger voice than Waechter, however his voice lacks a degree of polish and suaveness: Don Giovanni may be a rogue, but in birth and training, he is a gentleman, and needs to be so portrayed. I was a little surprised to hear Ann Murray as Donna Elvira, she really is a mezzo, and although she is a high mezzo, she's not that high! Her singing was always well phrased and "Mi tradi" was sung with great feeling for the changing emotions within the aria. It has to be said however that as the aria approached its conclusion, she was getting rather tired, and the high notes at the end really sounded strained. Lippert makes a satisfactory Don Ortavio, however is nothing out of the ordinary; the minor parts were well sung in general and provided a sound base for the recording, Monica Groop making a beguiling Zerlina.
In conclusion therefore, this CD is well worth purchasing. It is a very musical Don Giovanni, however is one is looking for vocal perfection in terms both of sound and in characterisation, then one may well be a little disappointed.
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Mozart: Don Giovanni
Mozart: Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Audio CD - 1997)
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