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5 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best recording you will find!
This is probably the best recording you will find of 'Don Giovanni' on Amazon. It is a crying shame that there aren't more recordings out there; indeed I still pine for the loss of a DVD or at the very least a CD version of a Samuel Ramey/Feruccio Furlanetto performance - every DVD seems to be over twenty pounds (!). Still, Ramey is here, singing the part of Leporello...
Published 22 months ago by Andrew Murray

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable value for money
I was initiallly reluctant to go for this recording of the Opera. My final decision was swayed more by the low price and high ranking in the bestsellers for the category 'Don Giovanni'.

The quality of the recording is satisfactory, but my only real gripe is that the tempo is very slow. Especially for the opening crashing chords of the dramatic overture, I find...
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by Cosa Nostra


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable value for money, 7 Jan 2011
This review is from: Mozart: Don Giovanni (Audio CD)
I was initiallly reluctant to go for this recording of the Opera. My final decision was swayed more by the low price and high ranking in the bestsellers for the category 'Don Giovanni'.

The quality of the recording is satisfactory, but my only real gripe is that the tempo is very slow. Especially for the opening crashing chords of the dramatic overture, I find that personally I prefer a fast tempo to create the sense of occasion. This recording could be decribed as somewhat 'lesuirely'.

One other major disappointment for me, was that this recording does not come with an Italian/English libretto, which I assumed it would.

However, all things considered it's not a bad investment for [...]...you get a respectable recording of one of the true operatic masterpieces.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best recording you will find!, 30 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Mozart: Don Giovanni (Audio CD)
This is probably the best recording you will find of 'Don Giovanni' on Amazon. It is a crying shame that there aren't more recordings out there; indeed I still pine for the loss of a DVD or at the very least a CD version of a Samuel Ramey/Feruccio Furlanetto performance - every DVD seems to be over twenty pounds (!). Still, Ramey is here, singing the part of Leporello. The tempo (to disregard another reviewer) is SUPERB. It is allegro ma non troppo and the arias are sung exquisitely. The frenzied opening ("Non sperar, se non m'uccidi") sets the pace for the whole thing and I thought that Lopardo's Don Ottavio was brilliant in executing the very difficult "Dalla sua pace". Finally, all "Don Giovanni" performances MUST have a sublime Commendatore for the ending - this recording is as good as any.

Overall,

8/10 - check out the Ramey/Furlanetto performance on YouTube and you'll see why this isn't the best out there, but nevertheless it is worth the relatively cheap price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Hamlet" without the Prince - or anybody much else, for that matter, 9 Dec 2013
By 
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mozart: Don Giovanni (Audio CD)
It is painfully amusing to read some of the encomiums for this doomed set from listeners who seem inexplicably satisfied with what is, at best, a third rate recording. Of course Mozart's glorious music can stand a battering from inadequate performers but what need is there to settle for this when the catalogue is bursting with great and highly recommendable versions of this extraordinary opera? The playing of the Vienna Philharmonic is the most pleasing aspect of this lamentable account but Muti drives much so hard and humourlessly they scarcely have the chance to make their mark; at other points, Muti slows to a crawl without any discernible reason.

Otherwise, we must scratch about for crumbs of cold comfort. Starting with William Shimmell's deeply over-parted Don, we hear a rough, hollow-voiced baritone without any allure or velvet in his tone - and one desperately trying too hard to compensate for his vocal deficiencies by barking, shouting and growling. Next on the block is Lopardo's hoarse, strangulated tenor; the epitome of what Italians call "ingolato": the voice never escapes from his tonsils. Another reviewer finds his singing exquisitely beautiful; I would guide him towards McCormack, Wunderlich, Simoneau, Burrows, Valletti - well, just about any other famous exponent of the role, really. Let's pass over the almost voiceless Masetto and briefly mention Ramey's blank, bland Leporello. I love Ramey's bass....in a suitable role; this isn't it and in any case, he outsings his boss. Rootering blusters ineffectually as the Commendatore; he's usually better but must have been disheartened by the perfunctory conducting and singing around him.

The women are much better and at least have a clean tone but Vaness's Donna Anna sounds as if Tosca or a verismo heroine has blundered into the wrong show; there's too much flap and vibrancy and no slim, steely line. Studer sang a much better Salome in the same year for Sinopoli just before entering on the period of decline in her soprano; she, like Vaness, is sometimes gusty and unsteady and Mentzer is simply miscast as Zerlina; the voice is too plummy, although pretty in itself, and she under-characterises the pert little miss. All the ladies, I must ungallantly remark, sound too old by 1990 (although Studer was only 45) and Muti's relentless pushing stresses them further.

Small wonder, then, that this recording rarely features in the recommended lists and that it is available at knock-down prices.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rubber Chickens Ahoy, 9 Dec 2013
By 
While Australia is well known trade-wise for its minerals and gas, our economy is also supported by a range of other industries, not least the manufacture and export of rubber chickens. It is a vibrant sector. I have visited the Dandenong Rubber Chicken Factory in person; it's quite an experience; Joe Dirt is now its foreman. Interestingly enough, much of the export market is in Europe. They're awarded to conductors of botched or mundane performances.

Over time, Muti has acquired as many rubber-chickens as Zubin Mehta or Roger Norrington: it's a rubber-chicken Armageddon. Erasing his Verdi (there is a presumption here on my part) and Scriabin would allow Riccardo to revert to the land as a poultry-farmer. Here is another occurence: his recording of Don Giovanni from 1991.

It has two semi-redemptive features: Cheryl Studer IS Donna Anna; the Vienna Philharmonic bets the house and stupendously so. Indeed, it is semi-tempting to over-rate this recording on the basis of its contribution. From an orchestral perspective alone, the Supper Scene is riveting.

As others have commented, it's a hard-driven, pacey account by Muti with little or no concession to the innate humour of the score. "Ah, del padre in periglio... Fuggi, crudele, fuggi!" is remarkably shallow. Blink and you'll miss the Chorus of the Peasants: that's how fast it is. "An Dov'è Il Perfido" is lacking in apotheosis - there is no sense of relief from the ensemble that the roto-rooter is finally dead. Sad to say, this recording features a Don Giovanni (William Shimell) who has a wobbly voice with no powers of characterisation whatsoever ("La ci clarem la mano" could almost feature in the first half of an advertisement for Viagra). Samuel Ramey channels Sarastro for all the buffoonery he displays; Carol Vaness and Suzanne Mentzer sound old and leathery (and yes, I know: the latter was young at the time - a Kathleen Battle she ain't); Frank Lopardo, plain of tone, barely makes it through Il Mio Tesoro. I would have bet good money that Rootering would deliver as the Commendatore: he too, sinks with the ship.

While there is the occasional misbalance (usually to the detriment of Lopardo), the recording is acceptable even if the Chorus of Demons is opaque.

Leave Muti to his rubber-chickens lest one comes your way.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality - popular price, 20 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Mozart: Don Giovanni (Audio CD)
The product was sent with commendable speed - It was reeived in good order. For a budget albumn it was excellent sound quality and very good performances
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