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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bargain buy of all Gardiner's excellent Mozart opera recordings
Bargain hunters will be delighted with this set featuring as it does, all Gardiner's Mozart Opera recordings for Archiv. It is attractively presented with CD's in cardboard sleeves. However there are NO libretti or essays and the booklet merely gives a brief synopsis of each opera. Even Gardiner's original reappraisal essays which came out with the original releases are...
Published on 26 July 2011 by JM Olmesdahl

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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I am tempted to buy it but probably will not
I am tempted to buy it but probably will not - for a very simple reason: the description omits which operas are there. I am sure the experts will easily recognize them by the names of the individual entries, but I am not one of them, so this set is probably not intended for me. I do not even have confidence it is whole operas rather than selected numbers, and if selected...
Published 17 months ago by Dr. Vadim N. Biktashev


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bargain buy of all Gardiner's excellent Mozart opera recordings, 26 July 2011
By 
JM Olmesdahl - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart Operas - Gardiner (Audio CD)
Bargain hunters will be delighted with this set featuring as it does, all Gardiner's Mozart Opera recordings for Archiv. It is attractively presented with CD's in cardboard sleeves. However there are NO libretti or essays and the booklet merely gives a brief synopsis of each opera. Even Gardiner's original reappraisal essays which came out with the original releases are not included! A pity that these were not included here. Also note that these are all LIVE RECORDINGS and so the odd shuffling and stomping sounds are to be expected. However the conducting brings such involvement that this is easily overlooked. There is some inconsistency in the editing out of applauses, for while five of the operas have had their applauses completely removed, they do remain, in Le Nozze di Figaro (at the end of each act) and in Cosi Fan Tutte (at the end of several arias and acts). This is particularly disconcerting in Cosi and mars the momentum of an otherwise phenomenal performance. Surely these too could have been edited out when the sets were first produced? Incidentally, these two operas are also available as DVD performances. Even with these few snags this set still represents phenomenal value and Gardiner's stylistic credentials in Mozart go without saying!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost insane not to buy this one if you don't have the original releases, 16 Aug 2011
This review is from: Mozart Operas - Gardiner (Audio CD)
I love Mozart and his late operas. There are many, many recordings of all of them, even of La Clemenza di Tito, readily available in separate releases these days. If you love them as I do, or if you have not heard them before, I cannot recommend any option more highly than this repackaging at an almost-embarassing-to-mention price of Gardiner's marvellous accounts. You will want to hear others if you like them, but of the versions I own or have heard (a lot!), I would unhesitating recommend these as an overall best buy, and as a single box they have no current competition I am aware of at the present time. I am not a stickler for period instruments, but I think where they are used, they lend a particular beauty to Mozart's work, especially in the balance of woodwind and string sonorities and this is very obvious throughout these performances. There are no libretti apparently (I have the individual releases where the booklets do include the words) but in Mozart's case this is far less of a problem than it might seem as you can no doubt find translations on the internet without too much bother!
Rene Jacobs' performances on Harmonia Mundi have received much praise, and are certainly enjoyable and fascinating. But they also have some irritating features, including overblown continuo playing, funny tempi where it really counts, and a sometimes rather thin string sonority that won't be to everyone's tastes (I do think his Zauberflote is more interesting than Gardiner's however, which has beautiful choral singing in particular, but is perhaps rather on the serious side....). Gardiner's singers are, by and large, more convincing too - the Don Giovanni is much, much better than the other period performance options and to my taste, the most exciting performance I've heard. Idomeneo is much better than Jacobs or, I'm sorry to say, Mackerras, and I think the Entfuhrung is more effective overall than the Christie recording. The Nozze di Figaro here is regarded by some as a bit serious, but I have to say a quick comparison recently of the first act in the Jacobs recording with this inclined me strongly to the Gardiner, in terms of orchestral sonority and vocal quality. There's some extraneous noise here as in Cosi, but you'll have to decide if it bothers you. It hasn't me. La Clemenza di Tito isn't so comprehensive in terms of how much recitative is included as Jacobs, but the tempi seem better to me and the singing is wonderful...
Frankly, even disregarding the compactness and price of this re-release, I don't think there is (currently) any better way of getting to know this, some of the most remarkable music for the stage anyone has ever written.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING VALUE, 29 Aug 2011
By 
Klingsor Tristan (Suffolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart Operas - Gardiner (Audio CD)
What an amazing bargain. 7 of the greatest operas ever written (well, four anyway plus three others of the very best) for less than 30 quid. That's just over 4 an opera or a mere 1.50 per disc. You'd be tempted to say that was incredible value regardless of the performances and the recordings. But these are all among the very best of recordings. Jegs has long proved himself as special a conductor of Mozart's music as of J.S.Bach and the earlier composers for which he is probably better known. His urgent, dramatic style in this music suits the operas admirably - perhaps even better than the symphonies. These are all live performances from the early 90s and the presence of an audience seems to bring out the best and the most dramatic in all the performers.

The singers are often very special, too. The late Anthony Rolf Johnson was in his absolute prime when these recordings were made. His Idomeneo is still the benchmark reading of the part and his Tito is not far behind. Anne Sofie von Otter gives highly musical and beautifully sung performances in both these operas, too. The list of great singing performances could go on and on with the likes of Bryn Terfel, Julia Varady, Christoph Pregardien and Gerald Finley standing out from a highly distinguished crowd. What is especially notable is how alive to the moment all the recitatives in these performances are - both from singers and from continuo players - a sure sign that the drama as well as the music is at the forefront of everyone's contribution.

Of course there are classic interpretations of these operas that will always hold a high place in the roster of greats - Giulini in Don Giovanni, Beecham in the Flute, Bohm or Busch in Cosi and son on. There are other distinguished period instrument performances, too, from the likes of Rene Jacobs. But, as an integral collection of these great, great operas, this Archiv set simply can't be bettered. And at this Limited Edition price it screams to be snapped up by any music-lover at the earliest opportunity.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain of the year?, 29 Jun 2011
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T. Mantripp (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart Operas - Gardiner (Audio CD)
All these recordings have been very well regarded since their original releases in the 1990's. Idomeneo and Die Entführung aus dem Serail especially bring these works to life like no other recordings I have ever heard.

At this price and with it being a limited edition it is a bit of a no brainer.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 20 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Mozart Operas - Gardiner (Audio CD)
There's not a lot you can say about this box set apart from, "Why haven't you bought it yet?"
I was lucky to see this production of Don Giovanni at the South Bank in 1994 and it remains to be the best performance I have ever seen - outstanding in every way.
I know the quality and intensity of the other recordings is superb too, so this is a must buy.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I am tempted to buy it but probably will not, 28 Feb 2013
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Dr. Vadim N. Biktashev (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mozart Operas - Gardiner (Audio CD)
I am tempted to buy it but probably will not - for a very simple reason: the description omits which operas are there. I am sure the experts will easily recognize them by the names of the individual entries, but I am not one of them, so this set is probably not intended for me. I do not even have confidence it is whole operas rather than selected numbers, and if selected then on what principles.
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Mozart Operas - Gardiner by John Eliot Gardiner (Audio CD - 2011)
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