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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of István Kertész's Mozart operas., 10 Jan 2014
This review is from: Mozart Opera Festival (Audio CD)
Recorded in the Sofiensaal, Vienna, October 1971, the Vienna Haydn Orchestra conducted by István Kertész, the great Jewish-Hungarian conductor who passed away prematurely in 1973.
Track listing -
1 Cosa Sento! Tosto Andate ( Le Nozze Di Figaro ( Tracks 1-5 ) )
2 Non Piu Andrai
3 Voi Che Sepete
4 Crudel! Perche Finora Farmi Languir Cosi?
5 Giunse Alfin Il Momento... Deh Vieni, Non Tard.ar
6 Konstance, Dich Widerzusehen, Dich! ... O Wie Angstlich , O Wie Feuig ( Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail ) ( Tracks 6-9 )
7 Vivat Baccuhs! Bacchus Lebe!
8 In Mohreland Gefangen War
9 O, Wie Will Ich Triumphieren
10 Der Vogelfanger Bin Ich Ja ( Die Zauberflote ) ( Tracks 10-12 )
11 Dies Bildnis Ist Bezauberns Schon
12 Bei Mannern Welche Liebe Fuhlen
13 Ruhe Sanft , Mein Holdes Leben ( Zaide )
14 Soave Sia Il Vento ( Cosi Fan Tutte ) ( Tracks 14-16 )
15 U 'aura Amorosa
16 II Cor Vi Dono
17 L'amero, Saro Contante ( II Re Pastore )
18 La Ci Darem La Mano ( Don Giovni ) ( Tracks 18-19 0
19 Finch'han Dal Vino ( Act 1 )
Lucia Popp (soprano) (1, 4, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18), Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo-soprano) (3, 14, 16), Werner Krenn (tenor) (1, 6, 7, 8, 11, 15), Tom Krause (baritone) (1, 2, 4, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19), Manfred Jungwirth (bass) (7, 9), Wiener Haydn-Orchester/István Kertész.

The singers were all recorded in their absolute prime, so was the conductor. This recent digital re-mastering from original vinyl LPs is immaculately done and captures the sound in pristine form.
Decca has really done all Mozart lovers a big treat by excavating this wonderful recording from its archives. The singing is consistently top-notch, and the conducting is even more ear catching. Baritone Tom Krause and soprano Lucia Popp got the lion's share in the tracks, and it is a generous collection from Mozart's most popular operas' most popular arias, a real `festival' in the collection itself. It is a treat to hear Fassbaender's Cherubino aria, and how Krenn approached the tenor arias, and certainly, Lucia Popp singing Mozart had always been an `event' in itself. The biggest difference of this recording from others is of course, as I said, István Kertész. Like fellow Hungarian conductor Fricsay, Kertész's early demise is a loss to the musical world that could not be measured. For apart from composers like Dvorak and Bartok, Kertész is also an outstanding Mozartian, as his Symphony No. 40 of 1972, his Curzon piano concerti, his Die Zauberflote et al fully demonstrated. Needless to say, both the orchestra and the singing are stylish and full of authenticity, something not so readily to be said about his famed Western contemporaries. This album is invaluable in that Kertész did not made it to record the main bulk of Mozart's major operas in his lifetime. Here, at least we catch a glimpse of his conception of those great works, sung by great singers in their prime.
A must own by Mozart lovers.
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