Customer Review

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite Figaro so far, 27 Jun 2005
This review is from: Mozart - Le Nozze Di Figaro (Bohm) [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I have three DVDs (Gardiner, Harnencourt and this Bohm) several CDs (including Gui, Davis) and I have seen many productions. This has long been my favourite production. I understand some people's irritation with Ponnelle's voice-over techniques, but they seem to me legitimate in a film. Hardly anywhere does the filming seem to interfere unnecessarily with the music. Savour this for its performances, particularly Fischer-Dieskau and Prey, Te Kanewa, Freni and show-stealing Ewing. If you have any doubts about the quality of the production watch Act II and see the way the sub-texts, highlighted in the music, are made comically evident. I admit the last act is something of an anti climax to the middle acts - but then perhaps it is in actuality. This production convinced me once again that Figaro is perhaps the greatest opera ever written. Perhaps not my favourite - that would perhaps be Cosi - but by far the most densely figured and socially perceptive of operas, certainly the most perfect marriage of music, theatre and narrative. I know it is often said that Da Ponte softened Beaumarchais' social comment. There's plenty in Mozart's and Da Ponte's work if more subtly featured. None is missed in this DVD.
I love the rich, dark Harnencourt Figaro and have fallen in love with Alison Hagley's Susanna (a lighter and more mercurial Susanna that the measured calm of Freni) in the Gardiner; but if you can only have one, then do not miss the Ponnelle. If you already have the video, as I had, rest assured the quality leap of the DVD is worth the expense.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jun 2014 11:49:10 BDT
This seems to be a review of a later Figaro with Bohm, not the 1966 Salzburg DVD with Grist, Watson Mathis etc and so seems to be in the wrong place: if so, check out the 66 DVD with Rennert's production. Well worth it.
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