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Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro -- 1966 Salzburg Festival/Bohm [DVD] [2006]

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ingvar Wixell, Claire Watson, Reri Grist, Walter Berry, David Thaw
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arthaus
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Sept. 2003
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C084O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,357 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Review

Another Salzburg classic with Karl Bohm at his fluent, crisply-phrased best, a lively Gunther Rennert staging, and a cast of already historic Mozart voices. Performance ***** Picture & Sound *** --BBC Music Magazine,Feb'12

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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I cannot rate this film of perhaps my favourite Mozart Opera highly enough. It has everything ... beauty, wit, charm and above all the depth of the passion is brought out through the beauty of the music so eloquently performed by the artists.

The only very slight criticism I have is that Susanna looks so similar to Cherubino!!! A very minor detail.

Please do choose this as your first option you really will not regret it.
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The received wisdom is that a 1966 Salzburg Festival production of Le Nozze di Figaro will surely be unbearably outdated and will contain wooden performances with little directorial intervention/invention. Think again. This production has THE perfect cast, both musically and visually. Claire Watson in the role of the Countess was one of the world's great sopranos, and was at the height of her powers here. 'Dove sono' had me on the verge of tears. Sadly, although she was 39 at the time of this recording, she had only a further 20 years to live. Reri Grist is thankfully still with us; she is a superb Susanna, beautiful, playful, seductive AND hits all the notes with exquisite ease. Walter Berry is the perfect foil, and a genuine comic turn. Ingvar Wixell is a truly villainous Count, dominating the stage with his furious outbursts, and Edith Mathis, playing Cherubino, is at once sexy and boyish. Karl Bohm's conducting is a revelation. I had always associated him with rather dour performances of Mozart symphonies but in this performance the rhythmic energy is palpable, making the 3 hours duration whiz past. I guess some may take issue with singers bowing to the audience after arias, but to me that just made it more charming. I rapidly adapted to the dated black and white imagery, and the sound is remarkably good for its age.
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The production is of historic interest, it is of course black and white (glorious monochrome) but it is superb example of how a production should be done. The staging and sets are perfectly appropriate, from Susanna and Figaro viewing their proposed accommodation, to the Countess bedroom, the hall with a raised reading gallery, to the garden with many bushes and hidey-holes , all are in tune with the act.
The music throughout is crisp and clear, and the picture quality what one would expect of the period.
Reri Grist is a role model for all would be Susannas, pert, dynamic and bursting with energy, and does some great twirling. Her light, clear soprano is also in tune with her character. Walter Berry, a strong but not forced baritone, makes a good job of presenting Figaro, quick thinking on his feet, but a pace behind Susanna on ingenuity
The Countess is admirably voiced by Claire Watson, she is a good crowd pleaser in her role which has a number of poignant arias. The bullying self opinionated Ingvar Wixell version of the Count is as good as any That I have seen and heard.
Edith Mathis as Cherubino is in good voice, but seems to take a while to warm up, she starts by being a bit too feminine, but it wears off as the plot continues. The other supporting roles are all adequately done.
The assortment of duets trios and combinations throughout are well balanced, and pleasing to the ear.
I would also mention some excellent costumes, the wardrobe should be complemented.
If your forte is stereo, full colour and crisp HD image this will not suit you, but it is opera at its best.
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I recently purchased this on Amazon and have been asked to comment on the DVD. Benjamin Britten once described “Le Nozze di Figaro” as “this miracle”: if any proof were still needed of that description’s truth, this performance provides it.
Some caveats: it’s b/w and mono – this didn’t bother me: the sound is good, as is the film quality. More problematic, the cuts - why are there any? The musical style is typical of the mid-60s and might seem a little dated to modern ears. And as the reviewer Bonzo has said, there is a constant taking of bows after arias, which (unlike him/her) I find very annoying (the cast is first rate and the applause extensive).
Sets and costumes are trad and attractive, but there is nothing “sugar and spice” about Rennert’s direction: without being “in-your-face” it deals with a specific (ie feudal) social situation in all its nastiness. The Count sees nothing inconsistent with wanting to bed his wife’s maid, while being pathologically jealous (plus ca change). The Countess, to win back her husband, needs Susanna’s help and does things which she finds demeaning and hurtful. Susanna needs all her wits to fend off the Count’s advances but her economic position depends on him; Figaro, who throughout needs to think on his feet, is also careful not cross class lines too obviously. It remains wonderfully funny, but it is also disturbing. There are lovely small touches showing the relationships between the various characters.
Claire Watson, a fine Ellen Orford and Sieglinde, is lovely as the Countess: I will just add to Bonzo’s comments that I have rarely been so convinced that the Countess was, a few years previously, Rosina, the clever young woman who outwitted Dr Bartolo and married the man she still loves.
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