Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

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MarkC
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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by MarkC » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:05 pm

Jared wrote:....please tell me which of Mozart's works below K300 would be your favourite, and if you can, tell us why.....
The "why" is hard, but the "which" is easy, although this is a 'controversial' work:
Plus it's only about 10 minutes prior to K. 300 anyway. :lol:

K. 297b, Sinfonia Concertante for Winds

Controversial, because there isn't clear agreement on whether it's really by Mozart or how much of the common version is by him. The current consensus (especially based on work by Robert Levin) seems to be that it is Mozart but that we don't have his own actual version of it and that the common version is a bit of a hack job, although perhaps partly on purpose to make it playable by not-so-great players.

Maybe indirectly that's part of the "why." When I first heard it, I think I sensed there was something ODD about it.

If I had to say what's my favorite Mozart from way before K. 300, I wouldn't know. So, perhaps, good point. But it still seems odd to say he's not even among the top 10 prodigy composers.

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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by Werner » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:17 pm

Very quickly, Jared, I can think of a truly great work, ther Piano Concerto No. 9, K271. It's close to your K300 "deadline," but meets your requirements. And it's no juvenile thing but a marvelous work. Among many available recordings, there are those by Rudolf Serkin, Ashkenazy, Perahia, Igir Kipnis (on harpsichord), and CMG's own Teresa Brandt in live performance.

I'm sure others will come up with many more examples; I noted in passing that Gieseking in his Mozart cycle included several minuets with low K numbers, 1, 4, 12, and 94. No claims of greatness there - but can the prodigy be denied?
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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:17 pm

Jared wrote:....please tell me which of Mozart's works below K300 would be your favourite, and if you can, tell us why.....
The Concerto for Flute and Harp squeaks in at K 299 or 297something.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by Jared » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:39 pm

Werner wrote:Very quickly, Jared, I can think of a truly great work, ther Piano Concerto No. 9, K271. It's close to your K300 "deadline," but meets your requirements. And it's no juvenile thing but a marvelous work. Among many available recordings, there are those by Rudolf Serkin, Ashkenazy, Perahia, Igir Kipnis (on harpsichord), and CMG's own Teresa Brandt in live performance.

Werner... thanks very much! I have heard No 9 mentioned as a very mature work, but hadn't thought of it in this context. As you will have seen, I started a thread on Mozart PC Box sets, as they are something I will be looking into later in the year. I will make a note.. :D

I'm sure others will come up with many more examples; I noted in passing that Gieseking in his Mozart cycle included several minuets with low K numbers, 1, 4, 12, and 94. No claims of greatness there - but can the prodigy be denied?

The BBC article didn't deny his composing prowess from an early age, merely placed him at No 11, when comparing the maturity of his work at certain ages, on a 'like for like' with others. Of course this was all highly subjective, and they certainly didn't deride Mozart in any way. If you are interested, Mendelssohn came out top.. :wink:

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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:42 pm

I'd add Symphonies 28, 29 & 31 - KV 200, 201 & 297, respectively.

Also violin concertos 3 - 5: KV 216, 218 & 219...
Image

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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by Jared » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:46 pm

Mark: thanks for the useful info... I have heard this piece, but don't have it in my collection.. :oops:

John: thanks for the vid clip... yes, of course; this is a lovely piece, which I own in the aforementioned Wind Concerti box set with the Orpheus CO on DG.

I think I'd also like to add a couple of my own, which I very much enjoy:

Violin Concerto No 5 K.219
Divertimento in B major K.254 (this I feel, is one of his finest early Divertimenti, as beautifully played by Pires, Dumay & Wang on DG).

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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by BWV 1080 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:13 am

anything that provokes such a violent reaction must have something going for it :)

for me:

the Mackaras / Brendel piano concerto recordings

pretty much everything on Phillips with Grumiaux

there are some great HIP recordings of some piano sonatas and the piano quartets with Bart van Oort on fortepiano

I scored the Best of the Complete Mozart Edition (a condensation of Phillips complete Mozart ed) on Ebay a few years back, and have felt little need to look elsewhere

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Mozart's best

Post by Heck148 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:02 pm

there are so many great Mozart performance, in so many genres of compositions, that it is difficult to begin...

for orchestral works, symphonies - I greatly admire the recordings by Reiner, Walter, Solti, and Szell.

Reiner is esp good - his last 3 symphonies are real classics, but perhaps best of all is his live #36 "Linz' released on the EMI GCOC 2-fer. his #35 'Haffner" with PittsSO is also really excellent. Reiner likes swift tempi, and minuets with plenty of bounce and lift...

Solti was also a superb Mozart conductor...the accusation that he drives too hard simply does not apply [it does for Toscanini/Mozart, at least IMO]. like Reiner, Solti takes a very vigorous, muscular approach - very clean textures and fine clarity.
I heard Solti/CSO perfrom 3s 39 and 41 live, and they were really thrilling...
I have recordings of his #25, #38 [best I've heard] and #39.

Walter takes a more laid-back - romantic approach, using big orchestra [NYPO] and smaller group [ColSO] - it's beautifully phrased and structured, with plenty of power as well.

Szell is more strait-laced than the others, but he also takes avigorous, muscular approach, and his orchestra sounds superb..very clear and precise, Szell doesn't lean into the melodies as much as Walter or Reiner might do, but the phrasing is exquisite nonetheless....

another great Mozart disc is the Reiner/CSO/NBC/1954-55 recording on Testament of Divertimenti -
EKNM , #17 K334 with CSO, #11, K.251 with NBC.
this is great Mozart playing!! vigorous allegros, rollicking minuets; the Rondo-allegros just explode with energy....

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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by Jared » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:59 pm

Heck148 wrote:for orchestral works, symphonies - I greatly admire the recordings by Reiner, Walter, Solti, and Szell.

I heard Solti/CSO perfrom 3s 39 and 41 live, and they were really thrilling...

Dave, have you heard the new Mackerras/ Scottish disks of Symphs 38-41? quite simply, they blew me away, both for the crispness of playing and the clarity of production (below). For someone who obviously loves their Mozart symphs, I think they are a must.. :wink: For my own part, I'd be intrigued to hear the Solti at some stage.. is the CSO the Chicago?

Image

another great Mozart disc is the Reiner/CSO/NBC/1954-55 recording on Testament of Divertimenti -
EKNM , #17 K334 with CSO, #11, K.251 with NBC.
this is great Mozart playing!! vigorous allegros, rollicking minuets; the Rondo-allegros just explode with energy....

I'm still not sure what to make of all of his 'divertimenti'; I own a couple of critically acclaimed CDs of his earlier, longer Div & Serenades for Winds, and I find them very hard to get engrossed in... they are a little like musical wallpaper (which I guess is how they were intended..) while I don't really enjoy EKNM or Serenata Notturna, simply through over-familiarity

Image

Image

I think its an area I will once again, have to explore more in the future.. :?

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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by Heck148 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:47 pm

Jared wrote: Dave, have you heard the new Mackerras/ Scottish disks of Symphs 38-41? quite simply, they blew me away, both for the crispness of playing and the clarity of production (below). For someone who obviously loves their Mozart symphs, I think they are a must.. :wink: For my own part, I'd be intrigued to hear the Solti at some stage.. is the CSO the Chicago?
The Soltis I have are with Chicago. He might have done some with VPO or LPO..

I have Mackerras/Prague CO/Telarc doing #31 and 34...it's good, but the recorded sounded is rather bloated and tubby. sounds a little close-miked, or something...good performances tho.
I'm still not sure what to make of all of his 'divertimenti'; I own a couple of critically acclaimed CDs of his earlier, longer Div & Serenades for Winds, and I find them very hard to get engrossed in... they are a little like musical wallpaper (which I guess is how they were intended..) while I don't really enjoy EKNM or Serenata Notturna, simply through over-familiarity
I don't care too much for EKNM - over-exposure, I guess. tho I love PDQ Bach[P Schickele] "Eine Kleine Nichtmusik" - totally hilarious!! :D

The wind divertimenti/serenades are really neat- tho I have to admit I prefer the #11 in Eb, #12 in cm to the more well-known #10 "Gran Partita" for 13 winds K.375

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your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:04 pm

In light of the disappearance of poor cps' first post and subsequent 150+ post thread, I'd like to try firing this up subject up again, as there was really a lot of useful information to be gleaned there. I find it very interesting to see everyone's varied preferences for different works and it was a splendid thread for a while there. I guess I'll start:

VCs with Grumiaux/Davis on Philips - I also love Oistrakh's versions, and Stern's
String quintets - Grumiaux Trio et al - Philips
Divertimento in E-Flat - Grumiaux Trio
String quartets - Alban Berg - Teldec
Piano Sonatas - Eschenbach - DG; Schiff - Decca
Sinfonia Concertante - Bohm/VPO Principals/VPO - DG; Szell/CO Principals/CO - Columbia
Concerto for 2 pianos - Bohm/Gilels/Gilels/VPO - DG; Casadesus/Casadesus/Ormandy/PO - Columbia
Piano Concertos - any recordings by Annie Fischer, Haskil, Casadesus, Curzon, Anda, Schiff or Serkin
Symphonies - Bohm, Szell, Klemperer, Fricsay, Walter, Kertesz, Kubelik, Mackerras, Davis, Reiner or Krips
C Minor Mass - Fricsay - DGG
Requiem - Davis/LSO - Philips (the early recording)

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by JackC » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:11 pm

One can't discuss the best Mozart without discussing the operas, and in particular, the Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and Figaro.

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:18 pm

JackC wrote:One can't discuss the best Mozart without discussing the operas, and in particular, the Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and Figaro.
I'm not a fan of opera, but others can certainly feel free to add their expertise.
Image

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by JackC » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:20 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote:
JackC wrote:One can't discuss the best Mozart without discussing the operas, and in particular, the Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and Figaro.
I'm not a fan of opera, but others can certainly feel free to add their expertise.
Check out those 3 and maybe you will be converted. I was.

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:32 pm

My main problem with opera is the recitativo. I find it unmusical. I have heard the Magic Flute, and I'll admit there are some absolutely incredible moments...I'm afraid it's just not my overall cup of tea.
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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Jared » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:39 pm

ContrapunctusIX wrote: I find it very interesting to see everyone's varied preferences for different works and it was a splendid thread for a while there.
you're right, there were some very interesting posts in the previous thread, but maybe it was a little 'broad'. I can imagine when Lance & the Chalkster see this thread, they could fill a post to kindgom come with Mozart recordings!

anyway, I'm off to bed now, but I'll look in tomorrow and see what people have written.. :idea: :D

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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:18 pm

The contributions to this thread were too good and too spontaneously enthusiastic and detailed to toss with the crap, so I've deleted the crap and restored the discussion to its track. I have merged the thread that tried to revive the subject with this one.
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:25 pm

Grazie, Contessa! :( :? :| :) :D :mrgreen:
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by cps » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:59 pm

Wow! I think I'm going to enjoy this board!

Thanks everyone for the input; I love seeing others' preferences, and since it seems like I'm relatively new to the 'scene', I'm excited to have so many recommendations. I generally only have one or two recordings of most things, save those works dear to me. It'll be nice to have a large pool of excellent suggestions to work from!

Thanks, also, to Corlyss, who saved this thread from certain doom! I really appreciate the effort, and it's great to see such a strong community led by moderators that really care about the subject at hand. Quite a rare site ( :lol: ) on the 'net!

Cheers!

C

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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:21 pm

^^^

Thanks, Chris. I'm relieved that you returned after such an unusual beginning.
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by HoustonDavid » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:46 pm

Stick with us Chris, Corlyss and Lance do outstanding work in spite of the rest of us. :D
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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:05 am

ContrapunctusIX wrote:My main problem with opera is the recitativo. I find it unmusical. I have heard the Magic Flute, and I'll admit there are some absolutely incredible moments...I'm afraid it's just not my overall cup of tea.
Then stay away from his Figaro... :mrgreen:
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Werner » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:11 am

Comps for a good and necessary cleanup job, Corlyss. This thread shows how many GOOD people we have here - no need for the chaff.
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Re: Your Best Mozart

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:21 am

Jared wrote: Dave, have you heard the new Mackerras/ Scottish disks of Symphs 38-41? quite simply, they blew me away, both for the crispness of playing and the clarity of production (below).

Image
I wholeheartedly agree about the Mackerras set. I'm not entirely sold on the way he handles the slow introduction of the 39th, but it's an otherwise fantastic set captured in exceptional sound.
Image

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Marc » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:51 am

Chalkperson wrote:
ContrapunctusIX wrote:My main problem with opera is the recitativo. I find it unmusical. I have heard the Magic Flute, and I'll admit there are some absolutely incredible moments...I'm afraid it's just not my overall cup of tea.
Then stay away from his Figaro... :mrgreen:
Figaro: really great secco recitatives! And accompagnato, too!
For me, first time listening to a Mozart opera was the Solti recording (1981), and I was immediately enchanted and addicted!

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:34 pm

Marc wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
ContrapunctusIX wrote:My main problem with opera is the recitativo. I find it unmusical. I have heard the Magic Flute, and I'll admit there are some absolutely incredible moments...I'm afraid it's just not my overall cup of tea.
Then stay away from his Figaro... :mrgreen:
Figaro: really great secco recitatives! And accompagnato, too!
For me, first time listening to a Mozart opera was the Solti recording (1981), and I was immediately enchanted and addicted!
That was the same version I was weaned on... :D
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by MarkC » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:07 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:.....I've deleted the crap.....
Count me among the many who like that.
(I mean what you did, not the crap.) :)

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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Jared » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:08 pm

MarkC wrote:Count me among the many who like that.
(I mean what you did, not the crap.) :)
although I'd just like to point out that at least one of my choice posts has gone begging! :shock:

:roll:

:lol:

anyway... I'm interested in CMG member's take on some of Mozart's earlier Choral works. Putting the Coronation, Great & Requiem Masses to one side for a moment, which of his earlier works strike a particular chord with you? And furthermore, which recordings of these works, would you admit to having a soft spot for? :D

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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Seán » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:13 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:The contributions to this thread were too good and too spontaneously enthusiastic and detailed to toss with the crap, so I've deleted the crap and restored the discussion to its track. I have merged the thread that tried to revive the subject with this one.
Well done Corlyss and thanks. :wink:
Seán

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Imperfect Pitch » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:04 am

Marc wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
ContrapunctusIX wrote:My main problem with opera is the recitativo. I find it unmusical. I have heard the Magic Flute, and I'll admit there are some absolutely incredible moments...I'm afraid it's just not my overall cup of tea.
Then stay away from his Figaro... :mrgreen:
Figaro: really great secco recitatives! And accompagnato, too!
For me, first time listening to a Mozart opera was the Solti recording (1981), and I was immediately enchanted and addicted!
Recitatives help tell the story, but they are of limited value if you don't speak the language - and I suspect even a few Italian speakers would concur. So, I put the arias into an iPod playlist sans recitatives. I also pick and choose the best tracks from two different Figaro recordings, Böhm and Giulini, to get the best of both worlds.


Jared wrote:I'm interested in CMG member's take on some of Mozart's earlier Choral works. Putting the Coronation, Great & Requiem Masses to one side for a moment, which of his earlier works strike a particular chord with you?
Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K. 339! (Depending on your definition of "earlier.") It enchants from first note to last, with some very agile and engaging orchestral writing. I like Pinnock's recording, which is coupled with the Coronation Mass and Exsultate, Jubilate (the latter of which does nothing for me).

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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:21 am

Jared wrote:Putting the Coronation, Great & Requiem Masses to one side for a moment

I was unaware that the Coronation was included in such illustrious company. If it is, I'm all for it. I love the work. My only copy of it is an old Nonesuch LP. I never hear the mass that it doesn't make me think of ironing. I so detested the task that I put on the mass while I did it.
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Jared » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:11 am

Corlyss_D wrote:I was unaware that the Coronation was included in such illustrious company. If it is, I'm all for it. I love the work. My only copy of it is an old Nonesuch LP. I never hear the mass that it doesn't make me think of ironing. I so detested the task that I put on the mass while I did it.
every time I listen to the Coronation mass from now on Corlyss, I shall think of you ironing.. :lol:

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Jared » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:15 am

Imperfect Pitch wrote:Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K. 339! (Depending on your definition of "earlier.") It enchants from first note to last, with some very agile and engaging orchestral writing. I like Pinnock's recording, which is coupled with the Coronation Mass and Exsultate, Jubilate (the latter of which does nothing for me).
yes Ted, Vsdc IS a beautiful work; I have that recording also. I think Exultate is a very early work of Mozart's, and whilst I could never say 'it does nothing for me'; by way of comparison, it is a mere trifle.. :wink:

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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by maestrob » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:14 pm

Absolutely in love with this recording of the Mozart Vespers w/ Kiri Te Kanewa: her debut on a major label:

Image

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Vesperae-s ... 112&sr=1-1

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Marc » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:17 pm

Imperfect Pitch wrote:
Marc wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
ContrapunctusIX wrote:My main problem with opera is the recitativo. I find it unmusical. I have heard the Magic Flute, and I'll admit there are some absolutely incredible moments...I'm afraid it's just not my overall cup of tea.
Then stay away from his Figaro... :mrgreen:
Figaro: really great secco recitatives! And accompagnato, too!
For me, first time listening to a Mozart opera was the Solti recording (1981), and I was immediately enchanted and addicted!
Recitatives help tell the story, but they are of limited value if you don't speak the language - and I suspect even a few Italian speakers would concur. So, I put the arias into an iPod playlist sans recitatives. I also pick and choose the best tracks from two different Figaro recordings, Böhm and Giulini, to get the best of both worlds.
But .... on my discs the arias et al are also sung in Italian!
Apart from that: when I first listened to Figaro, I had the libretto (a large one, came with a 3LP vinyl package) on my knees and read everything whilst listening. It was great fun! And after that, I went on with the other opera's. If you do this a couple (or more) times, at a certain point you know what they are singing about. So, no problem with listening to them here. I really think Mozart's recitatives are spendid! And, it helps you to learn a bit Italian, too! Mio cara Donna [censored] .... (et cetera). :D

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Re: your best Mozart...REDUX

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:11 pm

Marc wrote:when I first listened to Figaro, I had the libretto (a large one, came with a 3LP vinyl package) on my knees and read everything whilst listening. It was great fun! And after that, I went on with the other opera's. If you do this a couple (or more) times, at a certain point you know what they are singing about. So, no problem with listening to them here. I really think Mozart's recitatives are spendid! And, it helps you to learn a bit Italian, too! Mio cara Donna [censored] .... (et cetera). :D
Amen, brother! If the opera experience is worth having, it's worth the devotion of at least enough time to it that you know what's going on and who's doing what to whom. Reading the plot synopsis by the footlights or trying to watch with one eye on the surtitles and the other on the stage is no substitute.
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Re: Your Best Mozart [Edited and sanitized version]

Post by Jared » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:16 am

maestrob wrote:Absolutely in love with this recording of the Mozart Vespers w/ Kiri Te Kanewa: her debut on a major label:

Image

http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Vesperae-s ... 112&sr=1-1
I really must stop spending time on this website, mb.. people keep posting albums which intrigue me, to say the least... thanks for bringing this to my attention; this one really does have the potential to be a 'keeper' as Mel says.. :idea:

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