One of the giants of the historically informed performance world needs little introduction; nor indeed his sympathy to Mozart’s oeuvre as already demonstrated in recordings of the three da Ponte operas that have met with wide acclaim and many awards for their closely observed intimacy, their sense of fun and drama and their well-chosen casts, at one with Kuijken’s vision of these jewels of human and music drama.
"For the sisters of Ferrara, [Klemperer] had amply voiced singers very apt for his approach. Price and Minton were then in their early prime, with warm, sappy, peaches-and-cream tone, and ideally matching each other in timbre. Their duets show as much. Price's exemplary breath-control enables her to cope with the slow speeds adopted for Fiordiligi's arias and display that sovereign gift of hers for bold, long Mozartian phrases. Minton is hardly less remarkable in that respect. Alva's diction does make Muti's point (see July, page 36) that as soon as an Italian artist comes on the scene one hears the advantage of pointed, felicitous enunciation of the text; he also sings mellifluously and with character. By 1971, Evans was already an Alfonso rather than a Guglielmo, and for all his accomplishment in the latter role one wishes he was singing the former rather than the po-faced Hans Sotin. However, Lucia Popp's vivacious, smiling Despina manages to bring Sotin to life in their important exchanges." (Alan Blyth, Gramophone)
From fairy tale to great opera: With Die Zauberflöte Mozart made the step from simple Singspiel to a full-blown German opera, thus laying the foundations for an independent opera culture in the German language. The 1973 Electrola recording combines a truly legendary vocal ensemble, featuring first and foremost Edda Moser, whom many people still regard as the best Queen of the Night of all time, Walter Berry as a Papageno oozing Viennese charm, Anneliese Rothenberger as the enchanting Pamina and Peter Schreier as her loving Tamino.
In the 1830s, Schott publishers commissioned Johann Nepomuk Hummel to make arrangements of Mozart’s orchestral works for piano, flute, violin and cello to help facilitate performances in a domestic setting.
Daniel Barenboim looks indeterminate in age in the cover photo of this release and nothing else tells the buyer that these are historical performances, recorded in 1970 and never before release. One of them, the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488, is live; the other is an analog studio recording. Nothing in the booklet (in German, English, and French) explains how these recordings happened to languish in the vaults for four decades and then resurface. Yet none of this affects the product, which is very fine.