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Mozart: Così fan tutte / Mackerras Highlights
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1. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: Ouvertura 4:00/ 2. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 1: Terzetto: "La mia Dorabella capace non e" 1:50/ 3. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 4: Duetto: "Ah, guarda, sorella" 4:26/ 4. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 5: Aria: "Vorrei dir"/ 5. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 6: Quintetto: "Sento, oddio, che questo piede" 4:02/ 6. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 8: Coro: "Bella vita militar!" 1:34/ 7. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 9: Quintetto (con Coro): "Di scrivermi ogni giorno" 2:43/ 8. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 10: Terzettino: "Soave sia il vento" 2:51/ 9. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 11: Aria: "Smanie implacabili" 1:47/ 10. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 12: Aria: "In uomini, in soldati" 2:26/ 11. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 14: Aria: "Come scoglio immoto resta" 4:37/ 12. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 15: Aria: "Non siate ritrosi" 1:43/ 13. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 16: Terzetto: "E voi ridete"/ 14. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 17: Aria: "Un'aura amorosa" 4:26/ 15. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 19: Aria: "Una donna a quindici anni" 3:17/ 16. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 22: Quartetto: "La mano a me date" 2:40// 17. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 23: Duetto: "Il core vi dono, beli'idolo mio" 4:23 18. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 24: Aria: "Ah, lo veggio: quell'anima bella" 3:50/ 19. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 25: Rondo: "Per pieta, ben mio, perdona" 7:53/ 20. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 26: Aria: "Donne mie, la fate a tanti" 3:09/ 21. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 27: Cavatina: "Tradito, schernito" 2:09/ 22. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 28: Aria: "E amore un ladroncello" 3:02/ 23. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 29: Duetto: "Fra gli amplessi" 6:07/ 24. Mozart: Cosi fan tutte: N. 30: Aria: "Tutti accusan le donne" 1:03
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Gilles Cachemaille is amazing, a cynical Don Alfonso- good for a few laughs. He is not as refined as Walter Berry who is probably the best, but is a great Don Alfonso to compliment him. Dorabella's character is sung by Marie McLaughlin who has a knack of conveying Dorabella's emotional inflections. She is the best of the female singers here. Jerry Hadley is a great Ferrando who is able to get off a great 'Ah lo veggio'. Felicity Lott delivers a sublime 'Per pieta'.
Charles Mackerras really gets his tempos right throughout. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Edinburgh Chorus seem to be having waaaay too much fun for this opera-maybe that's why it sounds so good. They are the stars of the show.
At such a bargain price this is a real steal. It is worth more than it is listed for, no doubt. The Mackerras Cosi is the perfect compliment to Bohm and Karajan... More exciting than those in many respects.
If you are new to Cosi then know some of Mozart's most sublime music is contained within. Apoggiatura's are welcomed on this version of Cosi. These performers are having fun and it shows. This is a comedy afterall...
Leinsdorf’s Don Giovanni is superb. His Marriage of Figaro retains currency. Comparatively speaking, his Cosi is the weakest of the three but what a triumvirate they form!
At first listening, I found the tempo of the overture to be a little too fast for my taste, but after getting used to it a bit I grew to like it. This is as good a place as any to assert my oft-repeated theory that we tend to like what we were weaned on, and to reveal that my first Cosi was the 4-LP Angel set with Schwartzkopf, Ludwig, Kraus, Taddei, Berry, Steffek, and Bohm. So, faster than Bohm, but not too fast. This may also be why I found Hadley a little too sweet at first listening.
The sound quality is the best I've heard for any Cosi. On a good sound system, it has a slight raspiness around the voices in the baritone through tenor range, but I've noticed this problem on nearly every opera CD I own, including SACD. (The only exceptions are a few discs that use DGG's new 4D technology.) But here, Telarc puts the microphones in the right places, and the mixing, in terms of voice-orchestra and within-orchestra emphasis, is just as I want it to be. Kudos to the unnamed engineer and editor.
I tend to judge all opera recordings by how I feel about the overture and the opening aria or duet. In this case, it's the "La Mia Dorabella" which is right on target, with the punch needed to draw the listener in. In the particular case of Cosi, I also require a good "Bella Vita Militar" and a really emotional "Giusto Ciel" in the last act. This set delivers on all these counts and more (I once threw an LD set in the garbage for such failures). The one exception was that I found the "Stelle, un bacio?" by the girls near the end of the first act to be a little weak. Not that that was their fault; the mixing just wasn't quite right.
There is no libretto (there is a small booklet that gives some of the materials of a full booklet), which is a general downside of the transition from LP to CD, but you can download a nice one from Telarc's website, which has the Italian and English, in .pdf form, which you can then pull up and follow along on your computer whenever you're listening if you don't care to kill all the trees required to print it off.
Apparently, Telarc has published two issues of this set (not including the cheaper 1-disc highlights), whose discs are identical and which have almost identical cover art, but which have two different catalog numbers, and, incredibly, two different prices from vendors that carry both. The generally cheaper one is this one, 80728, which has a label in the upper right hand corner that just says "Telarc" as opposed to "Telarc Digital." Both are DDD, by the way. I established all this through a series of emails with Telarc.
If you're a Cosi fan, you owe it to yourself to get this one, if you don't already have it. You won't be disappointed.