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Mozart: Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail / Solti, Venna State Opera Chorus, Vienna PO Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued, Soundtrack, Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued, March 9, 1987
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Used - very good condition

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The plot is silly: two European sopranos (Konstanze and her maid Blonde) have been kidnapped by pirates and sold to a Middle-Eastern potentate, Pasha Selim, who puts them in his harem and then waits docilely for Konstanze to fall in love with him. A tenor (Pedrillo) has also been enslaved and put to work as a handyman. Belmonte, Konstanze's lover, comes on the scene, determined to rescue the captives; he and Pedrillo give the overseer Osmin (bass) drugged wine, begin to escape, and are captured and scheduled for execution when the Pasha decides to let them go. Two hours of ado about nothing, except that it gave Mozart the occasion to write some of the finest music of his early maturity. Georg Solti and his all-star musicians give a dazzling performances. --Joe McLellan
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Digital Booklet: Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Digital Booklet: Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
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Product Details

  • Performer: Salzburg Vienna Philharmoniker, Daniela Wagner, Edita Gruberova, Gosta Winbergh, Johann Reinprecht, et al.
  • Orchestra: Georg Solti
  • Conductor: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Audio CD (March 9, 1987)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued, Soundtrack, Import
  • Label: Decca Import
  • ASIN: B0000041RT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,277 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a really great performance. Perhaps if Solti moved a touch faster in Konstanze's first two arias, this recording would have been even better. But hey, this is a nothing when Gruberova's singing as Konstanze is so astonishing!! You have to hear Gruberova to believe it. She spins out the super high sustained pianissimo effortlessly like nobody else can do!!! Her technical mastery of Konstanze's arias is acknowledged to be unsurpassed. She is no doubt a Queen of coloratura and you'll understand why when you hear this recording. Winbergh is wonderful as Belmonte, and with miraculous breath control in his arias. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard him sing. His breath control technique is just incredible. I half expected him to burst like a balloon but no, he just went on singing beautifully. Battles's bewitching Blonde is another star of this recording. Her control of the runs is superb. And she hits the high F at the end of the aria very very firmly. No doubt about it. She can do it. Her silvery voice is the perfect foil to Osmin. Talvela is hilarious and wonderful as Osmin,the eternally frustrated harem . He does the low-lying runs and trills wonderfully. You really feel his character - that his bark is wonderful. Zednik is wonderful as Pedrillo. He fits into this recording. The VPO is as usual, incredible. When you listen to the many recordings by VPO, you always wonder how one orchestra can produce so many types of sound. In this case, the VPO sounds distinctly Turkish (boy, how do they do it?). They show themselves as one of the great orchestras of the world.
Solti's conducting is terrific. He was far ahead of his time. When this recording was released, ill-humour British critics said his tempi were too fast.
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Format: Audio CD
The Abduction from Serail is a difficult opera to cast: firstly, there are two tenor-soprano couples thus the voices of the performers must differ. This becomes even more important in a recording when one does not see the singers in order to distinguish them; secondly, both sopranos sing stratospheric high notes so we need two superb coloraturas, one of which must have enough lyricism to sing a moving Kostanze. Finally, the part of Osmin is very important therefore a good baritone is also needed.
The great maestro Solti found the ideal artists and created an excellent recording of Mozart's beautiful opera. Gruberova is heard at her best here. Her Bellini and Donizetti roles pale in comparison to what she does as Kostanze. Touching, exciting, perfect! Winberg as her lover is moving and, when needed, heroic (though not as beautiful as the legendary Wunderlich). Battle is lovely and has no problems with Blonte's arias. Talvela remains one of the great Osmins on record.
Another advantage of this set is that the singers (and not other actors) perform the dialogues. Finally, the digital sound is certainly also a plus.
The earlier (1973) DG Bohm recording has an equally great cast but suffers from the "dialogue problem" (this does not prevent me from warmly recommending that recording as well). The recently recorded Christie recording is another great choice.
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Format: Audio CD
Edita Gruberova is in my opinion the greatest coloratura of all time. Every high note is flawlessly formed and although the low notes are at times a little tired, everything else is flawless. Especially remarkable is Gruberova's effortless pianissimo high notes. She builds them from a tiny pin-prick of sound all the way to fortissimo and then back to pianissimo with complete ease. This recording is worth buying simply to hear Gruberova's performance. Kathleen Battle is delightful, but I think there is better out there. Her technique is lacking and at times some strain enters into the voice. The Belmonte while fabulous in my opinion can't live up to the recordings I've heard of Wunderlich singing the role. I especially dislike this Belmontes pianissimo treatment of the high A in O wie Angstlich. Wunderlich also has more freedom and brilliance in his voice. That said, this recording despite it's flaws is still deserving of the 5 star rating simply from Gruberova's performance.
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I don't understand what The Penguin Guide has against this recording (they don't recommend it), because in my view it is the best recorded performance of this opera available today. Solti has an innate sense for Mozart and with the VPO he puts forth lots of beautiful sound. The soloists are almost beyond reproach. Anytime you can capture Gruberova singing Mozart it is a real treat, Battle is on form, as is Zednik. This is just fun to listen to repeatedly.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The music is five stars. But an opera is music and words. Both Decca and Amazon should realize this. There is no printed libretto. There is a way to get a libretto online, if you register with a username and password, and your date of birth. But really, there ought to be a printed booklet. Amazon ought to just say if there is a printed booklet. And if you happen to review an opera, you ought to say if there's a printed libretto included or not. If the record companies want to just put out recordings for those who know all the operas by heart, then forge ahead. But if you want to bring in new listeners, you must provide a printed libretto!
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