Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Fri, 14 Jun 2024 19:01:50 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Der Stein der Weisen (The Philosopher's Stone) (1999) Der Stein der Weisen (The Philosopher's Stone) (1999)

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Disc: 1
  1. Overture
  2. Introduction: 'Ihr Madchen! Ihr Junglinge!'
  3. Dialogue
  4. Aria; 'Alle Wetter! O Ihr Gotter!'
  5. Dialogue
  6. Aria; 'So Ein Schones Weibchen'
  7. Dialogue
  8. Chorus And Solo; 'Welch Reizende Musik'
  9. Dialogue
  10. Duet; 'Tralleralara! Tralleralla!'
  11. Dialogue
  12. Recitativ; 'Das Wirst Du Nie'
  13. Dialogue
  14. Chorus And Solo; 'Seht Doch! Mit Gold'nem Geweih'
  15. Dialogue
  16. Aria; 'Ein Madchen, Die Von Liebe Heiss'
  17. Dialogue
  18. Recitative; 'Das Wirst Du Nie' - Aria: Welch Fremde Stimme Horte Ich?
  19. Finale; 'Wohin Nadine'
  20. 'O Leibster Vater'
  21. 'Seht Doch! Mit Gold'nem Geweih'
  22. 'Ihr Freunde, Ihr Madchen'
  23. 'Erhebet Eure Haupter'
  24. 'Wut Und Verzweiflung'
  25. 'Ich Muss Nadin E Eilig Nach'
  26. 'So Kommt Denn, Ohne Zu Verweilen'

Disc: 2
  1. Overture
  2. Chorus With Solo And Recitative: 'Ach, Astromonte
  3. Dialogue
  4. Aria; 'Den Madchen Trauet Nicht Zu Viel'
  5. Dialogue
  6. Marsch
  7. Dialogue
  8. Duet; 'Nun, Liebes Weibchen'
  9. Dialogue
  10. Aria; 'Nadir, Du siegst'
  11. Dialogue
  12. Aria; 'Ihr Gutigen Gotter'
  13. Dialogue
  14. Chorus; 'Astromont' Stirbt Durch Uns'
  15. Dialogue
  16. Arie; 'Die Lieb Ist Wohl Ein Narrisch Ding'
  17. Dialogue
  18. Aria; 'Mein Einziger, Liebster Nadir!'
  19. Dialogue
  20. Finale; 'Miau! Miau!'
  21. 'Fuhl Meine Macht'
  22. 'O Astromonte Hore Mich!'
  23. 'Jungling, Nadine Ist Tot'
  24. 'Fort, Armer Jungling'
  25. 'Du Schwarzer Teuful'
  26. 'Nadir, Ermord' Erst Diesen Hier'
  27. 'Nadir! Nadir, Der Sieg Ist Dein'
  28. 'Herr Astromonte, Wir Danken Euch'

Disc: 3
  1. Discussion on the opera Der Stein Der Weisen

Jane Giering-De Haan (Soprano)
Sharon Baker (Soprano)
Judith Lovat (Soprano)
Jane Giering-De Haan (Soprano)
Sharon Baker (Soprano)
Judith Lovat (Soprano)
Gail Abbey (Soprano)
Roberta Anderson (Soprano)
Sabrina Learman (Soprano)
Karyl Ryczek (Soprano)
Paul Austin Kelly (Tenor)
Kurt Streit (Tenor)
Christopher Trakas (Baritone) 
Alan Ewing (Bass)
Kevin Deas (Bass)

Boston Baroque (Orchestra)
Martin Pearlman (Conductor)


What this is not is a previously unknown opera by Mozart; what it is, is a sheer delight, a pastiche by several composers, including Mozart, performed in 1790 at the same theatre and by the same company that, in the following year, presented Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. In fact, Mozart's contribution to The Philospher's Stone is limited to about five minutes of music, but his spirit pervades. This premiere recording includes a bonus CD with a discussion of the piece as well as musical illustrations. Textually, almost every character in Magic Flute has a parallel in this work: Papageno and Papagena are here Lubano and Lubanara, for example, and musically they are eerily alike as well. The world is one of fairy tale and alchemy. It never plumbs the depths of Mozart's late works, but there's joyously good music to latch onto nonetheless. The entire cast is good, with special kudos going to Paul Austin Kelly, who sings tenor music that is difficult enough and chock full of coloratura to match the Queen of the Night's acrobatics. If the entire score is without extra-special brilliance, at least what we get is top-level, very-late-18th-century generic music--sort of like Salieri and company mixed with Mozart. And this definitive performance, on period instruments led by Martin Pearlman, will please everyone. Mozart, not quite; necessary, absolutely. ---Robert Levine, Editorial Reviews


Some readers of Gramophone will no doubt remember, in 1997, the publicity surrounding the discovery of ‘new’ music by Mozart. It was then that David Buch, an American musicologist from Iowa, working on the scores in Hamburg that the Russians had purloined after the war and belatedly returned, stumbled on the words ‘von Mozart’ in the score of the compositely-written fairy-tale opera, Der Stein der Weisen (‘The philosophers’ stone). It has long been known that Mozart contributed music to this Singspiel, which was put on by Emanuel Schikaneder and his company in September 1790, just a year before Die Zauberflote, but it was generally presumed to be restricted to a single number, the duet ‘Nun, liebes Weibchen’ (K625/K592a). Dr Buch, however, found that Mozart’s name appears three times in the Hamburg score (which originated from Vienna), on this duet and on two sections of the Act 2 finale; other numbers are attributed to Johann Baptist Henneberg, a conductor in the company (ten pieces in all), to Benedikt Schack, the original Tamino (five pieces) to Franz Xaver Gerl, the original Sarastro (four pieces), and to Schikaneder himself (two pieces); several numbers are unattributed.

Listeners can amuse themselves guessing whether Mozart composed any further pieces, and also how far his contributions to the finale extended (they are followed by unattributed sections). My own guess would be that he did little beyond what is attributed, although there is certainly one passage in the finale that I am sure he wouldn’t have been embarrassed to own up to, including a brief but solemn and elevated choral number. We can be reasonably certain, I think, that the three attributions are correct: the one previously known is corroborated by an autograph in a Paris library and the other two have a Mozartian ring, even though the opening of the finale is to the words ‘Miau! Miau!’ (one of the characters has been turned into a cat). There is an assurance about them that most of the other numbers lack, and also some typical touches in the scoring. The Schikaneder company, however, were a very talented crew, and the music in the rest of the work is at worst competently written: there are some stormy, menacing pieces for the villainous god, Eutifronte, noble and exalted ones for the beneficient one, Astromonte, comic numbers for the men and pretty ones for the women, if rather too many in a jolly 6/8 meter, all in the vein that we know from Die Zauberflote, of which there are many pre-echoes. One can point to specific resemblances, as Martin Pearlman does in his talk on the extra CD here, but these aren’t particularly significant – what is interesting is that Mozart, a year later, with a libretto not so very much superior to the one here, was able to transmute the company’s newly established musical style into something capable of touching new depths and new areas of human feeling.

This recording is made by the artists who gave the work’s first modern performances, which I heard in Boston last autumn. Pearlman directs it with a firm hand, and does well to let us hear the orchestral detail so clearly. He draws sure singing from the choir. I can, however, imagine a more animated, more sharply characterized reading. Outstanding among the singers are Kurt Streit, strong and full-toned in Astromonte’s music, and Alan Ewing, a characterful bass who sings the evil Eutifronte with plenty of spirit. Kevin Deas shows a ripe voice in the Schikaneder, Papageno-ish role of Lubano; Paul Austin Kelly does well in most of Nadir’s music but is understandably strained by the very demanding display aria in Act 2, full of rapid music and going up to a top D. I enjoyed the contributions of Sharon Baker, whose glowing voice serves well for the Genie, and there is singing of charm from the two country girls. Nadine and Lubanara (even when feline), taken respectively by Judith Lovat and Jane Giering-De Haan. Mozartians will certainly want to hear this set, partly for the ‘new’ pieces, partly for the fascinating context it provides for Die Zauberflote. If they want to follow the libretto printed in the booklet, they will need a magnifying glass.' ---Stanley Sadie,

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Thu, 21 Feb 2019 13:35:01 +0000
Lang Lang - The Mozart Album (2014) Lang Lang - The Mozart Album (2014)

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Piano Concerto No. 24 In C Minor K 491
    Cadenza – Lang Lang, Lili Kraus

A1 	I. Allegro 	
A2 	II. Larghetto 	
A3 	III. Allegretto 	

Piano Concerto No. 17 In G Minor K 453
    Cadenza – W. A. Mozart

B1 	I. Allegro 	
B2 	II. Andante 	
B3 	III. Allegretto - Presto 	

Piano Sonata No. 5 In G Major K 283 (198h) 	
C1 	I. Allegro 	
C2 	II. Andante 	
C3 	III. Presto 	

Piano Sonata No. 4 In E-Flat Major K 282 (198g) 	
C4 	I. Adagio 	
C5 	II. Menuetto I - II 	
C6 	Allegretto 	

Piano Sonata No. 8 In A Minor K 310 (300d) 	
D1 	I. Allegro Maestoso 	
D2 	II. Andante Cantabile Con Espressivo 	
D3 	III. Presto 	

D4 	March No. 1 K 408 	
D5 	Konzertstück In F Major K 33b 	
D6 	Allegro For Piano In F Major K 1c 	
	Piano Sonaata N0. 11 In A Major K 331 	
D7 	III. Rondo Alla Turca - Allegretto ("Turkish March")

Lang Lang – piano
Wiener Philharmoniker
Nikolaus Harnoncourt – conductor


For this all-Mozart twofer from Sony, piano virtuoso Lang Lang, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and the Vienna Philharmonic present a program of piano concertos, piano sonatas, and several short solo pieces that give a good sampling of the composer's keyboard output. The roster may provoke some cognitive dissonance, though, because Harnoncourt is best known for historically informed period interpretations of Mozart, while Lang Lang and the Vienna Philharmonic are more associated with a conventional, mainstream performance style. One might expect some compromise between the two camps, yet while the orchestra incorporates some aspects of Classical sound into its playing, it remains a modern orchestra of full size, and Harnoncourt doesn't ask for the tone colors and techniques he would demand of his own Concentus Musicus Wien. For the soloist's part, Lang Lang is rather restrained and sensitive to the character of the music, and apart from some showiness in his cadenzas, he shows less of the ebullience and bravura playing he otherwise shows in Liszt or Rachmaninov. The section of the program devoted to solo piano works is less of a stylistic challenge, but Lang Lang's mannered playing is a matter of taste, and listeners who like a fairly Romantic interpretation will like his approach. Others, however, will already know Lang Lang's readings are not historically informed performances and avoid them. ---Blair Sanderson, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:03:56 +0000
Mozart - Complete Violin Concertos & Sinfonia concertante (2015) Mozart - Complete Violin Concertos & Sinfonia concertante (2015)

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Disc 1 (01:07:31)
1. Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218: I. Allegro (8:39)
2. Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218: II. Andante cantabile (6:28)
3. Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218: III. Rondeau. Andante grazioso - Allegro ma non troppo (7:20)
4. Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 207: I. Allegro moderato (6:56)
5. Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 207: II. Adagio (7:51)
6. Violin Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Major, K. 207: III. Presto (5:45)
7. Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216: I. Allegro (9:38)
8. Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216: II. Adagio (8:19)
9. Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216: III. Rondeau. Allegro (6:35)

Disc 2 (01:19:20)
1. Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219: I. Allegro aperto (9:37)
2. Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219: II. Adagio (9:37)
3. Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219: III. Rondeau. Tempo di menuetto (8:35)
4. Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major, K. 211: I. Allegro moderato (9:27)
5. Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major, K. 211: II. Andante (7:11)
6. Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major, K. 211: III. Rondeau. Allegro (4:23)
7. Sinfonia concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 364: I. Allegro maestoso (13:12)
8. Sinfonia concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 364: II. Andante semplice (10:49)
9. Sinfonia concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 364: III. Presto (6:29)

Rachel Barton Pine - violin
Matthew Lipman - viola
Sir Neville Marriner & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields


Poise and Precision. Two simple words to strike fear into the hearts of most professional violinists and the same two words that embody the five Mozart Violin Concertos. Fear because these are the standard works almost always required at orchestral auditions; lucky the player who has not had at least one Mozart disaster in front of a demanding panel. The simple reason they appear on every list of audition works is not just that they are the epitome of the Classical period violin concerto but also because they require a superbly refined technique and perfect control to be performed successfully.

All of these qualities the superb violinist Rachel Barton Pine possesses in abundance. This is a delightful set, beautifully performed and presented and supported by typically high quality production from producer Andrew Keener and engineer Simon Eadon. Remarkably conductor Sir Neville Marriner was in his ninetieth year when this recording was made. I was struck quite forcefully while listening to the set how its performance and production values hark back to the early years of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields from their first recordings in the early 1960s. For many years their recordings set a gold standard for pre-Romantic repertoire. To buy their LPs was a guarantee of superb musicianship, technical virtuosity, appropriate choice of tempi and 'scale' backed up by state-of-the-art recordings. No surprise that the technical and virtuosic side of things remains intact in the Academy of 2013 vintage but Marriner's vigour on the stick and the palpable joy in the music-making are things of wonder.

Central to all of this is the quality of Pine's violin playing. It strikes me that she is a very kindred spirit to Marriner. She plays with exactly the kind of lyrical alertness the music requires. These are performances on modern instruments at modern pitch. No contemporary player could play these works today without a degree of awareness of historically informed performance practice but what I particularly like about Pine's approach is its unfussy simplicity and directness. Maynard Solomon in his biography 'Mozart - A Life' makes the point that these works come from a period in Mozart's life when he was writing Serenades for instant consumption by the Viennese public. Allied to that they fulfilled his own professional need for display works for his famed tours of the Courts of Europe during which he was known as much for his performing virtuosity on keyboard and violin as being a genius composer. The 'legacy' of the Serenade form is that these works have a song-like lyrical quality wholly suited to the violin as well as not being constricted by traditional formal/structural considerations. H. C. Robbins-Landon wrote of "melody ... piled on melody ... new ideas succeed each other in blissful insouciance of each other and of any strict formal pattern." One last piece of evidence for the extended pastoral idyll embodied by these works is the fact that the opening of the G major concerto is no less than a reworking of an aria from his serenade-opera Il rè pastore. I suppose the one sorrow in all of this is that the five concertos are bunched together in this relatively early period of Mozart's compositional career. He never returned to the genre at the height of his composing genius. For evidence of that listen no further than the Sinfonia Concertante which is included here.

As mentioned, Pine and Marriner make a wise virtue out this direct and almost artless music. Mozart wrote the third-fifth concertos in 1775 when he was nineteen. The concerto numbered No.1 was probably written two years earlier with the nominal No.2 also pre-dating 1775. Certainly 3-5 are the best known and most often played. Pine opens the first disc with No.4 in D K.218. The form of all five concertos is the same; a sonata-form first movement with a double exposition - the orchestra introduce the themes before the soloist plays them all over again, with a cadenza just at the end of the development. The central slow movement is song-like in a contrasting key and the finale - in four of the concertos - is a Rondo. From the very opening, all the virtues of the playing on this set are apparent. There's alert and articulate playing from what sounds like a fairly small string body. The recording is quite close which allows all of the detail of Mozart's energetic inner part writing to register to maximum effect. The balance between the orchestral strings and the woodwind is ideal. Likewise Pine's violin is clearly placed in front of the larger group but not unrealistically so. I really like how Pine's phrasing is subtly discreet. There is always a terrible temptation to over-point the phrases in Mozart - a lemming-like need to 'prove' to your audience that you are really playing it. This can help cover up some of the technical shortcomings but since those failings do not apply here we are left to enjoy the pristine beauty of Mozart's writing.

This is not to say that these are faceless or anonymous interpretations. Pine brings an important element of herself to the music by providing all of the cadenzas in the concertos. These range from extended showpiece displays to little cadential ornamentations at the end of phrases. In compositional terms Pine is extremely successful at revisiting the thematic material of the movement in hand and treating it in a more overtly virtuosic manner. No doubt some will feel the consciously larger 'scale' of these cadenzas combined with a significantly higher technical demand is neither true to the original music nor appropriate. I take a completely different view: such cadenzas allow the soloist to bring the music into the present and reflect contemporary violin technique thereby making the music part of today.

Rather to my surprise I found myself enjoying the first two concertos here as much as the better known later three. The playing of the Academy oboes and horns is a particular delight - it's that 'poised' word again - but balanced against the bubbling energy of Mozart's contrapuntal writing. The recording is consistently excellent at capturing the bustlingly dynamic string parts which the Academy members play with exceptional alertness. The Fifth Concerto opens the second disc and is, in many ways, the hardest of the set to bring off. Not because it is significantly more technically demanding than the other four but because of the kaleidoscope of musical moods that Mozart writes within each movement. The problem for the soloist is to cohere these potentially disparate sections. So after the 'predictable' Allegro orchestral opening the soloist, instead of repeating the material counters with a soulful adagio. Interestingly Pine pares back her vibrato here, giving the music a rather sombre and bleak character so that when she does return to the opening allegro material - albeit with a variant - the contrast to joyous sunlight and a sense of release is underlined. I like Pine's description of this passage in her own well-written liner as "an operatic dialogue between two characters, at times flirtatious, sentimental, anxious and even angry."

Throughout the set dynamics are very well contrasted with phrases echoed to maximum effect. The influence of period practice is more evident in the central Adagio. Here the Academy strings are again quite sparing in their use of vibrato over which Pine floats her part with artless lyricism. As throughout the set, Marriner is masterful at finding a tempo which allows the music to sing but not stagnate. The inner pulse gently keeps the music moving forward. The finale is again notable for the numerous varied sections including a well-known example of Mozart's 'alla Turca' music. I am not sure I have heard these sections played with such fire. There is a theatrical energy to the accompaniment and Pine imparts a gypsy dynamism which is in striking contrast to the earlier ethereal adagio. This well-demonstrated skill is again to make a cohesive whole of these sections. I found myself thinking that Pine's operatic analogy quoted above applies very well here too. Even within a single music line she creates a dialogue between a 'soprano' line and an answering 'bass' phrase. This is the most interventionist performance in the set and one that I could imagine some finding too extreme. To my ear it breathes new life into music that can sometimes be allowed to become too rarefied.

The set closes with the undisputed masterpiece of Mozart's string concertos - the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola K.364. To quote Maynard Solomon again; "with Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante of 1779 there is a shift toward quite unexpected conceptions of beauty which now embody a sense of restlessness and instability, and even of the dangerous or uncanny." On every level this represents an extraordinary degree of progression in just four years' life. Marriner encourages his players to even greater heights of expressive intensity. I wondered if an extra desk or two of strings were added - if not the existing players quite deliberately bring an extra weight of tone which is wholly appropriate. Pine is joined by Matthew Lipman in his first recording. Enormous credit to him that he proves to be such an equal partner. This is a thrilling and moving performance of a great work - the undoubted highlight of an already impressive set. Again, I love the way the performance is supported by the production to allow the genius of Mozart's inner part writing to register. The capricious interplay of the soloists is a joy to hear. Sometimes I worry that classical music has this image of serious-faced musicians playing "great" music in a rather sober and stilted way. Just hearing this performance you know with absolute certainty that there was real delight and pleasure in the studio the day they recorded this. It bursts from the speakers in the most life-affirming way. Playing music this well is fun as well as being profoundly moving.

The central Andante is a sublimely melancholy song-duet. Again pacing is perfection with the bass line gently urging the music forward. It is quite possible to invent one's own narrative for the dialogue between the two instruments: the violin questioning, the viola reassuring before they join in one of those heart-stopping intertwining passages that reinforces the notion that so much of Mozart's greatest music is vocal in character. The closing Presto throws off the doubts and preoccupations of the preceding movements and brings the entire set to an uplifting close. The two instruments are exceptionally well-matched. Pine's Guarneri 'del Gesu' to Lipman's Goffriller. Lipman's viola has a lighter tone than some which allows him to match Pine's quicksilver brilliance to great effect. The cadenzas are those composed by Mozart.

As briefly mentioned, Pine contributes the insightful and interesting liner-note which is printed in the standard tri-lingual English, German and French. Production values are exceptionally high. Keener and Eadon have caught the orchestra quite superbly with the balance between acoustic warmth, tonal weight and inner detail as near to ideal as makes little difference. I have nothing but praise for all of the artists involved. This is another major addition to Pine's impressive discography. That said, it would be hard to finish this review without once more celebrating the remarkable achievement of Sir Neville Marriner and his trusty Academy in producing yet another recording that is as revelatory as it is a joy to hear. ---Nick Barnard,

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Fri, 30 Oct 2015 16:59:47 +0000
Mozart - Davide penitente KV469 (Marriner) [1987] Mozart - Davide penitente KV469 (Marriner) [1987]

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1. Coro: Alzai le flebili voci al Signor 	4:51 	
2. Coro: Cantiam le glorie 	1:59 	
3. Aria: Lungi le cure ingrate 	4:39 	
4. Coro: Sii pur sempre benigno, oh Dio 	1:09 	
5. Duetto: Sorgi, o Signore 	2:49 	
6. Aria: A te, fra tanti affanni 	6:28 	
7. Coro: Se vuoi, puniscimi 	6:03 	
8. Aria: Tra l'oscure 	6:36 	
9. Terzetto: Tutte le mie 	3:18 	
10. Coro: Chi in Dio sol	4:39

Margaret Marshall, soprano 
Iris Vermillion, mezzo-soprano 
Hans-Peter Blochwitz, tenor 
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart 
Neville Marriner, conductor.


Anyone who loves Mozart's Mass in C minor, K. 427, will love his Davidde Penitente Cantata, K. 469, because eight of the ten numbers in the cantata are taken note for note from the opening two movements of the mass, but set to an Italian text on the subject of the Biblical King David. And for the two newly composed numbers, Mozart wrote splendid arias for two of his favorite singers, giving the audience added value at no extra charge. ---James Leonard, Rovi


In 1785, at the height of his career in Vienna, Mozart was commissioned by the Viennese Society of Musicians to write a work for a Lenten benefit concert. Short of time, he recycled the Kyrie and Gloria from his earlier unfinished Mass in C Minor to form part of the oratorio Davide penitente. Drawing upon the psalms of David, both penitential and joyful, this is a work of great beauty, notable for its memorable choruses, exquisite writing for the woodwind and, in particular, the two new solo arias, A te, fra tanti affanni (In you, amid such tribulation) and Tra l’oscure ombre funeste (Amid the dark grievous shadows), both of which begin with a long expressive opening followed by a virtuoso second section.

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Thu, 07 Aug 2014 22:19:29 +0000
Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (Östman) [1994] Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (Östman) [1994]

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Disc 1
1. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Ouverture
2. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Act Two: Zu Hilfe! Zu Hilfe!
3. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja
4. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schon
5. Die Zauberflote: Act One: O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn!
6. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Hm! hm! hm!
7. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Du feines Taubchen, nur herein!
8. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen
9. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Zum Ziele fuhrt dich diese Bahn
10. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Die Weisheitslehre dieser Knaben
11. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Wo willst du, kuhner Fremdling, hin?
12. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton
13. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Schnelle fusse, rascher Mut
14. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Es lebe Sarastro! Sarastro soll leben
15. Die Zauberflote: Act One: Herr, ich bin zwar Verbrecherin
16. Die Zauberflote: Act Two: Marsch der Priester
17. Die Zauberflote: Act Two: O Isis und Osiris

Disc 2
1. Act Two: Eine schreckliche Nacht!
2. Act Two: Bewahret euch vor Weibertücken
3. Act Two: Wie? Wie? Wie?
4. Act Two: Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden
5. Act Two: Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen
6. Act Two: In diesen heil'gen Hallen
7. Act Two: Seid uns zum zweitenmal wilkommen
8. Act Two: Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verchwunden
9. Act Two: O Isis und Osiris, welche Wonne!
10. Act Two: Soll ich dich, Teurer, nicht mehr sehn?
11. Act Two: Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen
12. Act Two: Bald prangt, den Morgen zu verkünden
13. Act Two: Du also bist Bräutigam?
14. Act Two: Der, welcher wandert diese Straße
15. Act Two: Tamino mein! O welch in Glück!
16. Act Two: Wir wandelten durch Feuesgluten
17. Act Two: Papagena! Papagena! Papagena!
18. Act Two: Pa-Pa-Pa
19. Act Two: Nur stille, stille, stille
20. Act Two: Die Strahlen der Sonne

Sarastro - Kristinn Sigmundsson
Tamino - Kurt Streit
Konigin der Nacht - Sumi Jo
Pamina - Barbara Bonney
Erste Dame - Ruth Ziesak
Zweite Dame - Iris Vermillion
Dritte Dame - Pia Hansen
Papagena - Lillian Watson
Papageno - Gilles Cachemaille
Monostatos - Martin Petzold

Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra & Chorus
Arnold Östman,1992


There's magic in these musical hills, as conductor Kurt Östman leads an exemplary performance of Die Zauberflöte on original instruments.Sumi Jo's breathtaking Queen of the Night is the queen of intonation, while Barbara Bonny's Pamina is a phrasing angel, from her pianissimo B flats to her gentle, yet heartfelt, "Ach ich fühl's." Singing as comfortably as a folk singer, Kurt Streit's lyrical, yet dramatic, Tamino is manly and heroic. Gilles Cachemaille is an appropriately charming Papageno, and all supporting performances are stellar. This crystal-clear interpretation must be as close to perfection as Mozart probably dreamed. A true treasure. --Barbara Eisner Bayer,


Everything went well in this superb recording from Sweden: the casting, the playing and the conducting. Arnold Östman is an expert XVIII Century opera conductor and a natural mozartean. He sees the Magic Flute with the wondrous eyes of a child, and his reading is not unlike Ferenc Fricsay's old mono recording in DG, save for the period instruments. And using the orchestral forces Mozart would have known, he achieves admirable transparency and ideal balance with voices, you will not miss the Vienna or the Berlin Philharmonics. His cast is mostly excellent, especially the radiant Pamina of Barbara Bonney and the stylish Tamino of Kurt Streit. Gilles Cachemaille is an amiable Papageno and Sumi Jo delivers the expected goods in the Queen of the Night arias. Among the period instrument versions, I place this recording above William Christie's (ERATO) and Roger Norrington's (EMI). Of course you may not want to be without Fritz Wunderlich's Tamino or Kurt Moll's Sarastro, but this recording will probably give you the best idea of what was heard in Schikaneder's theater in Vienna: the most magic of Magic Flutes ---J. Luis Juarez Echenique,

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Sun, 05 Apr 2015 15:12:53 +0000
Mozart - Don Giovanni (Verona 2015) Mozart - Don Giovanni (Verona 2015)

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1. Act I
2. Act II

Don Giovanni - Carlos Álvarez
Il Commendatore - Rafal Siwek
Leporello - Alex Esposito
Donna Anna - Irina Lungu
Donna Elvira - Maria José Siri
Zerlina - Natalia Roman
Don Ottavio - Saimir Pirgu
Masetto - Christian Senn

Orchestra, Coro e Corpo di ballo e Tecnici dell’Arena di Verona
Stefano Montanari – conductor

Recorded live at Arena di Verona, July 04, 2015.

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Tue, 10 Nov 2015 17:14:30 +0000
Mozart - Don Giovanni (Wien 2014) Mozart - Don Giovanni (Wien 2014)

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1. Act I
2. Act II

Andrè Schuen - Don Giovanni
Mika Kares - Il Commendatore I Masetto
Christine Schäfer - Donna Anna
Mauro Peter - Don Ottavio
Maite Beaumont - Donna Elvira
Ruben Drole - Leporello
Mari Eriksmoen - Zerlina
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Concentus Musicus Wien
Nikolaus Harnoncourt – conductor

17. and 19. March, Vienna Theatre


ACT I: Seville, 1600s. At night, outside the Commendatore´s palace, Leporello grumbles about his duties as servant to Don Giovanni, a dissolute nobleman. Soon the masked Don appears, pursued by Donna Anna, the Commendatore´s daughter, whom he has tried to seduce. When the Commendatore himself answers Anna´s cries, he is killed in a duel by Giovanni, who escapes. Anna now returns with her fiancé, Don Ottavio. Finding her father dead, she makes Ottavio swear vengeance on the assassin.

At dawn, Giovanni flirts with a high-strung traveler outside a tavern. She turns out to be Donna Elvira, a woman he once seduced in Burgos, who is on his trail. Giovanni escapes while Leporello distracts Elvira by reciting his master´s long catalog of conquests. Peasants arrive, celebrating the nuptials of their friends Zerlina and Masetto; when Giovanni joins in, he pursues the bride, angering the groom, who is removed by Leporello. Alone with Zerlina, the Don applies his charm, but Elvira interrupts and protectively whisks the girl away. When Elvira returns to denounce him as a seducer, Giovanni is stymied further while greeting Anna, now in mourning, and Ottavio. Declaring Elvira mad, he leads her off. Anna, having recognized his voice, realizes Giovanni was her attacker.

Dressing for the wedding feast he has planned for the peasants, Giovanni exuberantly downs champagne.

Outside the palace, Zerlina begs Masetto to forgive her apparent infidelity. Masetto hides when the Don appears, emerging from the shadows as Giovanni corners Zerlina. The three enter the palace together. Elvira, Anna and Ottavio arrive in dominoes and masks and are invited to the feast by Leporello.

During the festivities, Leporello entices Masetto into the dance as Giovanni draws Zerlina out of the room. When the girl´s cries for help put him on the spot, Giovanni tries to blame Leporello. But no one is convinced; Elvira, Anna and Ottavio unmask and confront Giovanni, who barely escapes Ottavio´s drawn sword.

ACT II: Under Elvira´s balcony, Leporello exchanges cloaks with Giovanni to woo the lady in his master´s stead. Leporello leads Elvira off, leaving the Don free to serenade Elvira´s maid. When Masetto passes with a band of armed peasants bent on punishing Giovanni, the disguised rake gives them false directions, then beats up Masetto. Zerlina arrives and tenderly consoles her betrothed.

In a passageway, Elvira and Leporello are surprised by Anna, Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto, who, mistaking servant for master, threaten Leporello. Frightened, he unmasks and escapes. When Anna departs, Ottavio affirms his confidence in their love. Elvira, frustrated at her second betrayal by the Don, voices her rage.

Leporello catches up with his master in a cemetery, where a voice warns Giovanni of his doom. This is the statue of the Commendatore, which the Don proposes Leporello invite to dinner. When the servant reluctantly stammers an invitation, the statue accepts.

In her home, Anna, still in mourning, puts off Ottavio´s offer of marriage until her father is avenged.

Leporello is serving Giovanni´s dinner when Elvira rushes in, begging the Don, whom she still loves, to reform. But he waves her out contemptuously. At the door, her screams announce the Commendatore´s statue. Giovanni boldly refuses warnings to repent, even in the face of death. Flames engulf his house, and the sinner is dragged to hell.

Among the castle ruins, the others plan their future and recite the moral: such is the fate of a wrongdoer. ---


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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:07:42 +0000
Mozart - Double Concerto (Harnoncourt) [1995] Mozart - Double Concerto (Harnoncourt) [1995]

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Mozart - Konzert für zwei Klaviere und Orchester Nr.10 Es-dur KV 365
1 Allegro 10:15
2 Andante 8:00
3 Rondeaux: Allegro 6:48

4 Chick Corea - Fantasy for Two Pianos 11:46
5 Friedrich Gulda - Ping Pong for Two Pianos 9:56

Friedrich Gulda - piano
Chick Corea - piano
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
Nikolaus Harnoncourt - conductor 


At first I was just curious to hear the famous jazz pianist, Chick Corea performing classical (baroque) music. As it turned out, he is equally adept at both. While my favorite from Mozart is his Clarinet Concerto in A major, this album is a joy to hear. ---Jerlaw,


Interestingly, the first concerto on this record, Mozart’s Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra No.10 in E flat major, K.365 (which Mozart wrote in 1779 shortly before leaving Salzburg and moving to Vienna), feels more “dialogical” than both Corea’s “Fantasy” or Gulda’s “Ping Pong,” both pieces for two pianos. Why that is the case, I can only guess—but my guess would be that there is a reason why, among other things, serious music is generally differentiated from other musical traditions by being notated, a characteristic that allows for more structural “deep linking” than picking up, and elaborating on, elements by ear and on the fly. The performance, overall, isn’t groundbreaking, but fun to listen to, and I found it enjoyable.

Chick Corea’s “Fantasy for Two Pianos” is well-structured and strongly reminiscent of impressionist music with a dash of latin-flavored neoclassicism. Gulda’s “Ping Pong” hides some musically interesting ideas like eastereggs in a lot of clutter, sandwiched between two weighty stylistically frazzled manifestos. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Tue, 27 May 2014 15:54:31 +0000
Mozart - Haffner Serenade (Bohm) [1973] Mozart - Haffner Serenade (Bohm) [1973]

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01] Serenade in D major I. Allegro maestoso - Allegro molto
02] Serenade in D major II. Andante
03] Serenade in D major III. Menuetto
04] Serenade in D major IV. Rondeau- Allegro
05] Serenade in D major V. Menuetto galante
06] Serenade in D major VI. Andante
07] Serenade in D major VII. Menuetto
08] Serenade in D major VIII. Adagio - Allegro assai
09] Masonic Funeral Music K477

Berliner Philharmoniker
Karl Bohm - conductor


Mozart composed this eight-movement work at Salzburg in July 1776, "for the wedding of Signor Spath and Signorina Elisabetta Haffner." It is scored for solo violin (in movements 2-4), pairs of flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns, and trumpets, plus string choir. This lengthy serenade is the first of two that Mozart composed for the Haffner family. Father Sigmund was both a rich merchant and burgomaster, whose ennoblement in 1782 occasioned the second one, since lost (four movements of which, however, survive as the Symphony in D [No. 35], K. 385, likewise called "Haffner" although neither label was the composer's). Counting the lost "Haffner," Mozart wrote 12 serenades in his lifetime, a title he used interchangeably with divertimento, cassation, and concertone -- works in as many as eight movements, usually for special occasions of a social rather than formal character, usually performed in diverse venues over a period of several hours. Literally translated, serenade means "evening music," apt in the case of K. 250/248b which was performed by an ambulatory orchestra throughout the evening of July 21, 1776 (the wedding of Haffner's daughter, Maria Elisabeth, to Franz Xaver Späth followed on July 22). Mozart himself played the violin solos in movements 2, 3, and 4 -- a concerto in all but title -- and conducted the remainder.

Although less formal than symphonies or hold-over suites from the Baroque period, serenades were not, in Mozart's case, either casual or off-hand creations. Indeed, the consensus is that the "Haffner" Serenade was his breakaway work for orchestra. H.C. Robbins Landon has called it "Mozart's first great orchestral work -- that is, the first in which technical ability and musical genius are perfectly wedded." For Jens Peter Larsen it "was the most stately orchestral piece that Mozart had so far composed...a work at whose artistic perfection one can only wonder." Georges Saint-Foix found in it "the full blossoming of his rarest gifts of music and poetry...the climax, not to say the apotheosis, of the period we have designated as galante."

Mozart experimented with key-combinations in his serenades. While K. 250/248b is nominally in D major, the second movement (Andante) is in F; so is the fourth movement (Rondeau), and the trio of movement 3 (Menuetto). The song parts of movement 3, however, are in G minor, the darkest key in Mozart's vocabulary; and the sixth movement (Andante 2) begins in A major! Robbins Landon again: "Those who know the later Mozart will find in K. 250 passage after passage in which the music of the Vienna period is presaged: the sudden veil drawn over the music by a harmonic change; the gliding poignancy of chromatic passing notes; the profoundly disturbing emotional quality that underlies so much of the apparently gay atmosphere -- all of these are marks of Mozart's mature and supremely individualistic style." --- Roger Dettmer, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Sun, 04 May 2014 15:55:26 +0000
Mozart - La clemenza di Tito (Drottningholm 2013) Mozart - La clemenza di Tito (Drottningholm 2013)

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1. Akt I
2. Akt II

Tito - Richard Croft (tenor)
Vitellia - Annemarie Kremer (soprano)
Sesto -Katija Dragojevic (mezzo-soprano)
Servilia - Luciana Mancini (mezzo-soprano)
Publio -Markus Schwartz (bass-baritone)

The Drottningholm Theatre Orchestra
Members of the Swedish Radio Choir
Mark Tatlow – conductor

Schlosstheater Drottningholm Stockholm, August 11-24 2013.


Do you remember the pop song "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," a '90s Grammy-winner by Meat Loaf? The song's title, with its love-struck message, could easily sum up the plotline of Mozart's opera La Clemenza di Tito -- but only if you get rid of "(But I Won't Do That)."

The opera's lusty story, set in ancient Rome, features one character who really will do anything to bolster his love life, and another who's more than willing to egg him on. Sesto is a young man in love. Vitellia, the object of his desire, takes full advantage. She's determined to marry Tito, the emperor -- so determined that when Tito chooses another woman, Vitellia persuades Sesto to burn down the entire city of Rome, hoping the emperor will be roasted alive in the process.

The scheme almost works, but not quite. Tito survives, then lives up to his reputation for kindness and benevolence when he learns of the plot and pardons the would-be assassins.

Mozart composed La Clemenza di Tito for festivities surrounding the coronation of a new Bohemian king. The ceremony was scheduled for Sept. 6, 1791 — just three months before Mozart's death. The composer got the commission at the last minute and wrote the opera in a whirlwind of activity, even farming out some of its recitatives to an assistant. He took the libretto from the work of Pietro Metastasio, a prolific librettist who had written Clemenza about 60 years earlier.

The story of a wise and kindhearted emperor was the perfect vehicle to honor a newly minted monarch. Metastasio's libretto had already been set by more than 40 composers. When Mozart got ahold of it, he, in his own words, "reduced it to a proper opera." In other words, he made it a lot shorter.

Mozart also did something else at least as significant. The aging text pretty much demanded the time-worn dramatic structure of opera seria. Still, despite a libretto and format that were decidedly long in the tooth, the resulting opera is mature Mozart at its finest, shot through with startling innovations and stunning beauty. It turned out to be the last opera he would compose.

On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone presents La Clemenza di Tito from the 2013 Drottningholm Opera Festival, at the historic Drottningholm Court Theater in Stockholm. Tenor Richard Croft stars as the magnanimous Emperor Tito, with soprano Annemarie Kremer as Vitellia, the woman determined to either have Tito, or see him dead. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Mozart W.A. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 17:42:59 +0000