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CD Review

Warner Erato/Teldec Opera Collection

Warner 68830-8

Wolfgang Mozart

La Clemenza di Tito
  • Philip Langridge
  • Lucia Popp
  • Ruth Ziesak
  • Ann Murray
  • Delores Ziegler
Choir and Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Warner/Teldec Opera Collection 2564-68830-8 2CDs 129m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe Find it at JPC
Also available on Teldec 4509-90857-2:
Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe - JPC
Warner 68808-2

Engelbert Humperdinck

Hänsel und Gretel
  • Jennifer Larmore
  • Ruth Ziesak
  • Bernd Weikl
  • Hildegard Behrens
  • Christine Schäfer
Tölzner Knabenchor
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Donald Runnicles
Warner/Teldec Opera Collection 2564-68808-2 2CDs 103m DDD
Find it at AmazonFind it at Amazon UKFind it at Amazon GermanyFind it at Amazon CanadaFind it at Amazon FranceFind it at Amazon JapanOrder Now from ArkivMusic.comFind it at CD Universe Find it at JPC
Also available on Teldec 4509-94549-2:
Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe - HBDirect - JPC

Warner continues with their issues from the splendidly-rich back catalogue of opera in the Teldec and Erato vaults. Harnoncourt's Mozart opera series has won diverse plaudits and this "Clemenza di Tito" certainly ranks amongst the very best for its thrilling sense of drama and cutting edge use of the orchestra. It is also a fine memorial to the late lamented Philip Langridge who died earlier this year – he makes a truly noble Tito Vespasiano. Compared to my selected recording of "Tito" which features István Kertész on Decca, I have to say that Harnoncourt rules the roost and at this price is a real snip.

Donald Runnicles' equally excellent recording of Humperdinck's famous opera also deserves particular mention. The silky smooth orchestral sound from Bavaria is a real joy and the line up of soloists is quite impressive with Larmore and Ziesak at the top of their form although I still have a soft spot for the great Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in the inimitable 1953 Karajan recording with the Philharmonia. Otherwise this is probably the best modern version around at the moment also eclipsing another personal favourite which is Solti on Decca. This is definitely a top recommendation.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech

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