Mozart: Don Giovanni

Album cover art for upc 4011790230016
Label: ORFEO
Catalog: ORF-C230113
Format: COMPACT DISC

Burrows, Stuart; Evans, Geraint; Janowitz, Gundula; Karajan, Herbert von; Miljakovic, Olivera; Ghiaurov, Nicolai; Halem, Victor von; Vienna Philharmonic; Panerai, Rolando; Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor; Zylis-Gara, Teresa

This is a physical-only re-issue of a former ORFEO bestseller. Herbert von Karajan's relationship with the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was quite ambivalent, especially in his early years. Later, however, he increasingly turned to these works and conducted Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival in a total of three different productions. This recording from 1970 follows the 1968 production. The top-class cast of singers also remained similar, with only two roles being recast. However, while the Festival audience was impressed, the critical response was mixed. From today’s perspective, the live recording from 1970 presents a Don Giovanni which takes its place among the legendary performances of the Salzburg Festival. The title role is sung by the Bulgarian bass Nicolai Ghiaurov, who, between the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Sofia Opera and La Scala in Milan, has grown into a great dramatic singer. His Leporello was the equally strongly outlined Geraint Evans. The Welsh baritone had already proven his extraordinary abilities as a character actor at the Festival in 1962-67 as Mozart's Figaro. As Donna Anna, Gundula Janowitz is at the zenith of her development, which was largely promoted by Karajan. Polish-born Teresa Zylis-Gara, successful as a Mozart singer at Glyndebourne and elsewhere, also fitted perfectly as Donna Elvira into Karajan's concept of the role: sensitive, wavering between her pain and the feelings for Don Giovanni, which surface again and again.

Price: $56.98