82 Songs, 2 Hours 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Strongly cast, Nézet-Séguin’s Figaro makes a powerful impression. Underpinned by a Chamber Orchestra of Europe revelling in the work’s rich drama, the characters come alive with striking immediacy. Thomas Hampson and Sonya Yoncheva make a fine foil for their servants Luca Pisaroni and Christiane Karg, both offering nicely rounded portrayals and some really glorious singing. As Cherubino, Angela Brower lives the part. Luxuriously cast, Anne Sofie von Otter and Rolando Villazón make much of their small roles. This is a Marriage of Figaro rich in incident and nicely judged, and the recitatives with cello and fortepiano are a joy.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Strongly cast, Nézet-Séguin’s Figaro makes a powerful impression. Underpinned by a Chamber Orchestra of Europe revelling in the work’s rich drama, the characters come alive with striking immediacy. Thomas Hampson and Sonya Yoncheva make a fine foil for their servants Luca Pisaroni and Christiane Karg, both offering nicely rounded portrayals and some really glorious singing. As Cherubino, Angela Brower lives the part. Luxuriously cast, Anne Sofie von Otter and Rolando Villazón make much of their small roles. This is a Marriage of Figaro rich in incident and nicely judged, and the recitatives with cello and fortepiano are a joy.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

Hampson makes this all but unlistenable

musdirlynn

I have thoroughly enjoyed each of Maestro Nézet-Séguin's Mozart opera recordings to this point. His tempi, his attention to detail and his dramatic sense serve the music beautifully, and it gives much to anticipate as he soon takes over the helm at the Metropolitan Opera.

Unfortunately, one performance quite frankly ruins this recording. Thomas Hampson is cast as Il Conte D'Almaviva, a role he has sung for over 30 years, and his performance on this recording is little more than shouting on pitch. There is no warmth, no roundness, very little beauty in the tone. The Count, even though a detestable man, has a suaveness and sophistication about him that is completely absent from Hampson's performance. He barks in every recitative. The Count's famous Act 3 aria is one long shout from start to finish. And what is arguably one of the most beautiful moments in all of opera, when the Count asks the Countess for her forgiveness in Act 4, is pedestrian at best.

Le Nozze di Figaro is my favorite Mozart opera, and I awaited this recording with excitement. Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations, due to one of the integral roles being so poorly performed.

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