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iTunes Review

Nézet-Seguin’s Figaro with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe is a nimble, high-voltage triumph, offering thrilling peaks and heartwarming resolutions. Featuring a dream team of vocalists, from Rolando Villazón and Anne Sophie von Otter to Thomas Hampson, this production is truly a master class on Mozart’s stunning, enlightened masterpiece.

Customer Reviews

Hampson makes this all but unlistenable

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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