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Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte / Klemperer, Price, Popp

Performer: Margaret Price, Yvonne Minton, Sir Geraint Evans, Luigi Alva, ...
Conductor: Otto Klemperer
Orchestra/Ensemble: John Alldis Choir, New Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 + bonus 4th with Libretto & Synopsis
Recorded in: Stereo
Length: 3 Hours 10 Mins.

"For the sisters of Ferrara, [Klemperer] had amply voiced singers very apt for his approach. Price and Minton were then in their early prime, with warm, sappy, peaches-and-cream tone, and ideally matching each other in timbre. Their duets show as much. Price's exemplary breath-control enables her to cope with the slow speeds adopted for Fiordiligi's arias and display that sovereign gift of hers for bold, long Mozartian phrases. Minton is hardly less remarkable in that respect. Alva's diction does make Muti's point that as soon as an Italian artist comes on the scene one hears the advantage of pointed, felicitous enunciation of the text; he also sings mellifluously and with character. By 1971, Evans was already an Alfonso rather than a Guglielmo, and for all his accomplishment in the latter role one wishes he was singing the former rather than the po-faced Hans Sotin. However, Lucia Popp's vivacious, smiling Despina manages to bring Sotin to life in their important exchanges. Numbers 7 and 24 are omitted, so is some of the recitative. What is left is again drily accompanied. This is definitely not a set for anyone wanting a high-spirited version of the piece, for one can tire of the deliberate pacing, but like the more recommendable Figaro, it has its own justification once one adjusts to Klemperer's scale. Then one can sit back and enjoy a leisurely perambulation through the score with its chance to enjoy the details of the musical views from a fresh perspective."

-- Alan Blyth, Gramophone [9/1991]

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