Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rachel Yakar, soprano
Ortrun Wenkel, alto
Kurt Equiluz, tenor
Robert Holl, bass
+ Bonus: J.S. Bach: Cantata "Komm, du süße Todesstunde", BWV 161
Concentus Musicus Wien
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor
Recorded at the Musikverein, Vienna, 1 November 1981
Picture format: NTSC 4:3
Sound format: LPCM Stereo
Region code: All Region
Booklet notes: English, French, German
Running time: 55 mins (Mozart) + 21 mins (bonus)
No. of DVDs: 1
- The present recording of Mozart's final work is taken from the ORF archives and is set in the Goldener Saal of the Vienna Musikverein, a scene familiar to millions of television viewers from the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year Concerts. And yet, although the present concert also took place during the late morning, the occasion could hardly have been more different in terms of its seriousness of purpose and concentration on music that is devoted not to pleasure but to thoughts of death and eternity.
- Equally unusual is the combination of the Vienna State Opera Chorus and the reduced forces of the Concentus Musicus playing on period instruments.
- Even after a quarter of a century, the listener and spectator can still be thrilled by the attentiveness with which the soloists and members of the Vienna State Opera Chorus react to these different sounds and to the often unfamiliar phrasing of the Concentus Musicus Wien, whose players support the conductor's interpretation to the hilt. Harnoncourt, it will be noted, conducts without a baton.
- The first part of the concert also comprises a performance of Bach's Cantata 161, Komm, du süße Todesstunde, in which two solo singers (alto and tenor) and a four-part choir are set against an instrumental ensemble made up of strings, organ and continuo, together with two concertante recorders.