Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

Three Stars Robert Croan
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 2008

"In Naxos' "Don Giovanni" -- an excellent budget-priced production in which Bo Skovhus as the Don is the only familiar name in the cast -- German tenor Torsten Kerl gives the most technically accomplished rendition of Don Ottavio's "Il mio tesoro" I have heard live or on record. He renders the long central fioritura in a single breath and then carries it over into the next full phrase... worthy of a place on any collector's shelf."



Kurt Moses
American Record Guide, April 2002

"Bo Skovhus... still sounds youthful and impetuous rather than smooth and silken, but he has an attractive voice and I like his 'rake on the make' interpretation... His silken legato in 'Deh vieni alla finestra' would seduce many a maid. Also well sung is his rousing 'Champaigne Aria'... Raimondi's warm and sensuous voice blends well with Skovhus's in 'La ci darem la mano' and she sings her two arias with charm and, in 'Vedrai carino', with sly suggestivenenss... The Esterhazy Sinfonia, evidently an accomplished group, is a chamber orchestra (not period instruments), and their strings sound lovely."



T. Hashimoto
San Francisco Examiner, March 2002

"Naxos' new 'Don Giovanni' has an attractice cast and a first-rate conductor."



Fred Cohn
Opera News, March 2002

"Michael Halasz leads a vigorous, propulsive performance that throws fresh light on the opera His reading tends to be fast, but it's never hectic Throughout, one hears the music's beating heart, the sure, steady pulse that drives the drama forward and reveals its human core The combination of an authoritative conductor and two incisive leads makes this a Giovanni that can more than hold its own with the high-priced competition."



Raymond Tuttle
Classical Net, January 2002

"The sound is a little bright, but very clear. Even the usually messy separation of stage bands and pit orchestra in Act One finale has been handled with aplomb. Sonically, there's nothing at all "budgety" about this recording! All in all, this Don Giovanni is a big plume in Naxos's already feather-filled cap."



Charles Osborne
BBC Music Magazine, December 2001

"Above all, it is the conductor, Michael Halasz who makes this a really enjoyable performance, securing brisk and alert playing from his orchestra."



Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, December 2001

"This new recording from Naxos gives a glimmer of the silver lining consumers can enjoy in the current crisis in the classical recording industry. As the 'majors' cut their artist rosters, abort projected recordings and cancel contracts, it gives smaller companies a chance to cast some previously exclusive singers of international renown in their opera recordings. Here we have the Danish baritone Bo Skovhus in the name part. Ten years or so ago he and others here would be appearing in complete opera recordings for the likes of Decca, EMI and RCA, etc. at three times the price of this Naxos issue: a silver lining in the consumers¬≠√Ě pocket, especially when the results are as good as this...

The conductor of this set is Michael Halasz. He has been resident at the Vienna State Opera since 1991 and already has widely, and justifiably, acclaimed recordings of Fidelio and Die Zauberflote for Naxos under his belt. He conducts a well paced performance with plenty of rhythmic vitality whilst also allowing his singers space for characterisation and phrasing. Particularly impressive is his handling of the two concerted act finales; a septet to Act 1 and sextet to Act 2.

The singers, many with Vienna State Opera connections are well matched for quality and the men clearly vocally differentiated for character. The mellifluous tones of Skovhus, with his slightly Germanic Italian, is easily differentiated from the native Italian Leporello of Renato Girolami who, whilst not having the beauty of tone of his master, is the master with the words as is heard in his 'catalogue' aria (CD1 tk.10). Particularly welcome is the fact that Skovhus doesn't over-point the accents as other famous lieder singers have done in opera recordings; he lets his voice follow the natural flow of Mozart's music.

Boaz Daniel has already sung the Don at the Vienna Volksoper and as Masetto, his steady even tone is welcome. The young German tenor Torsten Kerl, with a keen edge to his voice is no wimpish Ottavio. Only in the passagio, the transition from chest to head voice, does he evince any difficulty with the tessitura.

All the women sing well, although greater differentiation of voice colour would have been welcome. The Anna of Adrianne Pieczonka, (a Glynebourne Elvira in 1995) has no trouble with her high lying part. Regina Schorg is a lightish Elvira with good diction and her Mi Tradi (CD3 tk.20) lies easily on my ear. The singer who brings a tear to my eye, by clear tone and elegant phrasing is the Zerlina of Ildiko Raimondi. Her Batti, batti (CD2 tk.4) is lovely -Strike her? Never!

The November 2000 recording is well set in a natural airy ambience with a nigh perfect balance between the small orchestra and the voices. This balance is particularly important in the ensembles and the engineers are to be congratulated. My only wish is that they had made the arrival of the Commendatore at Giovanni's party more immediate and hence threatening.

This performance and recording stands ahead of many in the catalogue, even if not supplanting Giulini's 1959 recording for EMI, which may never be bettered, but that cost is at full price. The accompanying booklet has good, brief notes, a track related synopsis and a libretto but no translation."






Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
12:43:07 AM, 31 August 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-212-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.