MOZART Le nozze di Figaro / Böhm 0734034

. . . a dazzling cast . . . Characterful and thought-provoking, it looks and sounds marvellous on DVD.

. . . splendidly filmed and performed . . . Kal Böhm and the VPO play the orchestra music splendidly . . . Fischer-Dieskau and Prey are richly endowed vocally, and they are sympathetically in touch with their roles. Their singing is incomparable, and their appearance and visual presentation is also impressive. Much the same can be said of Mirella Freni's pert and saucy Susanna and Kiri te Kanawa's autumnal portrayal of the countess . . . The record sound is smooth, richly detailed, full of color and presence.

The performers are uniformly first-rate . . . Böhm conducts with a leisurely grace that never lags . . . The visuals are clear and well defined, with no hint of graininess or color shift. This is a ¿Le nozze di Figaro¿ that will impress you with all the ingenuity and effort put into its making . . . there¿s much to be enjoyed from Ponnelle¿s vision of the opera and its excellent cast.

Among dozens of fine Figaros on CD and DVD, few are as finely sung as this one . . . Herman Prey's Figaro is admirably sung in a firm baritone and aptly characterized. So
too, is his antagonist, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as the Count perpetually frustrated by the scheming wiles of Figaro and Susanna, here the perky Mirella Freni, who sings and acts like a dream. The Countess is creamy-voiced Kiri Te Kanawa, and the Cherubino, Maria Ewing, looks just like the horny, teenaged page she's supposed to be. The all-star leads are complemented by worthy supporting singers, the Vienna Philharmonic at the top of its form, and the experienced Mozartian, Karl Böhm conducting a stylishly fleet performance.

(Carmen:) Die Wiener Philharmoniker in Glanzform, virtuos, elegant, eruptiv und Silbe für Silbe flexibel mit den Sängern atmend. Geradezu altmodisch perfekt.

(Figaros Hochzeit:) Dank Jean Pierre Ponnelles poetischer Regie ein veritables filmisches Fest, dem der große Karl Böhm am Pult der weich und herrlich aufspielenden Wiener Philharmoniker das musikalische Rückgrat sicherte . . . und der ebenso legendäre, extrem wortdeutliche Graf des Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

(Cavalleria/Bajazzo:) Placido Domingo in zwei Glanzpartien . . . selten lebt Oper auf dem Bildschirm so, selten klingen auch Chor und Orchester so intensiv und überwältigend.

(Schwanensee:) Der Ballettfilm aller Ballettfilme . . . eine atemberaubend schöne, atemberaubend dramatische Klassiker Verfilmung.