Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito - Troyanos, Hollweg, Neblett, Malfitano, Howells, Rydl; Levine. Wien, 1976
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With one exception, the cast captured here under the masterful baton of James Levine would go on to record this opera for Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's excellent film version, and it is a joy for those familiar with that film to encounter them in a live performance. Despite some distortion on the high end of the soundtrack, the weight and splendor of Mozart's final opera is shown in full force. Tatiana Troyanos is heard in her absolute prime as an anguished Sesto, with a sensational, immaculate reading of ”Parto, Parto” and an intense take on the vital recitatives. Carol Neblett makes Vittelia's second act aria a true tour-de-force, and Anne Howells and a young Catherine Malfitano are excellent as the young lovers. Werner Hollweg (the aforementioned exception) is a sturdy, heroic sounding Tito. Highly recommended.