Mozart: Don Giovanni - Soyer, Van Dam, M. Price, Te Kanawa, Burrows, Berbie, Van Allen, Moll; Solti. Paris, 1975
Listen to a Sample:
This performances assembles a legendary cast and for the most part delivers on the enormous potential. Roger Soyer is a suave don with a touch of blackness to his voice. Ever since seeing him in the Joseph Losey Don Giovanni, I have always thought that Jose Van Dam was the ideal Leporello. He brings a cynicism to role without sacrificing any of the character's elegance. His comic timing is also very good (too bad he never felt compelled to try out Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in his later years.) Margaret Price is equally ideal as Donna Anna and Kiri Te Kanawa is a fiery Elvira. So what is the catch, you ask? I am sad to say that it is the dirge-like conducting courtesy of Sir Georg Solti. Almost every number is about 10 clicks too slow and at times it weighs down Mozart's score. The only benefit of this approach is that it gives us extra time to luxuriate in the great singing particularly from Margaret Price. The sound is excellent.