Mozart: Don Giovanni - Waechter, Sutherland, Schwarzkopf, Taddei, Sciutti, Alva, Cappuccilli, Frick; Davis. London, 1959
Listen to a Sample:
This performance of Don Giovanni was meant to be a dry-run for the now legendary recording of Don Giovanni conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini with one notable exception. Giulini got sick. Fortunately Colin Davis, another talented Mozartian, was waiting in the wings. The approaches of the two conductors couldn't be more different. Whereas Giulini favored a more romantic approach, Davis delivers a lighter, nimbler reading. The singers are all the same and they are phenomenal. Eberhard Waechter as the Don might not appeal to those who prefer a bass-baritone in the role, but he may just change your mind when you hear the thrilling high A he unleashes during the final scene. I can think of few baritones who had the ability to alternate seamlessly between buffo characters and leading men as well as Giuseppe Taddei and Leporello gives him ample opportunities to do just that. The rest of the cast includes Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as Elvira, Joan Sutherland as Anna, Luigi Alva as Ottavio, Graziella Sciutti as Zerlini, Gottlob Frick as the Commendatore and even a young Piero Cappuccilli as Masetto. The bad news is that the sound is somewhat muffled.