Mozart: Don Giovanni - Paskalis, Marton, Zylis-Gara, Mathis, Taddei, Schreier; Swarowsky. Wien, 1973
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It is well documented that a star-studded cast of Don Giovanni is far from a guarantee of a success. The Mozartian line has a tendency to expose flaws in the technique of even great artists and the intricate ensembles require singers to fully embrace the idea of ensemble (a concept that is often at odds with operatic-sized egos.) This performance, however, delivers, on the promise of its glittering cast, treating the listener to a style of Mozart that is both grand and delicate at the same time. Kostas Paskalis’ baritonal Don exudes sensuality without ever crossing over into vulgarity. A young Eva Marton excels just as much in the florid passages of Donna Anna’s music as the dramatic. Teresa Zylis-Gara is radiant as Donna Elvira creating a character who is sympathetic and three-dimensional as opposed to just the butt of the joke. Peter Schreier brings grace and technical ease to Don Ottavio, and Giuseppe Taddei’s Leporello provides quick-fire comic timing all while matching Paskalis in vocal beauty. The conducting of Hans Swarowsky is not particularly distinguished and the players of the Vienna Philharmonic, despite moments of impressive virtuosity, make many sloppy mistakes. The sound is good.