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Discussion: Mozart: La clemenza di Tito - Jacobs

Posts: 4

Post by brenda April 22, 2006 (1 of 4)
dear john (polly n), thanks for the review but I'm wondering how this compares to the Davis (Mozart edition) recording, especially in the female cast (marvellous in the Davis) and the use of the clarinet to accompany arias. Also, I found the Figaro very uninvolving, with poor acting from the leads and an overemphasis on winds cf. strings. I know you liked the Figaro, so how does the overall approach compare against both our views of that recording? I have been tempted especially at mdt's price of £22, but I disliked Figaro so much I've been hanging back. Regards, B

Post by Polly Nomial April 22, 2006 (2 of 4)
brenda said:

dear john (polly n), thanks for the review but I'm wondering how this compares to the Davis (Mozart edition) recording, especially in the female cast (marvellous in the Davis) and the use of the clarinet to accompany arias. Also, I found the Figaro very uninvolving, with poor acting from the leads and an overemphasis on winds cf. strings. I know you liked the Figaro, so how does the overall approach compare against both our views of that recording? I have been tempted especially at mdt's price of £22, but I disliked Figaro so much I've been hanging back. Regards, B

Brenda,

In respect of your first question, I can't honestly answer it as I don't know that particular version but I don't find any member of the cast to be a weak link.

The clarinet (or basset horn) is certainly beautifully played in those arias like Sesto's "Parto, ma tu ben mio" and makes these more like duets!

The balance between ww & strings - well the forces are the same (7, 6, 4, 3, 3 in the strings, pairs of ww) in both recordings, and just comparing the two overtures doesn't reveal markedly differing practices but the string parts are more forceful in Tito which gives the strings a greater presence. I don't find the balance in Figaro to be a problem; perhaps you could let me know a particular number or two where you feel this is exemplified and I could compare notes for you.

As to acting, well that's a matter of taste and for me, I prefer the less "acted" style of today's HIP (uncharitably, one might call the old school histrionic) but I can appreciate that some may find it a little on the bland side when used to a greater use of vocal acting.

Regards

PN

Post by brenda April 22, 2006 (3 of 4)
Polly Nomial said:

Brenda,

In respect of your first question, I can't honestly answer it as I don't know that particular version but I don't find any member of the cast to be a weak link.

The clarinet (or basset horn) is certainly beautifully played in those arias like Sesto's "Parto, ma tu ben mio" and makes these more like duets!

The balance between ww & strings - well the forces are the same (7, 6, 4, 3, 3 in the strings, pairs of ww) in both recordings, and just comparing the two overtures doesn't reveal markedly differing practices but the string parts are more forceful in Tito which gives the strings a greater presence. I don't find the balance in Figaro to be a problem; perhaps you could let me know a particular number or two where you feel this is exemplified and I could compare notes for you.

As to acting, well that's a matter of taste and for me, I prefer the less "acted" style of today's HIP (uncharitably, one might call the old school histrionic) but I can appreciate that some may find it a little on the bland side when used to a greater use of vocal acting.

Regards

PN

dear polly, actually, what i didn't like about the Jacobs Figaro was the hammy, moustache twirling quality of the acting, especially by Keelyside's Count but also by others. So if the acting was more bland in Tito, that's be a bonus for me. B

Post by Polly Nomial April 23, 2006 (4 of 4)
brenda said:

dear polly, actually, what i didn't like about the Jacobs Figaro was the hammy, moustache twirling quality of the acting, especially by Keelyside's Count but also by others. So if the acting was more bland in Tito, that's be a bonus for me. B

I think that they may have been going for the farce; maybe they went too far - I don't find anything objectionable in his singing but there you go, that's personal choice... Keenlyside is not in this set so you needn't worry!

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