Erich Kleiber’s 1955 Vienna Figaro marked the first complete recording of what is arguably Mozart’s greatest opera. What a performance! Cesare Siepi and Alfred Poell bring Figaro and the Count, respectively, to life, and play off each other, as do the female principals. Hilde Gueden’s sweet and straightforward Susanna stands out, along with Fernando Corena’s deliciously idiomatic Bartolo (his is still the best Act I Vengeance aria on disc). Kleiber’s well-drilled Viennese musicians are an integral part of the ensemble. The legendary conductor’s sense of proportion, transition, and rightness of tempo still rings true after all these years. –Jed Distler
# Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
# Singer: Lisa Della Casa, Cesare Siepi, Hilde Gueden, Fernando Corena
# Orchestra: Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Erich Kleiber
# Vinyl (1955)
# Number of Discs: 3
# Format: Flac
# Label: Decca
# DR-Analysis: DR15
# ASIN: B00000JXZB
# Size: 3.71 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FF
This set is quite phenonmenal: nearly all the protagonists turned up with exceptional vocal performances.
Cesare Siepi is a hearty Figaro. His opening duet with Gueden’s Susanna could not be termed otherwise than ‘singing like gods’. I don’t care if he is a bass or a bass-baritone, or a baritone. Siepi is well-known to have owned such vibrant high notes that put baritones to shame.
His Figaro sounds warm, lusty and spirited. I have yet to find another one to sing a better version of ‘Non piu andrai’. Under no circumstances would one mix up his portrayal of Figaro with that of Don Giovanni. Siepi is too-well seasoned an artist to mix up these two roles. They sounded so distinctively different on record that no one would ever think of taking one for the other.
Hilde Gueden’s Susanna, in my view, is simply unsurpassed: not even by Popp or Bonney or whosoever nowadays. I would say she surpassed Irmgard Seefried before her (or her contemporary?)
Lisa della Casa’s Countess is not as deep-felt as Schwarzkopf’s. However, it is still a very convincing portrayal, and vocally more than adequate.
Poell’s Count Almaviva may sound sheepish, but if you contrast him with Siepi, the pair worked well: is it not true that in the libretto, this Count ended as a blog-head? Why must one need a powerful or witty-sounding Count Almaviva? The Count can be made to sound calculating. But nonetheless, this character is by no means a smart guy.
Suzanne Danco’s Cherubino, needless to say, is a real gem. A soprano version that excels over almost all other mezzo versions.
Analyzed folder: /96kWAM_Fig/96k WAM – Le Nozze Di Figaro – Della Casa, Siepi, Gueden, Corena – Kleiber
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR15 -0.10 dB -20.88 dB sideA.wav
DR16 -0.15 dB -21.63 dB sideB.wav
DR15 -0.36 dB -20.92 dB sideC.wav
DR14 -0.97 dB -19.96 dB sideD.wav
DR15 -0.34 dB -20.72 dB sideE.wav
DR15 -0.22 dB -19.95 dB sideF.wav
Number of files: 6
Official DR value: DR15
- Composed By – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Conductor – Erich Kleiber
- Libretto By – Lorenzo da Ponte, Pierre Augustin Caron De Beaumarchais
- Liner Notes [Biography] – Arturo Reverter
- Liner Notes [Essai] – Jordi Llovet
- Liner Notes [Synopsis] – Santiago Salaverri
- Orchestra – Vienna Symphony Orchestra
- Producer – Peter Andry, Victor Olof
- Recorded By – Cyril Windebank, James Brown
- Vocals [Antonio] – Harald Pröglhof
- Vocals [Barberine], Vocals [Une Paysanne] – Anny Felbermayer
- Vocals [Bartholo] – Fernando Corena
- Vocals [Basile] – Murray Dickie
- Vocals [Chérubin], Vocals [Une Paysanne] – Suzanne Danco
- Vocals [Don Curzio] – Hugo Meyer-Welfing
- Vocals [Figaro] – Cesare Siepi
- Vocals [La Comtesse Almaviva] – Lisa Della Casa
- Vocals [Le Comte Almaviva] – Alfred Poell
- Vocals [Marceline] – Hilde Rössel-Majdan
- Vocals [Suzanne] – Hilde Gueden
Recorded: Vienna, Redoutensaal, June 1955.
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Light de-Clicking with iZotopes, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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