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While Kiri Te Kanawa was still preparing for that career-defining debut as the Countess, she made a first Mozart disc under Colin Davis: a collection of sacred music, including the Solemn Vespers, KV 339, with its serene setting of ‘Laudate Dominum’, and Exsultate, jubilate. The Countess became the singer’s calling-card, and she repeated the role immediately in San Francisco and at Glyndebourne. The thwarted Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni followed, again under Davis at Covent Garden, before Kiri took her Countess to the Met in New York in February 1976, and sang her first Fiordiligi in Paris, in a production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The Paris Opera was also the location of Kiri’s debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in 1977 followed by her leap into superstardom, when she sang at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in July 1981. The previous month she had committed her Countess to disc in a classic recording for Decca under Georg Solti.

This collection brings together for the first time on disc, Dame Kiri’s complete Mozart recital discs for Decca (with György Fischer) and Philips (with Sir Colin Davis and Jeffrey Tate). Included too are two arias from her celebrated recording of Le nozze di Figaro with Sir Georg Solti, an aria from her sublime recording of Così fan tutte with James Levine (for Deutsche Grammophon) as well as sacred arias.

“Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s lovely Mozart recital, concentrating on lyrical, reflective arias rather than brilliant ones, is compelling. … Though the voice is well forward, the balance is undistracting with the bloom of the voice well caught against orchestral textures set clearly in a believable acoustic behind” … “one warms to the sheer beauty of Te Kanawa’s voice, its even scale and secure placing. Interpretatively there is also much to enjoy here.” (Davis) Gramophone

“A voice of great warmth and purity, particularly beautiful in the upper range, with an uncommonly sure technique in both lyric and florid music: this is evident. In the tranquil ‘Laudate Dominum’ of the Vesperae and the Andante middle aria of the Exsultate she is entirely lovely.” Gramophone

CD 1
1 Zaide, KV 344: Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben
2 La finta giardiniera, KV 196: Crudeli fermante … Ah dal pianto
3 La clemenza di Tito, KV 621: S’altro che lagrime
4 Così fan tutte, KV 588: Ei parte … Senti … Per pietà, ben mio, perdonna
5 Il re pastore, KV 208: L’amerò, sarò costante
6 Lucio Silla, KV 135: Pupille amate
7 Idomeneo, KV 366: Se il padre perdei
8 Die Zauberflöte, KV 620: Ach, ich fühl’s
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis

9 Mass in C minor, KV 427 ‘Great’: Et incarnatus est
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner

10 Vesperae solennes de confessore, KV 339: Laudate Dominum
John Constable, organ
London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis

11 Exsultate, jubilate, KV 165
John Constable, organ
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis

CD 2
Le Nozze di Figaro, KV 492
1 Porgi amor
2 E Susanna non vien … Dove sono
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Georg Solti

3 Der Schauspieldirektor, KV 486: Bester Jüngling
Wiener Philharmoniker
Sir John Pritchard

4 Così fan tutte, KV 588: Come scoglio
Wiener Philharmoniker
James Levine

5 Die Entführung aus dem Serail, KV 384: Welcher Wechsel herrscht in meiner Seele …Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose

6 Mitridate, re di Ponto, KV 87: Lungi da te, mio bene
Frank Lloyd, horn

Don Giovanni, KV 527
7 Don Ottavio, son morta …Or sai chi l’onore (with Peter Bronder, tenor)
8 Calmatevi, idol mio …Non mi dir

9 Die Entführung aus dem Serail, KV 384: Martern aller Arten
English Chamber Orchestra
Jeffrey Tate

CD 3
1 Misera! dove son … Ah! non son’io che parlo, KV 369
2 Ch’io mi scordi di te … Non temer, amato bene, KV 505
Mitsuko Uchida, piano
English Chamber Orchestra
Jeffrey Tate

3 Ah, lo prevedi … Ah, t’invola agl’occhi miei, KV 272
4 Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei!, KV 583
5 Oh, temerario Arbace! … Per quel Paterno amplesso, KV 79 (KV 73d)
6 Chi sa, chi sa, qual sia, KV 582
7 Non più. Tutto ascoltai … Non temer, amato bene, KV 490 (with Rainer Küchl, violin)
8 Bella mia fiamma, addio! … Resta, oh cara, KV 528
9 Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Gönner!, KV 383
Wiener Kammerorchester
György Fischer

Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano

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