Performed by the very best instrumentalists, orchestras, conductors and singers, this representative selection comes at an attractive price. The recordings bear witness to one of the most extensive musical projects in recent years, when, in honour of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday on 27 January 2006, EuroArts had arranged for high profile live transmissions from famous concert venues in Europe and Asia in the mammoth TV event 24hours Mozart.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Manfred Honeck performed compositions by Mozart in the beautiful historical Estates Theatre in Prague. Each of the works on the disc is in some way related to the city: the Overture to Don Giovanni, which was famously premiered by the composer in the Estates Theatre, the “Prague” Symphony, which Mozart intended as a greeting to the city that he cherished and the marvellously melodic Clarinet Concerto - premiered in Prague just a few weeks before the composer’s death - played on the basset clarinet by the remarkable Sharon Kam.
The second DVD captures an all Mozart concert by the Kammerorchester Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach with its musical director Hartmut Haenchen in the Konzerthaus Berlin. The chamber orchestra, often praised for its transparent renderings and technical precision, brought the music’s light-heartedness, songlike lyricism, drama and inspired polyphony to life. Before their interpretation of the “Jupiter” Symphony, the epitome of a classical symphony, they are joined by pianist Stefan Vladar for the piano concerto no.20. Vladar, with his sensitive touch and stylistic assurance, proved to be the ideal partner for the ensemble’s Mozart playing.
The brother and sister duo Gil and Orli Shaham pay homage to Mozart with a selection of the composer’s finest violin sonatas. Recorded in the Palais Daun-Kinsky in Vienna, the third DVD in this box is brimming with energy and fearlessness tempered by a deep understanding of - and respect for - the music. Violinist Gil Shaham is internationally recognized by audiences and critics alike as one of today's most virtuosic and engaging classical artists and pianist Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as a highly gifted accompanist.
The Mozart Celebration at the Stephansdom was broadcast simultaneously in ten countries on the occasion of Mozart’s anniversary and now constitutes part four of this DVD box. Mozart was married in this impressive Viennese cathedral and the programme was chosen accordingly. The famous Vienna Boys' Choir joined the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra under Bertrand de Billy for a performance of festive sacred works, among them the Coronation Mass, the Ave Verum and the Vesperae solennes de Confessore. The exquisite French singer Sandrine Piau lends her wonderful soprano voice to several of the arias.
The last DVD brings the opera Così fan tutte to life. The well-known film director Doris Dörrie, long established on the German cinema scene as a master of comic genius and famed for her bitter-sweet love stories, passed her first test in opera direction with flying colours. She staged Così fan tutte as a hippie musical that takes place some time in the 1970s, when the Flower Power generation was in full swing. Christian Sedelmayer created the set for this production and also designed the award-winning costumes. Dörries’ reading of the convoluted story of betrayal and reconciliation between lovers is one of the great successes at the Berlin State Opera and transfers beautifully to screen.
Picture format NTSC 16:9
Dolby Digital 5.1
Release November 1, 2008
Total running time 309 mins
No. of discs 5