Notes & Reviews:
Following on the remarkable and unprecedented success of his recordings of Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo, La Clemenza di Tito and the three Da Ponte operas, conductor René Jacobs leads an all-star cast in a performance of Mozart's La finta giardiniera, written in 1774 when the composer was only eighteen. Always an iconoclast, Jacobs chose to use a posthumous version of the score dating from 1796. Discovered in the music library of Count Heinrich Wilhelm Haugwitz in the Czech town of Námet nad Oslavou, the score includes additional wind parts and displays skillful re-orchestration. While the arranger's name remains a mystery, in view of the score's elegance and sensitivity, scholars agree he was a connoisseur of Mozart's style. Jacobs' strong cast stars British tenor Jeremy Ovenden as Count Belfiore and soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska (aka Alex Penda) as the vengeful Arminda.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
René Jacobs' Mozart opera recordings are among the most hotly discussed classical sets of recent years. Revelations are everywhere.
Gramophone Magazine, November 2012
Jacobs now offers the best sung and characterised La Finta Giardiniera on disc...The brilliant, minutely responsive Freiburg period band, too, plays words as well as tones. And the cast, several of them Jacobs regulars, do well both individually and as a quick-witted ensemble team.
The Guardian, 26th September 2012
Finta's anticipations of the later, greater operas, Figaro especially, are underlined in this version...The hallmarks of Jacobs' Mozart recordings are clear here, too - especially the fondness for fast tempi and for favouring a cast of light, young voices, though the continuo playing in these recitatives seems less hyperactive than it sometimes has been.
Graham Rogers, bbc.co.uk, 28th September 2012
If Jacobs thinks this richer orchestration is more likely to appeal to modern ears than the sparser original, he's probably right - and it's impossible not to be won over by the total commitment of his vibrant account...As always with Jacobs, some of his idiosyncrasies can begin to grate on repeated listens, but that is a small quibble for what is an overwhelmingly joyous set.
Sunday Times, 7th October 2012
The richer orchestrations...make this comic sin of Mozart's youth sound even more like a portent of masterpieces to come than usual. Jacobs can't resist improvisatory antics...But his conducting is so lively, and his cast so committed, I can't imagine even purist Mozartians wanting to go back to the sparser, tamer original.
International Record Review, November 2012
The highlights are too many to mention ... In Jacobs's flawless conducting, tempos are astutely judged, the more vigorous pages are given a thrilling punch and lyrical numbers are sculpted with the utmost legance...Karthauser's Sandrina is a joy...the new top choice for this opera.
New York Times, 23rd November 2012
Mr. Jacobs has done it again. His recordings of Mozart's operas bring back some of the thrill that must have attended these works when they were new.
MusicWeb International, March 2013
The Freiburger Barockorchester is in great form and gives an outstanding performance under Jacobs' leadership, expressing all the colours, witty and moving moments with great clarity. Jacobs generally increases the tempi, which I personally found an enhancement to the score. It makes it more lively, brighter, thus leaving a more lasting impression. Mozart would probably have applauded this exceptional performance.
BBC Music Magazine, December 2012
Jacobs's interpretations are always interesting, but here they slip between the magically unique and the quirky. The magical elements include the beautifully effective new orchestration of the reconciliation duet...Sophie Karthauser as the gardener is effortlessly lyrical...Sebastian Weidanz accompanies the recitatives on a fortepiano with great dramatic understanding throughout.
Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (09/2011).
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Works DetailsMozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : La finta giardiniera, K 196
- Conductor: René Jacobs
- Ensemble: Freiburger Barockorchester
- Notes: Composition written: 1775.
- Running Time: 64 min. 19 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1775