Teodor Currentzis / MusicAeterna

Mozart: Così Fan Tutte

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Greco-Russian conductor Teodor Currentzis had caused quite a controversy in the operatic world. Settling in the provincial city of Perm, he formed a historical-instrument (although hardly a historical-performance) group called MusicAeterna and shaped it to reflect his unique musical visions. This release is one of a group of three devoted to Mozart's operas with libretti by Lorenzo da Ponte, whom Currentzis regards as a kind of revolutionary comparable to the most outrageous figures in rock music, and his reading of Così fan tutte is explicitly rock-influenced. This doesn't mean that there are guitars or electric instruments, but listen to some of the overture for an idea: blazing speed, slashing attacks that include bow noise from the strings, and a heavy continuo in the recitatives that at times includes a hurdy-gurdy. Plainly there is no historical evidence for such a practice, and it's safe to say that Currentzis' reading is not the music Mozart heard in his head. There are some pretty well-known singers on this release, including soprano Simone Kermes as Fiordiligi, but they function pretty much as cogs in Currentzis' machinery. The recitatives have a fascinating skittery quality, and when Currentzis does let up on the hell-for-leather intensity, he creates beautifully delicate slow arias. Opinions, both critical and audience-formed, on Currentzis are sharply polarized, and this release will do nothing to change that situation. His backers include the executive staff at Sony Classical, who provide a luxurious hardbound book with libretto of the kind previously only seen on labels that get government support, and sprang for a studio recording in Russia (the edgy sound is well-matched to the concept). Listener reactions to this are necessarily going to be highly subjective, but note that this recording has one trait common to many paradigm-shifting performances: the players seem to be having a great deal of fun, even if (or perhaps because) they probably had to unlearn everything they had been trained in so that they could follow their conductor's instructions.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
Così fan tutte
1 3:52
2 1:53
3 1:02
4 1:01
5 1:19
6 2:15
7 5:09
8 1:15
9 0:44
10 1:05
11 4:09
12 0:55
13 1:24
14 0:43
15 1:25
16 0:31
17 2:23
18 0:45
19 0:56
20 3:26
21 1:00
22 1:08
23 1:05
24 1:42
25 2:11
26 2:34
27 3:14
28 4:17
29 3:24
30 3:58

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
Così fan tutte
1 1:03
2 1:44
3 0:46
4 1:03
5 5:03
6 2:21
7 2:53
8 1:33
9 3:19
10 2:46
11 3:57
12 3:04
13 3:16
14 3:43
15 1:26
16 3:01
17 0:21
18 3:29
19 0:46
20 2:15
21 2:38
22 5:21
23 1:36
24 1:30
25 7:47
26 3:59
27 3:01
28 1:26
29 2:02
30 1:28

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time
Così fan tutte
1 2:25
2 3:07
3 2:45
4 5:59
5 2:06
6 1:00
7 0:33
8 1:19
9 3:49
10 2:05
11 1:28
12 0:30
13 1:07
14 2:57
15 4:46
16 1:37
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