Don Giovanni – Overture
Felicity Lott (soprano)
BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra
Recorded 17 April 1978 in BBC Studios, Manchester
Reviewed by: Antony Hodgson
Reviewed: October 2008
CD No: BBC LEGENDS
Duration: 61 minutes
This is a symphony, not a cantata – true the words of the soprano featured in the finale are about joy but the orchestral writing also explains wordlessly that joy is the underlying philosophy; therefore when, as here, Felicity Lott is presented as integral to the orchestra then Mahler’s symphonic intentions are ideally realised.
This recording was made for broadcasting purposes but its quality challenges many commercial issues. A touch more of the high percussion would have been welcome but in general the balance is exemplary and the acoustic sounds just right. I had never heard Sanderling in Mahler before but in this performance of Symphony No.4 I find both his musical sympathy and his superb sense of structure deeply impressive.