René Jacobs, Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
One of the musical sensations of 2005.
This recording of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro was one of the musical sensations of 2005 — an interpretation by a cast who had clearly worked together on stage. Jacobs and his superb singers manage, quite tremendously, to recapture the danger of this potentially seditious score (the Beaumarchais play on which it was based was banned because of its revolutionary glimpse of a servant running rings round his master). Figaro, superbly characterised by Lorenzo Regazzo, is the centre of this particular story: the energetic wheeler-dealer who wants to keep his new wife from the Count's libidinous clutches. Simon Keenlyside is tremendous as that thwarted aristocrat and Véronique Gens is a gloriously poised Countess. Angelika Kirchschlager is a feisty Cherubino and Patrizia Ciofi a Susanna whose native Italian trips on her tongue like laughter. And there is the music itself — overflowing with great tunes and wonderfully dramatic writing.