May 2, 2009

Muti now, and Muti then

Vienna Philharmonic, Sept 8 2008

Among the many reasons for my inalienable admiration for Riccardo Muti, perhaps the most precious one is his remarkable ability to evolve, as a musician.

Obviously the easiest way to do so is to broaden one's repertoire and exhume from the ashes forgotten operas, and Muti has continuously been doing so for many years (Demofoonte in Paris in a few weeks is the most recent example).

But he also has tremendously evolved in his interpretations of unavoidable pieces. His 1982 recording of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for EMI with the Philharmonia pale in comparison to the magnificent performances he gave in the Maggio Musicale in Florence in 2007, that were nothing short of sublime.

And his interpretation of La Forza del Destino's overture yesterday in Il Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli is also on a different level than earlier recordings. Check for yourselves.

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