Erwin Schrott

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Berlioz,Gounod and Meyerbeer,Mozart,Verdi
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: Arias by Mozart, Verdi, Berlioz, Gounod and Meyerbeer
PERFORMER: Erwin Schrott (bass-baritone); Orquestra de la Cummunitat Valenciana/Riccardo Frizza
CATALOGUE NO: 478 0473

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Erwin Schrott is that rare specimen, a matinee idol baritone. A Uruguayan with smouldering looks, partner of the soprano Anna Netrebko, he is already part of Celebrity Culture. He also has an exceptionally beautiful voice, which he uses to fine effect in some of these arias. Oddly, his Mozart strikes me as routine, though he claims a passion for the composer: he sings Figaro’s two arias, one seething with misogyny, the other mocking Cherubino, and you wouldn’t know which was which. All his Mozart is uniform, Leporello indistinguishable from Don Giovanni. But when he moves onto French repertoire, especially to Verdi in French, and though his accent is peculiar (he sings every ‘e’ as if it were ‘é’), he is far more animated and characterful. Philippe’s great aria from Don Carlos is impressive, so is Procida’s from Les vêpres siciliennes, and his Berlioz, Gounod and Meyerbeer are striking too. He gives perhaps his most moving performance in Banquo’s aria from Macbeth, and seems to be a major Verdi baritone in the making. Given that there are 26 minutes to spare on this CD, we could have heard him in more of this repertoire, and I hope we do soon. Michael Tanner