Mozart: Ah lo previdi, K272

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COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Armide
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart
WORKS: Ah lo previdi, K272
PERFORMER: Sandrine Piau (soprano); Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset
CATALOGUE NO: ARM 009
Sandrine Piau chose a recital of Mozart arias for her first recital CD; and now she makes a welcome return to Mozart, celebrating his anniversary at the Festival of Saint-Denis.

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The title of Airs sacrés is intriguing. For Piau and Christophe Rousset, even secular love is sacred and their sense of awe and wonder in ‘Ruhe sanft’ from Zaïde is a true counterpart to those feelings as expressed in Piau’s beautifully phrased ‘Et incarnatus est’ from the C minor Mass. Here, Piau is accompanied by solo flute, oboe and bassoon in the freshly oxygenated and stylish playing of Les Talens Lyriques. These fine soloists come into their own in the Sinfonia Concertante, K297b, where they are joined, with obvious relish, by the clarinet and skilful horn playing of Jorge Renteria. Two concert arias, the K272 scena ‘Ah, lo previdi!’ and ‘Ah, se in ciel’ (K538) provide a virtuoso ending for this highly seductive recital.

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From the opening shadows on the pavement cast by members of the audience moving in from the golden light of a French summer evening to the shade of the Basilica, this recital is filmed with great imagination and elegance by Olivier Simonnet. There are no programme notes, but the bonus interviews with Piau, Rousset and oboe Patrick Beaugiraud offer engaging commentary. Hilary Finch