ALBUM TITLE: Mozart
WORKS: Arias from Le nozze di Figaro, Idomeneo, Così fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito,
PERFORMER: Magdalena Koz?ená, Jos van Immerseel, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Simon Rattle
CATALOGUE NO: 477 6272
Simon Rattle draws superior playing from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, nicely captured by DG’s lucid, mellow sound. He’s partnered by the Czech mezzo, Kožená, exploring a wide range of Mozart arias, some of which suit her better than others. Regular assignments such as Dorabella and Cherubino fit her like matching gloves. But her top register lacks the ideal fullness in the higher soprano territory of Susanna, while the subterranean low notes of Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito are distinctly weak. This is the least successful of her interpretations, scarcely exploring the complexity of Mozart’s emotionally divided character and hampered by a lack of attention to consonants throughout.
But there are good things here – Kožená’s sensitive musicality, the gentle warmth of her tone, an intelligent approach to whatever she sings. Her limitations occur in roles that she doesn’t sing on stage (like Despina), or those that lie outside
the best part of her vocal range.
Despite appreciable gifts as a Mozartian, this proves to be a less than ideal programme to display those abilities. George Hall