Mozart: The Mozart Album: arias and duets from Le nozze di Figaro, La clemenza di Tito, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte & Così fan tutte

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: DG
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart
WORKS: The Mozart Album: arias and duets from Le nozze di Figaro, La clemenza di Tito, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, Die Zauberflöte & Così fan tutte
PERFORMER: Anna Netrebko, Erika Miklósa, Miah Persson, Christine Rice, Bryn Terfel, René Pape; Orchestra Mozart, Mahler CO/Claudio Abbado; Scottish CO/Charles Mackerras; Staatskapelle Dresden/Sebastian Weigle
CATALOGUE NO: 477 6297
This popular collection of arias and ensembles by way of an anniversary sampler from Mozart operas is delivered by a group of singers described as a ‘dream team’ on the packaging. Inevitably it’s an uneven project, even within the offerings of one singer – star-of-the-moment Anna Netrebko, whose contributions range from an aptly scaled and fleet-footed serenade from Figaro to Elettra’s ‘fury’ aria from Idomeneo, which takes her right to her vocal limits. As Ilia in the same opera, her ‘Zeffiretti lusinghieri’ comes to an abrupt, post-aria end, and in the seduction duet ‘Là ci darem’ her Zerlina sounds as if she could eat Thomas Quasthoff’s Don Giovanni for breakfast.

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As Leporello, Quasthoff’s lipsmacking mellifluousness in the Catalogue Aria doesn’t quite register with the full relish, while Christoph Strehl’s Don Ottavio (again in duet with Netrebko as Donna Anna) is anonymous.

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At the top end of the range there’s Bryn Terfel’s furious and deceived Count in Figaro, adding lots of appropriate appoggiaturas to Mackerras’s spirited accompaniment, and René Pape in Sarastro’s second aria from The Magic Flute, though conductor Sebastian Weigle’s accompaniment fluctuates in tempo. In short, not quite enough real excellence to justify the packaging’s claim. George Hall