Mozart: Idomeneo

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Decca
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart
WORKS: Idomeneo
PERFORMER: Peter Pears, Heather Harper, Anne Pashley, Rae Woodland, Robert Tear; English Opera Chorus; English CO/Benjamin Britten; dir. Colin Graham (TV, 1970)
CATALOGUE NO: 074 3258
In Mozart’s Idomeneo Britten conducts his own drastically cut, pre-‘authentic’ edition, with affection and finesse. Unfortunately Colin Graham’s Aldeburgh production wasn’t remotely rethought for TV. The cast is a fine ensemble, notably Anne Pashley and Harper, but their acting is deliberately hieratic and stylised as the billowing-curtain sea and false-perspective monster – not inappropriate for opera seria, but ineffectual on screen. Pears is a touching anti-hero, but even deprived of ‘Fuor del mar’ he’s rather underpowered. Recommendable chiefly as nostalgia. Michael Scott Rohan

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