WORKS: Operatic and Concert Arias
PERFORMER: Sumi Jo (soprano)English CO/Kenneth Montgomery
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-14637-2
Mozart wrote many of these showpiece arias – totally dazzling in their demands on the soprano voice – for his beloved sister-in-law Aloysia. This delightful repertoire has been recorded recently by Gruberová on Teldec and Dessay on EMI, and Margaret Price is now transferred to CD on RCA.
Jo has the right vocal technique and coloratura range for Mozart’s sublime vocal gymnastics, effortlessly tossing off top Es and producing blissful, plangent sound in more sedate arias. The Korean soprano was heard by Karajan in 1988, made her international debut at the Salzburg Festival, and went on to sing the Queen of the Night and other coloratura roles in major opera houses.
There are some interesting tempi in this recording which enhance Jo’s display of vocal fireworks, especially in ‘No, che non sei capace’ and ‘Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle’. This is a varied, well-chosen programme, which includes ‘standards’ such as ‘Ach, ich fühl’s’ and ‘Deh vieni’, revealing Jo’s stunning vocal dexterity and golden bright coloratura sound. At times her German is a little curious, but this is not too distracting. Elise McDougall