Dorothea Röschmann performs Mozart opera arias

'Dorothea Röschmann is at the height of her powers'

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mozart
LABELS: Sony
ALBUM TITLE: Mozart
WORKS: Arias from Idomeneo, La Clemenza di Tito, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni; Bella Mia Fiamma, Addio!
PERFORMER: Dorothea Röschmann (soprano); Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding
CATALOGUE NO: Sony 88875061262

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This is an intelligently planned disc, my only complaint being that at 56 minutes’ playing time it could easily have accommodated at least two more arias, say Donna Anna’s ‘Non mi dir’ from Don Giovanni and Pamina’s ‘Ach, ich fühl’s’ from Die Zauberflöte. For this is a selection of arias of women in love, some distraught (Elettra in Idomeneo), would-be vengeful (Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni), mournful at the loss of love (the Countess in Figaro) and so forth. The excellent accompanying essay by Dieter Borchmeyer goes into considerable detail about Mozart’s connoisseurship of women’s feelings, and he certainly seems to be the greatest feminist among operatic composers.

Dorothea Röschmann, in her late forties, is at the height of her powers, with a strong voice which she can rein in, and without the coy pecking that German sopranos have often indulged in in Mozart. The trouble is that she is so winning an artist that almost all the arias made me want to listen to the complete opera from which they come, with her in the relevant role. So this really is a taster disc, and Daniel Harding and his Swedish Radio Orchestra offer intense, attentive accompaniments with no trace of routine. It’s a delightful, frustrating recording.

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Michael Tanner