COMPOSERS: Holzbauer,JC Bach,Mozart,Paisiello,Salieri
WORKS: Arias by Mozart, Salieri, Paisiello, Holzbauer & JC Bach
PERFORMER: Mojca Erdmann (soprano); La Cetra Barockorchester Basel/Andrea Marcon
CATALOGUE NO: DG 477 8979
The young German soprano’s selection of arias extends beyond Mozart to several of his important contemporaries, showing that he was not the only gifted composer around, even if he inevitably wins the lifetime achievement award. Erdmann’s not quite fully mature yet highly flexible instrument is used with imagination in extracts from Salieri’s masterpiece, Les Danaïdes, while Mozart’s considerable debt to Johann Christian Bach is evident in an aria from another French opera, Amadis de Gaule. Ignaz Holzbauer’s Günther von Schwarzburg – a work Mozart is known to have admired – also proves a worthwhile rediscovery.
Erdmann is certainly an interpreter of major gifts, most obvious in the more regular Mozart assignments, which all possess dramatic individuality as well as musical and vocal distinction. Her Zerlina, for instance, is charming but canny, her Susanna spry and clean-limbed. As Ilia in Idomeneo, the character’s dilemma is laid bare through her expert definition of text.
But contributing just as much to the disc’s success is the orchestral playing under Andrea Marcon. The Basel-based period-instrument ensemble maximises the characterful elements of the writing throughout. George Hall