W. A. MOZART
Richard Lewis, Leopold Simoneau,
Sena Jurinac, Lucille Udovick.
Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and Orchestra John Pritchard.
EMI Double Forte CZS5
It is a delight to see this once famous set available once again as the
Glyndebourne magic of the Fifties has rarely been supassed. Singers of the
like of Leopold Simoneau', Sena Jurinac and Richard Lewis were indeed rare
breeds and it shows in this infectious (although sadly cut) version of
'Idomeneo'. This Greek Mozart opera is infectiously filled with delightful
music and the skill and verve of John Pritchard's conducting is indeed not
to be underestimated, in fact this could be one of the most charming accounts
ever of this opera. Lewis' 'Idomeneo' is sung in the grand manner but the
real star of the show must be Jurinac's Ilia, a peerless interpretation in
the very sense. A secure voice, she was definitely one of the charmers in
Glyndebourne and it is a great pity that I am too young to even have a small
whiff of memories from that magical opera house. This recording fits comfortably
alongside the 1955 Cosi' which is also a towering achievement. EMI's remastering
has satisfactorily smoothed out the rough edges and all Mozartian collectors
should snap up this version as an accompaniment to the more recent 'Idomeneo's'.