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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Un moto di gioia - Opera and Concert Arias
Schon lacht der holde Frühling, KV580 (1789) [7:47]
Ch’io mi scordi di te? KV505 (1786) [10:01]¹
Nehmt meinen Dank, KV383 (1782) [3:44]
Lungi sa te, mio bene Aria from Mitridate, Rè di Ponto, KV87 (1770) [9:21]²
Un moto di gioia, Arietta KV579 (1789) from Le nozze di Figaro [1:33]
Come scoglio Recitative and aria from Così fan tutte, KV588 (1790) [5:28]
Ruhe sanft mein holdes Leben from Zaide, KV 344 (1779) [5:44]
Exultate, jubilate, KV165 (1770)
[13:30]³
Miah Persson (soprano),
Yevgeny Sudbin (piano obbligato)¹, Bengt Olerås (solo horn)², Ulf Samuelsson
(organ)³, Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Sebastian Weigle
rec. September 2005, Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden
BIS SACD-1529 [63:36]
 


The Swedish soprano Miah Persson, who graduated from the University College of Opera in Stockholm in 1999 has had a busy international career the last few years. This summer (2006) she made her highly successful debut at the Glyndebourne Festival, singing Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, a role which is also represented on this disc. A couple of years ago Hyperion released a disc with Swedish songs, Soul and Landscape (CDA67329 - see review) which was greeted with enthusiasm by the critics and is one of the freshest collections of this repertoire ever recorded.
 
Freshness is also the first noun that pops up when hearing the first few notes of the aria Schön lacht der holde Frühling, intended for Mozart’s sister-in-law, Josepha Hofer, who was the first Queen of the Night. The voice is bright, crystal clear, lithe and she negotiates the coloratura effortlessly. “Spring in its beauty is already smiling” reads the opening line of the aria and that’s exactly the impression conveyed by Miah’s voice. And when she comes to the slow middle section of this tripartite aria, where she sits and weeps for the shepherd Lindor, she colours the voice accordingly. The long scena Ch’io mi scordi di te?, written for Nancy Storace, requires dramatic singing to express all the contrasting emotions and though the voice is light and slim she also has enough power in store. Here Yevgeny Sudbin plays the piano obbligato with great elegance.

The aria from Mitridate, a long farewell, written for a castrato, shows her fine trill. This piece is in effect a duet since the French horn, exquisitely played by Bengt Olerås, is just as important as the soprano. The two voices blend well and are ideally balanced. Nehmt meinen Dank, written for his other sister-in-law-to-be, Aloysia Lange, is a lovely aria, as is the short, dancing, joyous aria for Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, composed for a Vienna performance in 1789. Un moto di gioia (A surge of joy) is also a fitting title for this whole collection. The real Susanna aria, Deh vieni non tardar, performed here complete with the recitative Giunse alfin il momento - although the track-list doesn’t say so - suits Miah Persson to perfection. She makes a lovely Susanna, as visitors to Covent Garden last season already know. A natural Susanna, one wouldn’t believe her to be “big” enough for Fiordiligi, but actually she adopts a fuller rounder voice for this taxing aria. She colours it with broad brush strokes, having enough power even in the lowest register. She makes for a younger-sounding Fiordiligi than we are used to, but that is not in the least unbecoming.
 
Zaide, a kind of blueprint for Die Entführung aus dem Serail, was never finished but Ruhe sanft has been frequently performed and recorded. This most enchanting of Mozart arias is here given an ethereal reading where Persson swings herself effortlessly up in the higher regions like a lark ascending. The concluding Exultate, jubilate, another castrato piece, has been recorded possibly hundreds of times. I still treasure a recording from the 1950s with Mattiwilda Dobbs but Miah Persson has nothing to fear from comparisons even with this benchmark version. She is suitably agile and jubilant in the opening allegro and sings the andante Tu virginum corona warmly and simply. She then proceeds to toss off the fast runs of the Alleluja with great confidence.
 
With atmospheric surround sound, orchestral playing in the first division, a model booklet including the sung texts - please, some other companies, take note! - the singing of one of the best young lyric sopranos of the day, this disc has all the attributes to make it a valuable addition to any vocal collection.
 
Göran Forsling
 

 

 



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