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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Idomeneo, K. 366, Act III Scene 10: Oh smania! Oh furie! ... D'Oreste, d'Aiace
La clemenza di Tito, K. 621, Act I: Deh, se piacer mi vuoi;
Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492, Act II: Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro; Act III: E Susanna non vien! ... Dove sono i bei momenti;
Don Giovanni, K. 527, Act II: In quali eccessi, o Numi ... Mi tradì quell'alma ingrata;
Idomeneo, K. 366, Act III Scene 1: Solitudini amiche ... Zeffiretti lusinghieri;
La clemenza di Tito, K. 621, Act II: Ecco il punto, o Vitellia ... Non più di fiori;
Bella mia fiamma, addio, K. 528
Dorothea Röschmann (soprano)
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding
rec. live, 10-15 November 2014, Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden.
SONY CLASSICAL 88875 061262 [56:20]

Dorothea Röschmann seems deservedly to be on something of a roll recently as a recording artist: in the last two years four albums on which she has been the soloist have been released. These include her acclaimed “Portraits” recital for Sony, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony on the RCO live label, the collaboration with Mitsuko Uchida on Schumann’s Lieder on Decca, recorded live in the Wigmore Hall in May of this year, and now this collection of eight Mozart arias accompanied by rising star conductor Daniel Harding.

She has a lovely and distinctive voice; just occasionally a slight edge creeps in to her highest notes which prevents her sounding as creamy as Margaret Price or Kiri Te Kanawa in Mozart, but hers is a pure, bright soprano which maintains a seamless line and impeccable intonation.

The eight arias here were recorded in live concerts over five days. They present five Mozartian women from four operas and a concert aria for soprano as Titano, a “trouser role”. All apart from Ilia in “Idomeneo” are to some degree being driven to desperation by the toils of disappointed love and two, as the notes discuss, represent the “Raving Woman” beloved of the genre, giving the singer ample opportunity to display vocal pyrotechnics and extremes of emotion. Röschmann is not perhaps as released as some of her predecessors who have sung Vitellia and Elettra but her characterisation is nonetheless vivid and her vocalisation impressive. Some sketchiness in her trill in “Dove sono” might explain why she has chosen to omit Fiordiligi, a role she has previously sung; nor does she essay Pamina, who is in any case a rather different type of Mozartian heroine and whom Röschmann has already portrayed beautifully in Abbado’s otherwise underwhelming complete recording of “Die Zauberflöte”. As well as giving us the Countess’s two celebrated arias from “Le nozze di Figaro” and two of Vitellia’s from “La clemenza di Tito”, she also embodies the two polar opposites of Ilia and the rabid Elettra from “Idomeneo”; they make a telling contrast and are equally successful. Particularly striking is her deployment of a resonant lower register in the first aria for Vitellia, auguring well for the longevity of her voice. The concluding concert aria written for Josefa Dušek in Prague in 1787 is not perhaps top drawer Mozart but it is an interesting rarity.

Daniel Harding’s subtle and unfussy accompaniment is exemplary in its sensitivity; the orchestra often expressively eschews vibrato but the strings never whine.

Oddly, no total timing is given for this CD so I have calculated it by adding up individual track timings; is Sony embarrassed by the rather short measure? Otherwise, the presentation is very attractive and full translations of the Italian texts into German and English are provided.
Ralph Moore



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