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Mozart +
Olga Peretyatko (soprano)
Sinfonieorchester Basel/Ivor Bolton
rec. 2018, Goetheanum, Dornach
Sung texts with German and English translations enclosed
SONY 19075919052 [60:01]

About a year and a half ago I reviewed a disc with Olga Peretyatko in an all-Russian programme, which I liked a lot. Here she is back with a programme of arias by Mozart and some of his contemporaries. The least known of the three contemporaries is no doubt Tommaso Traetta. He is the oldest of them, almost 30 years older than Mozart and there is no evidence that they met. Traetta held a post as maestro di cappella at the court in St Petersburg for seven years and it was also there he composed Antigona, which is regarded as his best opera. Antigone’s lament which opens the recital is a highlight. She decides to bury her dead brother’s body and the aria is one of the most sorrowful musical utterings imaginable. The mood is very sombre and it is sung with plangent tone, beautifully and technically immaculately including a good trill. The lively cabaletta – “My suffering is at an end” – is in deep contrast to the lament, full of joy.

The two concert arias – or rather insert arias since they were composed for a performance of Martin y Soler’s Il burbero di buon cuore – belong to his best arias and had they been included in one of his own operas they would today have been just as famous as the best of his “real” opera arias, at least Vado, ma dove?. They are followed by one of Soler’s own arias for the same work – and it isn’t bad either. He is best known for Una cosa rara, which challenged Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Mozart also quoted an aria from it in Don Giovanni. The third of the contemporaries, Paisiello, was like Traetta for several years active at the court in St Petersburg, where his Il barbiere di Siviglia was first performed. Mozart met him several times and Barbiere was a great success, until 1816 when Rossini’s opera on the same subject overtrumped it. Rosina’s aria is a fine piece, but when it, as here, is juxtaposed with Mozart’s aria for the same character, when she has been upgraded to countess in Le nozze di Figaro, we realise that here it is a music dramatic genius who handles the pen, whereas Paisiello is more of an also-ran. Olga Peretyatko is a marvellously alert Countess, but maybe some listeners will find her top notes a bit shrill. She sings with great insight, which she also does in the two arias from Die Entführung aus dem Serail that precede the Paisiello aria. Traurigkeit is deeply felt and the better-known Martern aller Arten is of course tragical as well but also a vehicle for showing off both the range and virtuosity of the soprano. Concerning the former capacity her lowest notes are a bit weak – which I also felt in the Soler aria. In the upper reaches she has nothing to fear from possible competitors. Her virtuosity is never in doubt.

The concluding two arias again show her in contrasting moods. The tone is a bit hard in Donna Anna’s aria from the first act of Don Giovanni, but this is a woman in a state of shock and Ms Peretyatko creates a human being of flesh and blood and not a cardboard character. Vitellia’s aria from La clemenza di Tito is one of the truly great arias – or should we say duets, since the basset horn has such a central role too. Which of Aron Chiesa and Andreas Ferraino is playing is however a well-hidden secret. Ivor Bolton draws idiomatic and stylish playing from his Basel forces and lovers of late 18th century opera fill no doubt find that the disc is to their taste. The inclusion of arias by Mozart’s three contemporaries is a further asset.

Göran Forsling

Tommaso TRAETTA (1727 – 1779)
Antigona (1772):
1. Act II: Ombra cara, amorosa [3:31]
2. Act II: Io resto sempre a piangere [2:46]
3. Act II: Finito è il mio tormento [3:31]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
Insertion arias for “Il burbero di buon cuore” (1789):
4. Act I: Chi sa, chi sa, qual sia (K 582) [3:18]
5. Act II: Vado, ma dove? (K 583) [4:17]
Vicente Martín y SOLER (1754 – 1806)
Il burdero di buon cuore (1785/86):
6. Act I: Infelice ad ogni istante [3:38]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Die Entführung aus dem Serail K 384 (1782):
7. Act II: Rezitativ: Welcher Wechsel herrscht in meiner Seele [2:08]
8. Act II: Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose [6:37]
9. Act II: Martern aller Arten [9:07]
Giovanni PAISIELLO (1740 – 1816)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (1782):
10. Act II: Cavatina: Giusto ciel, che conoscete [4:01]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Le nozze di Figaro K 492 (1786):
11. Act III: Recitativo: E Susanna non vien! [1:47]
12. Act III: Dove sono i bei momenti [4:40]
Don Giovanni K 527 (1787):
13. Act I: Or sai chi l’onore [2:51]
La clemenza di Tito K 621 (1791):
14. Act II: Non più di fiori [7:08]



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