With Mozart's 250th anniversary now in full swing, the classical music market continues to be stifled with several reissues of standard repertoire. So this exceptional Arts issue is welcome in more ways than one, if not for anything, simply for the reason that the works are all unknown pieces by the Salzburg prodigy.
One must keep in mind that during the composer's lifetime many cloister communities, prince-bishops and nobles were prone to organizing celebrations of great pomp and to complement these opulent gatherings they often commissioned works to be played during these clerical high feasts.
The nine arias on this disc fall precisely in this category and as to why they remained unknown for so long is still one of those mysteries enshrining these Mozartian jewels. We have to thank 'Lady Luck' and more so, Dr. Dieter Klocker whose indefatigable search in several collections, mainly in Eastern Europe, helped him stumble across these memorable works. In Dr. Klocker's own words, his quest was mainly to bring this delightful music to a wider public, so that listeners in general may draw on the pleasures that these rarities present.
The musicologist's job to establish their authenticity is altogether another matter. When these recordings were taped in June 1987, Helen Donath was in truly sparkling voice, mastering all the technical difficulties with ease and élan. Her 'coloratura' in particular is as refreshing as the evening breeze and she is given committed support both from the three soloists and the Suk Chamber Orchestra making this disc a must for all Mozartians.
Copyright © 2006, Gerald Fenech