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CD Review

Wolfgang Mozart

Lucio Silla, K. 135

  • Peter Schreier
  • Edita Gruberová
  • Cecilia Bartoli
  • Dawn Upshaw
  • Yvonne Kenny
Arnold Schoenberg Choir
Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Warner 2564-69126-4 2CDs 155m DDD (Rec in 1990)
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"Lucio Silla" is not one of Mozart's more famous operatic works but when heard in this splendid star studded recording one certainly wonders at its relative neglect when compared to the later operas which are available in scores of versions.

The opera is sent in ancient Rome and each part has memorable scenes with some of the arias and ensembles quite ravishingly beautiful. Although at times the recitatives may be seen as an unwanted intrusion and can also be quite boorish, each singer brings knowledgeable characterization into the parts.

Harnoncourt directs a brisk, no-nonsense performance and he coaxes the stars he has on offer into tender portrayals of their roles with the young Cecilia Bartoli particularly impressive. The recording is excellent with the Concentus Musicus Wien sounding quite marvelous especially in the ensemble passages. At this price, this is surely a huge bargain opportunity for those who wish to snap up this quite unfamiliar opera.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech