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Mozart: Idomeneo / Jacobs, Fink, Croft, Rivenq, Im, et al

Album Summary

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Idomeneo, rè di Creta, opera, K. 366
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

It is curious that, considering their revolutionary nature, Mozart's mature operas are bookended by two opera seria. Written when the composer was 24, 'Idomeneo' demonstrated Mozart's supreme mastery of orchestral color, accompanied recitatives and melodic line. It was a notable success for the young composer, but shortly after its Munich premiere in 1781 the opera fell into obscurity, a victim of changing tastes. Mozart eventually revised it and a concert performance (with Idamantes now a tenor as well as many other substantive changes) was given in 1786 at the Auersperg palace in Vienna. But it was not until the mid-20th century that Idomeneo became a regular part of the standard operatic repertoire. With his series of distinguished and highly acclaimed Mozart operatic recordings, Rene Jacobs has shown he is the ideal conductor to revive this dazzling composition. The set includes a bonus DVD (45 minutes) that details the making of this remarkable recording.

"Jacobs drives the opera with an irresistible narrative urgency, eliciting an exceptionally supple and nuanced performance from Freiburger Barockorchester; their playing seems at every moment to be attuned to the music's support of the dramatic situation, and the RIAS Kammerchor sings with comparable responsiveness. The use of a fortepiano for the continuo seems absolutely right for the material, and Sebastian Wienand plays the part with spontaneity and sparkle. Jacobs has assembled a dazzling cast, many of them regulars from his earlier Mozart operas... Mozart's score is a marvel of inventiveness and startling felicities; this superb recording offers an ideal introduction to its wonders and should also appeal to anyone who already knows the opera. Harmonia Mundi's sound is impeccable: clear, clean, and warm, with a compelling immediacy. The set comes with a DVD including interviews and discussions of various aspects of the opera. Highly recommended." -All Music Guide

Gramophone Magazine
There is no denying the intense theatrical charge of Jacobs's performance. He chooses mobile, natural-sounding tempi... The chorus... are as involved and incisive as Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir in the glorious music Mozart allots them, while the superb Freiburg Baroque Orchestra relish what David Cairns dubs the opera's "proto-Romantic exploitation of orchestral colour". Jacobs, like Gardiner and Mackerras, is unerringly responsive to the ways Mozart expresses the drama through harmony, rhythm and orchestral texture. ...the role of the tortured king is tricky to cast. Richard Croft is a subtle, sensitive artist, mellifluous of tone, refined of phrase. In plangent beauty of tone and passionate immediacy, Bernarda Fink's Idamante is at least the equal of Anne Sofie von Otter (Gardiner) and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mackerras)... this new version, beautifully recorded, at its best eclipses all corners in dramatic tension, not least in the magnificent, anguished account of the great Act 3 quartet.

Sunday Times
The orchestral playing, choral singing and most of the soloists are first-rate: Bernarda Fink's ardent Idamante, Alexandrina Pendatchanska's spitfire Elettra and Richard Croft's noble Idomeneo rank with the best on disc.

BBC Music Magazine
Jacob's strongest players are the superb Idamante of Bernarda Fink: tender, ardent and in touch with every nerve-ending of every beautifully shaped phrase. Alexandrina Pendatchanska, from her blazing top register to the dark depths of her voice, is a thrilling Elettra.


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Works Details

>Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Idomeneo, rè di Creta, opera, K. 366
  • Performers: Luca Tittoto (Bass); Kenneth Tarver (Tenor); Alexandrina Pendatchanska (Soprano); Bernarda Fink; Sunhae Im (Soprano); Nicolas Rivenq (Voice); Richard Croft
  • Conductor: René Jacobs
  • Notes: Composition written: 1781.
  • Running Time: 117 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1781