This Mozart gala was most enjoyable, there could have been more arias and some artists could have had more to do-Rene Pape and Anna Netrebko are artists deserving of more than just one aria to sing- and some of the Prague symphony was a little too thickly textured and with a have-a-train-to-catch vibe(mostly though especially the last movement it was exciting. And at times the camera work did seem to be at odds with the audio(mostly it was fine), like in the Don Giovanni Overture. The orchestra do play with such beauty of tone, energy and nuance and Daniel Harding gives very clear and precise leadership. The Don Giovanni overture is incredibly dramatic and the Idomeneo overture is just as beautifully played, especially the woodwinds. Mozart's music is sublime, and the pieces are well-chosen, well-contrasted and suitable. The singing is excellent, the standouts being Rene Pape and Anna Netrebko. Pape sings with warmth and a knowing slyness in Leporello's Catalogue aria, while Netrebko brings the house down with some thrilling but still attractive singing and the fury, passion and abandon that D'Oreste, d'Ajace needs comes through most evidently and in a way that hardly anybody expected. Patricia Petibon and Ekaterina Suirina fare just as well. Petibon is marred by some vulgar facial expressions but singing Nel Grave Tormento she is always on-the-ball, is pitch-perfect and her singing is clear, beautifully articulated(her high register staccatos I envy) and stylish. Siurina is very touching and her tone fresh and lyrical. She blends very well with the firm-voiced Magdalena Kozena in a duet that is just gorgeous and suits their voices to a tee. Kozena brings just as warm a tone to Parto, Parto. Michael Schade is suitably tender in Dalla Sua Pace and he convinces in a comparatively more forceful Si All'Impero. Thomas Hampson is not quite as good as the rest, he is commanding and funny in Rivolgete A Lui Lo Sguardo and his voice has a nice fullness but his voice is perhaps a tad heavy for Mozart, then again this may be a bit of vocal-stereotyping on my part. To conclude, a very enjoyable gala, not of consistent quality but it didn't come across as a tale-of-two-halves quality that I once saw cited. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?