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Mozart - Mitridate
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Description du produit
Description du produit
ROUSSET CHRISTOPHE / LES TALEN
Mitridate est un opéra mal connu de Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Cet enregistrement comble un vide discographique évident. Christophe Rousset a su réunir un plateau vocal extraordinaire, emmené par Natalie Dessay et Cecilia Bartoli. L'interprétation sur instruments anciens des Talents Lyriques apporte une véracité très intéressante et qui retient l'attention. Quoi qu'il en soit, le plus surprenant dans ce Mitridate demeure la précocité du compositeur qui écrit cet opéra alors qu'il n'est âgé que de 14 ans ! --Marc Aigneaux
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"Après Pharnace III, hagard roi du Mont"
Voici donc Rapazest, sublime Roi des Ponts
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Zsanett en l'épousant va lui donner de le droit
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Et d'être ce qu'il est, une vraie de tête de noeud
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Rapazest, dans ses malles, a mis Vlad le Vampire
La transfusion est prête, les taxes sont alourdies
Pour plaire au Favori de ce grand abruti"
Moralité : De l'hagard Mont Pharnace au roi des Ponts, il suffit d'un zeste
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I don't see any reason not to give this particular recording four stars. Natalie Dessay is never my favorite, but while she does her characteristic crooning on some of the high notes, she mostly avoids becoming too self indulgent, and her voice is definitely in better shape than later in her career. Giuseppe Sabbatini is a singer who was not previously known to me, but he handles the extremely difficult title role admirably. That being said, Juan Diego Florez does kind of steal the show with his brilliant coloratura. The minor roles are very well sung, and the sound is excellent.
This is probably my second choice Mitridate after Hagar, followed by Page and then Fischer.
The star of this production is Natalie Dessay, who again demonstrates her ability to steal the show through stunningly brilliant singing and a marvelous voice. Her performance is equaled in technical virtuosity and quality of voice (but not surpassed) by Cecilia Bartoli, though her role lies in spots uncomfortably high for that wondrous instrument. The highlight of the production is the duet mentioned earlier which involves these two performers. Sandrine Piau in a smaller role provides singing of almost equal stature. Brian Asawa, in the role of Mitridate's traitorous older son, provides an amazing display of technique and agility, but he hardly sounds convincing. He actually sounds more like a drag queen with full command of falsetto than like a man - or a woman. Giuseppe Sabbatini I found to be the only disappointment, singing the title role adequately but with a rather unlovely tone.
The period-instrument orchestra performs brilliantly. However, I found that Christophe Rousset let the recitatives drag badly, while some of the arias, especially Bartoli's, were rushed. She can handle the pace without problem - her clearly articulated fioriture has to be heard to be believed -- but she has no way to plumb the musical depths of these brilliantly conceived show-pieces when the pace is so rushed.
All together, an excellent set!
All the singers are top-notch. Wonderful voices with wonderful techniques... and singing beautifully all the time. Even when it is wrong to sing beautifully. Pieces like Farnace's Act I aria, 'Venga pur, minacci e frema' are supposed to be menacing and not pretty! And Asawa (Gosh! I love his voice!!!) is anything BUT menacing. Better get Kasarova's Mozart Aria disc and see how this piece is supposed to sound like. Farnace is supposed to be in a towering cold rage and spewing venom here.
A lot of that going around in this recording. And Rousset set strange tempo for many arias. Some of Sifare(Bartoli)'s were too fast, and most of Farnace(Asawa)'s were too slow. Oh how draggy can 'Gia dagli occhi il velo' get? If it was any slower it would be going backward! That slow a tempo could work if the singer infects it with nuance and emotion... unfortunately neither the conductor nor the singer delivered and the aria screams for itself to be fast-forwarded after 15 seconds... if you're patient.
Seems to me only Piau (Ismene) and Dessay (Aspasia) turned in something that does Mozart justice. Juan Diego Florez is the minor character Marzio, and he is fine there. For all 3 CDs at this price.... I regret buying the thing.
The booklet contains the story of how Mozart came to write the opera, synopsis, short bio of the cast (all in English only), and libretto in English and Italian.
In the numerous letters exchanged from Mozart to his family there are several mentions of the opera "Mitridate" One such reference was made by Mozart in a letter written to his mother from Milan on October 20, 1770: "I cannot write much, for my fingers are aching from composing so many recitatives. Mama,I beg you to pray for me, that my opera may go well and that we may be happy together again.."
As late as November 24, however, Leopold writes that Wolfgang "has only composed one aria for the primo uomo"(Pietro Benedetti, a male soprano, who sang the part of Siface). In fact there were three castratos in the original casting for this opera: Pietro Benedetti, known as Sartorino(Siface), Guiseppe Cicognani (Farnace) and Pietro Muschietti (Arbate). The countertenor Brian Asawa sings the part of Farnace on this recording; Cecelia Bartoli (Sifare) and Helene Le Corre (Arbate).
The opera was first produced in December 26, 1770,and had a great success. Mozart in a letter to his mother from Milan on January l2, 1771 states: "...The opera, God be praised, is a success, for every evening the theatre is full...." When you consider that Mozart wrote this at the age of 14 (the same age as when he wrote "Ascanio in Alba") one can only marvel at his genius!!!
This recording, with its excellent group of singers ,displays all of his genius so beautifully. The overture and accompaniments, played so well by Les Talens Lyriques, show the influence of Giovanni Sammartini, to whom Mozart apparently responded positively. since they demonstrate an ebullience and energy unsurpassed in his previous operatic works.
Concerning the performance on this recording, the orchestra plays 'cleanly'and in tune, as well as stylistically correct. The Allegros are not too fast, and the Andantes not too slow! The singers are all operatic notables and sing creditably well. I personally have never been fond of Natalie Dessay's voice, but having said this, I must comment that her opening aria 'Al destin, che la minaccia' is outstanding technically, displaying, as it does, great vocal flexibility. Cecilia Bartoli always dramatically intense with her incredibly rich, full-bodied sound. Her role as the son of Mitridate (a 'pants' role) is a masterpiece of singing and acting.
Sabbatini, in the role of Mitridate, is really not a particular favorite of mine. I can think of a dozen tenors, Bostridge being one, that I would rather hear in this characterizaton. Bostridge was magnificent in his portrayal of Belmonte in the Mozart opera 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'; so much passion and fervor; just great. (1997 Christie recording). It seems to me that Sabbatini always OVERPLAYS his part, but there are other listeners who will like this trait! Brian Asawa, who is a countertenor (sopranist, actually), is wonderfully skilled and enjoyable in his role as 'Farnace', the elder son of Mitridate. His arias flow forth with such ease and clarity that it makes one want to hear more from him. I especially like his aria 'Venga pur, minacci'; just fabulous!
Christophe Rousset just does a great job pulling it all together. This disc, to my thinking, should bring this opera to the forefront. Very good liner notes: information in English and text in Italian and English.