MOZART, W.A.: Idomeneo (Salzburg Festival, 2006)

MOZART, W.A.: Idomeneo (Salzburg Festival, 2006)


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- (Disc 1)
Idomeneo, K. 366

Date of Production: 2006
Festival: Salzburg Festival
Venue: Haus fur Mozart, Salzburg
Playing Time: 02:45:55
Catalogue Number: A04001471

Written for the court of Munich in 1780/81, Idomeneo is often regarded as the first of the seven undisputed masterworks in Mozart's dramatic oeuvre. Never before had he cast such bold, impassioned music into a dramatic form or devised such a well-calibrated dramaturgy. Was it the plot that drove Mozart to such extremes of expressive power? The story evokes countless other opera seria subjects: King Idomeneo has promised to sacrifice to Neptune the first person he meets if he is saved from shipwreck; this turns out to be his son Idamante, who stands between two women, the Trojan Princess Ilia, whom he loves, and the Greek princess Elettra, who loves him. Four people on the edge of the abyss, drawn together by passion, torn apart by reasons of state...

Such an extraordinary work deserves an exceptional interpretation. And this is ensured by Sir Roger Norrington and the Camerata Salzburg playing on an "island" (the action unfolds on Crete) surrounded by narrow ramps on which the singers, literally "on the edge of the abyss," pace about in search of one another, of love, of redemption... Simplicity and elegance stamp both the production of Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann, and the playing of the Camerata Salzburg. Norrington entices entire catalogues of nuances from his players, but never yields to manneristic over-refinement. His Mozart is slender and suave, rigorous and concise.

Under his baton, the soloists Ramon Vargas as Idomeneo, who colors his despair with exquisite delicacy and rousing bravura. Magdalena Kozena is a passionate, glowing Idamante and Ekaterina Siurina a lyrical Ilia. As Elettra, Anja Harteros triumphs with dramatic fire and intensity. Every inch a noblewoman, she hurls out her vengeance aria with repressed fury rather than scenery-chewing theatrics. They and their colleagues Jeffrey Francis, Robin Leggate and Gunther Groissbock, along with the Salzburger Bachchor, lend their artistry to this unforgettably intense performance.

Part 1

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