Friday, September 24, 2010

Mozart - Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail – William Christie, Les Arts Florissants






It was only a matter of time before William Christie  got around to recording Mozart's delightful 1782 singspiel, and the results are very happy indeed. Period instruments are just right for the raucous "Turkish" music Mozart composed for Entführung, and they go very nicely with the light voices Christie has chosen as well. Most successful is the Belmonte of tenor Ian Bostridge, already famous for his lieder singing. This is a sensitive yet ardent portrayal, and while the voice may be somewhat limited at the bottom end of the scale, its colors and expressive use more than make up for any limitations. Not only is Christine Schäfer's Konstanze handsomely sung, but for once we feel her rage in "Martern190px-Croce-Mozart-Detail aller Arten," and not at the aria's difficulties. The secondary couple, Pedrillo and Blonde, are sung by Iain Paton and Patricia Petibon, respectively, and they are nice foils for the other two: Paton is impetuous and Petibon is coy where their betters are thoughtful and serious. Alan Ewing's light Osmin seems at first to be too light, but he has the low notes required for the role and shows his sensitive side in his opening aria about love. Still, he could use a bit more heft. Christie's tempi are ideal, his band plays superbly, and the singers embellish their vocal lines tastefully. And the little march before Pasha Selim arrives has never been recorded before. Where did it come from? This may not be the most laugh-heavy performance of the work on CD, but it's beautifully performed. --Robert Levine


ape, booklet

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