Mojca Erdmann - Mostly Mozart
Mojca Erdmann has sung several roles on stage, including Mozart’s Blonde and Zerlina and Strauss’s Sophie. She can be seen on a DVD of Zaïde from Salzburg (Medici Arts) and heard on Simon Rattle’s CD of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (EMI, 6/09). This is her first studio recording, and it’s full of good things. The Mozart pieces are interspersed with excerpts by his contemporaries, ranging from Ignaz Holzbauer (1777) to Paisiello (1789).
The two arias from Zaïde show off Erdmann’s strengths: the outer sections of “Tiger!” are full of fire, and “Ruhe sanft” is delicate without being merely pretty. Erdmann conveys both Ilia’s uncertainty, supported in “Padre, germani” by the orchestra’s restless syncopation, and her growing confidence, in “Se il padre perdei”. Susanna’s solo in Act 4 of Figaro flows nicely; Zerlina’s “Batti, batti” benefits from a swift tempo; but in “Vedrai, carino” Erdmann doesn’t quite manage to drive home the last line. At 4'18", Pamina’s “Ach, ich fühl’s” is painfully slow: of my versions, only Böhm is slower – even Klemperer comes in at 4'03".
The pieces by Mozart’s contemporaries are fascinating: the excerpts from Günther von Schwarzburg, an opera admired by Mozart, certainly whet the appetite; so, too, does the air from JC Bach’s only French opera. It’s good to be reminded of Les Danaïdes (there’s an excellent complete recording on Oehms Classics, 4/08), and the Paisiello is charming. Erdmann’s spirited, impeccably tuned soprano is a delight to hear, and this unhackneyed recital is richly enjoyable.