Mojca Erdmann - Mostly Mozart

Mozart mostly delights, while rarer fare whets the appetite for more

Author: 
Richard Lawrence

Mojca Erdmann - Mostly Mozart

  • Zaïde, Tiger! wetze nur die Klauen
  • (Les) Danaides, Par les larmes dont votre fille
  • Idomeneo, Re di Creta, 'Idomeneo, King of Crete', ~, Quando avran
  • Idomeneo, Re di Creta, 'Idomeneo, King of Crete', ~, Padre, germani, addio!
  • Zaïde, Ruhe sanft, meine holdes Leben
  • Don Giovanni, Batti, batti
  • Nina, o sia La pazza per amore, Il mio ben quando verrà
  • (Le) nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro', ~, Giunse alfin il momento
  • (Le) nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro', ~, Deh vieni non tardar
  • Günther von Schwarzburg, Es ist geschrieben
  • Günther von Schwarzburg, Ihr Rosenstunden
  • Don Giovanni, Vedrai, carino
  • Amadis des Gaules, A qui pourrai-je avoir recours?
  • (Die) Zauberflöte, '(The) Magic Flute', Ach, ich fühl's
  • (Les) Danaides, Père barbare, arrache-moi
  • Idomeneo, Re di Creta, 'Idomeneo, King of Crete', Se il padre perdei
  • Günther von Schwarzburg, Die Klüfte sausen!

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.

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