MOZART; MYSLIVEČEK Arias
Like the much-missed Lucia Popp, Simona aturová is a Slovak soprano from Bratislava. Her Haydn disc (Orfeo) was an Editor’s Choice in November 2009; here she offers an interesting selection of opera arias (plus two quartets) by Mozart and Mysliveček. The composers knew each other in the 1770s and Mozart wrote warmly of his friend in his letters. The numbers from Il gran Tamerlano (Milan, 1771) are nicely contrasted. In ‘Sento nel alma’, Asteria pours out her enmity towards Tamerlano in coloratura, while in ‘Nacqui in seno’ she is resigned to her fate. aturová encompasses both emotions with her bright, clear tone.
She is less successful in the aria from Mozart’s Lucio Silla, which needs the explosive force of a Cecilia Bartoli: here the coloratura sounds careful rather than dramatic. But there’s no faulting her passion in the G minor outburst of ‘Va tra le selve ircane’ from Mysliveček's Artaserse (Naples, 1774). Even better is the 10-minute scena from Medonte (Rome, 1780), which moves freely between aria and accompanied recitative. aturová vividly conveys the plight of the imprisoned Selene.
‘Se il padre perdei’ gives the woodwind soloists of L’Armonia Terrena (not a period band) a chance to shine. There’s a fascinating connection between the quartets from Artaserse and Idomeneo (1781): the same key of E flat, and an identical verbal phrase. There are errors and omissions in the booklet but texts and translations are given. This is a most rewarding issue.