Olga Peretyatko: Mozart +
There’s a neat concept behind Olga Peretyatko’s new disc: putting familiar Mozart arias in context by programming them alongside his less familiar contemporaries. Hence Tommaso Traetta’s Antigona (1772), Giovanni Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (1782) and Martín y Soler’s Il burbero di buon cuore (1786) rub shoulders with arias from Entführung, Figaro, Don Giovanni and La clemenza di Tito.
Traetta’s Antigona was written for the St Petersburg court. From the three short arias here, there are hints of Gluck, especially in the opening lament ‘Ombra cara’, which Peretyatko sings tenderly, while she eats up the coloratura in ‘Finito è il mio tormento’. In its day, Paisiello’s Barbiere was extremely successful … until Rossini’s version usurped it. Rosina’s gentle cavatina in which she pleads with heaven for her soul to be granted peace is far from Rossini’s minx. Il burbero di buon cuore (‘The Good-hearted Curmudgeon’) is the most interesting inclusion here. Soler’s aria is pretty plain but Peretyatko also programmes two insertion arias Mozart composed for it three years after its premiere, possibly written for Caterina Cavalieri, for whom he’d already composed the role of Konstanze in Entführung. While not up to the considerable challenges of ‘Martern aller Arten’, both these insertion arias cover a wide range and are worth hearing.
Throughout, Peretyatko sings with good taste, vocal lines executed cleanly, although some of this repertoire can seem a little heavy for what is, essentially, a coloratura instrument that can dazzle in Rossini and Donizetti. She rises well to the considerable challenges of ‘Martern aller Arten’ but Donna Anna and the Countess can sound a bit of a stretch for a soprano better suited (at present) to Zerlina and Susanna. Ivor Bolton gets efficient playing from the Sinfonieorchester Basel. An enjoyable disc for uncovering some classical rarities.