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Divas Of Mozart's Day / P. Michaels, Alltop, Classical Arts


Release Date: 09/24/2002 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 64   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartVincenzo RighiniAntonio SalieriVicente Martin y Soler,   ... 
Performer:  Patrice MichaelsStephen AlltopPeter Van DeGraaff
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The interesting premise for this collection is the women who sang frequently and created roles in operas presented at the court of Emperor Joseph II. Some specialized in comic roles, others were opera seria specialists; some sang in both. The singers were Caterina Cavalieri (Salieri's mistress and the first Constanze in Abduction), Nancy Storace (the first Susanna in Figaro), Adriana Ferrarese del Bene (Cosi's first Fiordiligi), Luisa Laschi Mombelli (the first Countess in Figaro), and Louise Villeneuve (the first Dorabella in Cosi)--sopranos light and not-so-light, and a mezzo, although in those days the distinctions were not as clear as they are now. The repertoire chosen here is rare and it is up to soprano Patrice Michaels to fill the Read more shoes of the five divas who reigned in Vienna from about 1778 to 1793.

Michaels has become quite an impressive artist. Recordings made a few years back exhibit a limited lyric-soprano; here, the tone has ripened and the technique is impressive. She's still essentially a lyric soprano with a fine top. When required to make wide leaps--as in arias from Salieri's Der Rauchfangkehrer and La cifra--all the notes are there, but the lowest ones are underdeveloped. In other words, her sound is closer to Susanna's than Fiordiligi's, and she wisely refuses to force--she instead makes her dramatic points through intelligent phrasing.


If her voice lacks many colors, it has much else to recommend it: it's pretty, with a sensual middle, with easy handling of trills, coloratura, and ornaments. As suggested, its sweetness undoes any possibility for big drama, but so what? This recital contains unusual music, well-performed, and not being able to re-create the art of five separate sopranos is hardly a drawback. Accompaniments are excellent, even if the fortepiano that goes along with "Non temer, amato bene" (K. 505), is a bit tinkly. Bass-baritone Peter Van De Graaf impresses in a funny scene from Salieri's La grotta del Trofonio and in the annoying Zerlina-Leporello duet Mozart added for Vienna. This is highly recommended.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Davidde penitente, K 469: Fra l'oscure ombre funeste by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
2.
Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer, amato bene, K 505 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Stephen Alltop (Fortepiano), Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
3.
Al desio di chi ch'adora, K 577 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
4.
Per queste tue manine, K 540b by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Peter Van DeGraaff (Bass Baritone), Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "Restati quà..." 
5.
Vado, ma dove?, K 583 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "Ahí cosa veggio..." 
6.
No caro, fa coraggio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
7.
L'incontro inaspettato: Per pietà, deh, ricercate by Vincenzo Righini
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
8.
Der Rauchfangkehrer: Wenn dem Adler das Gefieder by Antonio Salieri
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
9.
Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onestà: Dolce mi parve un dì by Vicente Martin y Soler
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
10.
La grotta di Trofonio: La ra la, che filosofo buffon by Antonio Salieri
Performer:  Peter Van DeGraaff (Bass Baritone), Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
11.
The Doctor and the Apothecary: How mistaken is the lover by Stephen Storace
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; London, England 
Language: English 
12.
La cifra: Alfin son sola... Sola e mesta fra tormenti by Antonio Salieri
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
13.
L'arbore di Diana: Sereno raggio by Vicente Martin y Soler
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 
14.
Quanto è grave il mio tormento by Domenico Cimarosa
Performer:  Patrice Michaels (Soprano)
Conductor:  Stephen Alltop
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Classical Arts Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Language: Italian 

Sound Samples

Davide penitente, K. 469: Davidde penitente, K. 469: Tra l'oscure ombre funeste
L'incontro inaspettato: L'incontro inaspettato: Per pieta, deh, ricercate
Der Rauchfangkehrer: Wenn dem Adler das Gefieder
Ch'io mi scordi di te ... Non temer, amato bene, K. 505: Ch'io mi scordi di te ... Non temer, amato bene, K. 505
Una cosa rara: Dolce mi parve un di
La Grotta di Trofonio: La ra la, che filosofo buffon
The Doctor and the Apothecary: How Mistaken is the Lover
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492: Le nozze di Figaro, K. 577: Al desio di chi t'adora
La cifra: Alfin son sola...Sola e mesta fra tormenti
Don Giovanni, K. 540b: Per queste tue manine (Da Ponte)
L'arbore di Diana: Sereno raggio: L'arbore di Diana: Sereno raggio
Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei!, K. 583: Vado, ma dove?, K. 583
Mozart - No caro, fa corragio - Cimarosa - Quanto e grave il mio tormento: Mozart: "No caro, fa corragio" / Cimarosa: "Quanto e grave il mio tormento"

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