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Mozart: Arias For Male Soprano / Maniaci, Pearlman, Boston Baroque


Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 31827  
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

MOZART Idomeneo: Overture; Ah qual galido orror . . . Il padre adorato. Lucio Silla: Dunque sperar poss’io . . . Il tenero momento; Ah, se a morir mi chiama. La clemenza di Tito: Overture; Deh per questo istante solo; Parto, ma tu ben mio. Exsultate, jubilate Michael Maniaci (sop); Martin Pearlman, cond; Boston Baroque (period instruments) Read more class="BULLET12b">• TELARC 31827 (60: 53)



The higher he goes, the more comfortable he sounds. Michael Maniaci brings warmth and agility to his program of Mozart arias, in every instance displaying sensitive phrasing, lyrical legato, superb coloratura, and unfailing confidence. This is no white-voiced countertenor; he sings from the chest, and he employs liberal but never wobbly vibrato, which has become so refreshing after its ban from 18th-century music performance during the 1970s and 1980s. There’s no real need to go into great detail here, for Maniaci delivers every aria with vocal finesse and an awareness of the texts’ varying dramatic implications. Martin Pearlman and Boston Baroque bring to the performances their customary alertness and skill, seeming lively without going into the hyperdrive one often hears from today’s early-music orchestras; including their spirited performances of two of the operas’ overtures is a nice touch, and adds variety to the program.


One element initially turned me off, though. On first hearing, I got the impression that Maniaci’s diction was sloppy, sometimes incomprehensible, which I cannot forgive of vocalists. If you’re singing words, you must make them understood; otherwise, stick to vocalise. But more careful listening revealed that there was nothing wrong with Maniaci’s enunciation. The problem is the recording locale’s lively acoustics, which enhance the orchestral sound but swallow up much of Maniaci’s Italian. Some of the coloratura passages sound like birdsong rather than vocal flights of fancy leashed to human language. (Incidentally, I received an advance copy of the disc, naked of its eventual packaging, so I can’t assert that texts will be included in the booklet, although I have no reason to doubt it.)


Having lodged that complaint, I can recommend this disc to lovers of Mozart who hate the sound of falsettists, or who can’t get past the cognitive dissonance of hearing or seeing women in male roles, or who simply want to hear an approach to the music that seems easy, natural, and, when the text allows, joyful.

FANFARE: James Reel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Idomeneo, K 366: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Munich, Germany 
2.
Idomeneo, K 366: Ah qual gelido orror...Il padre adorato by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Munich, Germany 
3.
Lucio Silla, K 135: Il tenero momento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Milan, Italy 
4.
Lucio Silla, K 135: Ah, se a morir mi chiama by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Milan, Italy 
5.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
6.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Deh, per questo istante solo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
7.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
8.
Exsultate jubilate, K 165 (158a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Michael Maniaci (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Martin Pearlman
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Baroque
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Milan, Italy 

Sound Samples

Idomeneo, K. 366: Overture
Idomeneo, K. 366: Recitiative and Aria, Ah qual gelido orror...Ill padre adorato
Lucio Silla, K. 135: Recitative and Aria, Dunque sperar poss'io...Il tenero momento
Lucio Silla, K. 135: Aria, Ah see a morir mi chiama
La Clemenza Di Tito, K. 621: Overture
La Clemenza Di Tito, K. 621: Aria, Deh per questo istante solo
La Clemenza Di Tito, K. 621: Aria, Parto, ma tu ben mio
Motet, Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165: Allegro
Motet, Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165: Recitative
Motet, Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165: Andante
Motet, Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165: Allegro: Alleluja

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