Notes and Editorial Reviews
Exsultate, jubilate. Voi avete, un cor fedele. Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei. Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia. Nehmt meinen Dank. Bella mia fiamma, addio. Zaide:
Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben
. Mitridate, rè di Ponto:
Lungi da te
Felicity Lott (sop); Jane Glover, cond; London Mozart Players
DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 5672 (60:38)
This album was recorded in 1989, and has subsequently been making the rounds of
several labels, in part or in full: Decca, Musical Heritage Society, ASV Platinum, and Regis, among others. It’s not surprising, given that Felicity Lott is in her prime here. She offers an attractive lyric soprano that sounds open, free, and particularly beautiful in its upper reaches. Fioritura is handled very well, despite a few minor instances where the voice lags slightly behind the line, as in the
Voi avete un cor fedele
, and the “Alleluja” section of the
. But the latter shows she can trill well, absolutely evenly, and there is never any lack of good enunciation or refined phrasing.
Lott’s vocal color varies little, and though there are moments of changing expression, there isn’t a continuously shifting “face” in these performances—no real sense of character comes through. On the other hand, the opening line to
Vado, ma dove? Oh Dei
is deliciously varied, and the recitative portion of
Bella mia fiamma, addio
is lovingly shaded. “Ruhe sanft” is the
at its most ravishing, and Lott’s voice would seem the perfect instrument for it. Her taste and restraint, too, keep it from devolving into a series of externalized gestures that could detract from the piece. Hers is truly an art at the service of the music.
The sound of Lott’s voice has always seemed to me slightly larger than life on this album, a combination of over-miking and an over-reverberant recording venue (St. Peter’s Church, Morden, in South London). Balance is good with the orchestra, and Jane Glover leads the London Mozart Players in thoroughly stylish performances on modern instruments. No texts or translations are provided, though they are easy enough to come by online, if you lack them from other recordings of similar material. Recommended? Certainly.
FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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