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Amoretti - Arias by Mozart, Gluck, Gretry / Karg

Karg / Arcangelo / Cohen
Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 300389   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartAndré Modeste GrétryChristoph W. GluckAndré-Ernest-Mode Grétry
Performer:  Christiane Karg
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews



AMORETTI Christiane Karg (sop); Jonathan Cohen, cond; Arcangelo (period instruments) BERLIN CLASSICS 0300389 (72:52 Text and Translation)


MOZART La finta semplice: Amoretti. Ascanio in Alba: Ferma aspetta—Infelice affetti miei. Mitridate: Lunga da te. Il sogno di Scipione: Read more Biancheggia. Lucio Silla: Fra i pensier. GLUCK Orphée et Eurydice : Soumis au silence. Il parnaso confuso: sacre piante. Telemaco: In mezzo a un mar crudele. Iphigénie en Aulide: Adieu, conserve dans votre âme. GRÉTRY La fausse magie : Comme un éclair. Sylvain: Pardonne, o mon juge. Lucille: Au bien supreme


The title of this disc is taken from perhaps the finest aria from Mozart’s first opera buffa, La finta semplice , in which the cupids gambol to the accompaniment of a soft, lyrical bassoon line. Not to ignore such an attention-grabbing title, this disc is really meant to show off the talent of soprano Christiane Karg, not via the usual well-trodden paths of bravura arias from major operas, but rather through exploring some of the lesser performed works of Mozart’s youth. Thus it carves out a niche that provides for an interesting hour or so of listening. Moreover, Karg and conductor Jonathan Cohen have chosen complementary works from two contemporaries, Christoph Willibald von Gluck and André-Ernest-Modest Grétry, both of whom were influences on the young Mozart. It is a pity that more Grétry is not available on disc, for here is a composer who wrote music that is both colorful and imaginative (and whose works include the first ever Beauty and the Beast opera, Zémire et Azor ). Here, one finds arias from the operas La fausse magie, Silvain, and Lucille , all works that were popular at the time but which are hardly known today, even in textbooks. Gluck, of course, is better represented, and the performers have not eschewed excerpts from two standards, the aria “Soumis au silence” from the Paris version of Orphée and the final admonition of Iphigenie, “Adieu, conservez dans votre âme,” from Iphigénie en Aulide , both of which can be found elsewhere in recordings of the complete operas. His other arias, from Il parnaso confuso and Telemaco , however, take the listener back to Gluck’s early career as a composer of Italian opera, showing one of the sources for Mozart’s early inspiration.


One might be tempted to discuss the music of these excerpts, but in truth this might be better discussed as a diva disc. It really and truly is all about Karg’s voice and her interpretation. Clearly, she has power and depth, and her ability to adapt to the many moods and technical requirements of these arias is an indication of someone who will make a mark in her profession. There is a lovely playfulness in the mincing line of Amour in Gluck’s Orphée, which she portrays with considerable coyness, performing the aria with lightness and grace. When faced with the daunting coloratura of “In mezzo a un mar crudele” from Telemaco , she handles the fiendishly tortuous runs and roulades with ease and power, vividly portraying the raging Circe. In Lucille’s prayerful invocation from Grétry’s opera of the same name, she sustains the humility of the simple line with eloquence, while in the dour and emotional “Fra i pensier” from Mozart’s Lucio Silla , a work whose dramatic text Alfred Einstein once said would have been better suited to the composer’s mature style, she lends the aria a dark and foreboding mood. In short, she has all of the musical requirements of these works in her interpretations, from the solemn to the effusive, each sung with a conviction that is evidence of a rising star in the operatic firmament.


Jonathan Cohen’s equally up-and-coming ensemble, Arcangelo, provides a perfect backdrop. The tempos are appropriate to the moods and the playing is finely nuanced. One should mention the solo horn in the “Lungi da te” from Mitridate which blends nicely with Karg’s voice, a particularly fine example of their collaborative work. Listeners interested primarily in the music will of course wish to find complete recordings of the various operas, and hopefully we will not have to wait too long for the Grétry. But if you are interested in a new voice that has a bright future ahead, you might want to check out this disc.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1.
La finta giardiniera, K 196: Amoretti by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: Austria 
2.
Ascanio in Alba, K 111: Ferma aspetta by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
3.
Ascanio in Alba, K 111: Infelice affetti miei by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
4.
La fausse magie: Comme un éclair by André Modeste Grétry
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: France 
5.
Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K 87 (74a): Lungi da te, mio bene by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Milan, Italy 
6.
Silvain: Il va venir...Pardonne, o mon juge by André Modeste Grétry
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1770; France 
7.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Gli sguardi trattieni by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Il sogno di Scipione, K 126: Biancheggia by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
9.
Lucile: Au bien supreme by André Modeste Grétry
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1769; France 
10.
Il Parnaso confuso: Sacre piante by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1765; Vienna, Austria 
11.
Telemaco: In mezzo a un mar crudele by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1764; Vienna, Austria 
12.
Lucio Silla, K 135: Odo, o mi sembra udir by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
13.
Lucio Silla, K 135: Fra i pensier più funesti di morte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
14.
Iphigénie en Aulide: Adieu by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Christiane Karg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jonathan Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arcangelo
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772-1774; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

La finta semplice, K. 51: Act II: Amoretti
Ascanio in Alba, K. 111: Act II: Recitative: Ferma, aspetta
Ascanio in Alba, K. 111: Act II: Aria: Infelici affetti miei
La fausse magie: Comme un eclair
Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87: Act II: Aria: Lungi da te mio bene
Orphee et Euridice (Paris version): Orphee et Euridice, Act I: Aria: Soumis au silence (Paris version)
Il sogno di Scipione, K. 126: Biancheggia
Silvain: Il va venir ... Pardonne, o mon juge
Lucile: Au bien supreme
Il Parnaso confuso: Il Parnaso confuse: Aria da capo: Sacre piante, amoci rio
Telemaco: In mezzo a un mar cruedele
Lucio Silla, K. 135: Odo, o mi sembra udir
Lucio Silla, K. 135: Fra i pensier piu funesti di morte
Iphigenie en Aulide: Act III: Adieu, conservez dans votre ame

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