Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic once again defy the inexorable progress of period performance in exhilarating accounts of Mozart using modern instruments.
His voice is faultless in tonal production and technical assurance; he always sings with thought for the text; word and note become as one.
There’s a cunning (and witty) interplay of ideas at work here. Heggie gets to spoof the sub-Rossinian bel canto on an elaborate scale, but in so doing manages to transcend mere pastiche in the creation of genuinely elegant and beautiful lines and authentic vocal fireworks that challenge and tax DiDonato as surely as the roles in her core repertoire.
Gerhard Oppitz plays the two piano concertos with refreshing alacrity. Colin Davis’s performances of the symphonies make a superbly consistent cycle without a weak moment.