Notes and Editorial Reviews
When Studer's Constanze sings "Martern alter Arten", the character's torments of mind and emotion are expressed in the voice of a liricospinto so that we leave the world of Singspiel far behind. This is a strong, determined woman looking forward to heroines of nineteenth-century opera. In that respect Studer happily recalls Margaret Price on a long-deleted LP highlights disc stemming from Glyndebourne performances of the day (UP, 12/72). Such full-blooded Mozart singing is always welcome, miles away from the colourless style that often passes for good Mozart interpretation these days. Studer is appropriately eloquent in the mournful "Traurigkeit", where she fines down her voice to its more lyrical needs, and in the duet with Belmonte when she believes death is upon her (finely pointed recitative here). As one might expect, she is not so happy in Con stanze's opening aria where the higher coloratura passages are decidedly strained (one or two notes in "Martern aller Arten" are also discoloured), probably a price worth paying for such a rounded portrait.
As we know, Streit is among the most accomplished of the new generation of Mozart tenors. He confirms his form with sweet, smooth, welltailored singing of the four taxing arias for Belmonte, but his tone is somewhat narrow and unvaried in colour, not always suggesting the ardour and sappy sound provided by Heilmann (Hogwood/L'Oiseau-Lyre) or Schreier (13611m/ DG and Harnoncourt/Teldec). Still his and Studer's singing in that final duet, perhaps the heart of the piece, is one of this version's greatest assets. Gambill makes a spry, pleasing Pedrillo, Szmytka a sprightly Blonde untroubled by the difficulties of her arias, but missing the joy of Burrowes (Davis) and Hirsti (Hogwood). Missenhardt is a nimble, articulate Osmin, with a voice that takes well to the microphone. He, like his colleagues, speaks his own dialogue unlike the singers in the Br5hm and Davis versions, a distinct advantage. Heltau is an experienced, properly pained and pent-up Bassa Selim. Dialogue is, for better or worse, cut to a minimum.
-- Gramophone [5/1992]