Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: 'Mozart and the Weber Sisters'

Magazine article Gramophone

Mozart: 'Mozart and the Weber Sisters'

Article excerpt


'Mozart and the Weber Sisters'

Ah, vous dirai-je maman, K265 (a). Alcandro, lo confesso ... Non so d'onde viene, K294. Dans un bois solitaire, K308a. Kanonisches Adagio, K410. Mass No 17, K427--Et incarnatus est. Musik fur einer Faschingspantomime, K446--Adagio.

Nehmt meinen Dank, K383. Les petits riens, K299b--Overture. Popoli di Tessaglia ... lo non chiedo, eterni Dei, K316. Schon lacht der holde Friihling, K580. Solfeggio, K393 No 2a. Thamos, Konig in Aegypten, K345--No 5, Entr'acte. Vorrei spiegarvi, o Dio, K418. Die Zauberflote--Der Holle Rache; Marsch der Priester

Sabine Devieilhe sop (a) Arnaud de Pasquale pf/org Ensemble Pygmalion / Raphael Pichon

Erato [F] 2564 60758-4 (72' * DDD * T/t)

'A Mozartian hotch-potch' was my uncharitable first reaction when I glanced through the contents of this disc. Eating humble pie, I confess to thoroughly enjoying this 'portrait de Mozart amoureux', as French soprano Sabine Devieilhe dubs it: music associated with three of the four Weber sisters, of whom Aloysia (Mozart's first love) and Josefa (the first Queen of the Night) were professional singers, and Constanze his wife. On the whole, the mixed-media sequence of arias, songs and instrumental pieces, rare (including a shrouded 'Canonic Adagio' for two basset horns and bassoon) and familiar, works well, even if several have only the slenderest connection to the Webers.

Launched by a fizzing account of the overture to the Paris ballet Les petits riens, the programme centres around three magnificent showpiece arias for Aloysia, famed both for her expressive cantabile and her coloratura prowess. Among her specialities were sustained pianissimo high notes; and I can't imagine they were more delicately floated than they are by Sabine Devieilhe, a lyric coloratura who combines a pure, sweet timbre and dazzling virtuosity. …

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