Star tenor Rolando Villazón, having made several top-flight Mozart opera recordings, pauses to offer this set of arias as a sort of appetizer. The Concert Arias title is accurate for slightly less than half the selections; the largest group are insertion arias, pieces written for inclusion in someone else's opera. In this case the composers benefiting from the Mozart touch are Pasquale Anfossi, Niccolò Piccinni, and Johann Adolf Hasse; there is also an aria from an unfinished Mozart comic opera, Lo sposo deluso, K. 430. That's one of the few pieces from Mozart's full maturity here. So, this is a collection of real Mozart obscurities. And, perhaps surprisingly, Villazón brings them to life. He has performed these works frequently in recital, and it shows: throughout, he has a relaxed way of getting into character. Sample Con ossequio, con rispetto, from Piccinni's L'astratto, ovvero il giocator fortunato, for an example of suppressed sarcasm that most singers would just leave alone. Deutsche Grammophon contributes clear sound from none other than Abbey Road studios, and the result is an album that should find a place in large Mozart collections and those of Villazón fans as well.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Lo sposo deluso, K. 430 (424a)|
|Misero! O sogno o son desto? Aura che intorno spiri, K. 431 (K. 425b)|
Con ossequio, con rispetto, K. 210 (Insertion in Niccolò Piccinni's opera buffa L'astratto, ovvero il giocator fortunato)
|Or che il dover...Tali e cotanti sono, K. 36 (33i)|
Clarice cara mia sposa, K. 256 (Insertion in Niccolò Piccinni's opera buffa L'astratto, ovvero il giocator fortunato)