Jeremy Ovenden / Jonathan Cohen / Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Mozart: An Italian Journey

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The Italian journey referred to in the title of this release is Mozart's own life path, as heard in his Italian-language music. The organization of the program is chronological, which is novel for Mozart; the only concession to Mozart's early music is the placement of "Sposa cara," from La finta, K. 51, second rather than first; Mozart wrote this unperformed work when he was all of 12 years old. Even that aria can hold its own against other similar works of the period, and the remarkable aspect of the early operas is how mature, in musical language and dramatic perception, they often were. Heard in this way, the arias from later operas reveal connections to the earlier ones, and the place of Mozart within purely operatic traditions becomes clearer. The voice of British tenor Jeremy Ovenden is perfect for the range of material here; it's not a large instrument, but it seems to grow with the material, it's clear at the top, and he's admirably centered on the text. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Jonathan Cohen is similarly agile. A final bonus is present in the form of an unusual piece, Misero! o sogno, K. 431, not an operatic aria but a free-standing work, composed for a Viennese tenor, that anticipates Beethoven's Fidelio. A fine Mozart vocal album.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
Lucio Silla
1 05:11
La finta semplice
2 04:26
Il sogno di Scipione
3 03:05
La finta giardiniera
4 05:56
Il rè pastore
5 06:03
6 02:52
Il rè pastore
7 02:49
8 03:51
9 09:28
Don Giovanni
10 04:03
11 06:25
Cosi fan tutte
12 04:39
13 03:23
La Clemenza di Tito
14 05:11
blue highlight denotes track pick