Danielle de Niese

The Mozart Album

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

American soprano Danielle de Niese, whose family background goes back to the European/South Asian Sri Lankan Burghers, is being marketed as the next hot vocalist, having come on the scene with a group of spectacular stage performances that equally showcased her powerhouse voice and her exotic charisma. This, her sophomore album release, offers a good place to stop and consider what kind of a singer she is developing into. It was Mozart's music that put her on the map, and to her credit she mostly avoids the arias that show up on every other vocal Mozart album, reserving the really familiar "Là ci darem la mano" for a reunion with former co-star Bryn Terfel. More good news comes in the overall musical relationship between de Niese and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with its venerable conductor, Charles Mackerras; de Niese is front and center where a diva should be, and Mackerras gives the orchestra a unique hushed tone. As for the voice, the results might be called mixed but still continuing to be promising. In the opening Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165, de Niese fans will find what they came for: great blooms of creamy sound covering the range of this virtuoso piece. In general, de Niese's singing is powerful and attractive, with warmth at the low end brightening to a sparkling edge at the top, and she has picked plenty of music that showcases her strengths. In music of more purely dramatic content, such as "Ah! Fuggi il traditor," from Don Giovanni, the jury is still out; there are plenty of conventional gestures, but less sense of real engagement with the music. Still, to consider this less than an intriguing second outing amounts to pure sniping.

blue highlight denotes track pick