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January 09, 2015

Mozart - Idomeneo (1781)

"Season 2005/2006 (the world is going to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birth): with this performance of Idomeneo, Daniel Harding debuts on the Milanese rostrum, after 19 years of Riccardo Muti’s conducting.

"Having reduced the size of the orchestra, Harding also cuts the score: in addition to the final ballet, and a few arias, the most impressive cut is the Intermezzo after the first act, which makes for smooth progression into the second, thus benefiting the rhythm of the dramaturgy.

"But this was an opera that undewent a ruthless revising and cutting by his own author, right up until a last-minute surgery, in order to achieve the maximum dramatic pacing and verisimilitude: Mozart had immense difficulty in balancing the conflicting claims of naturlness, brevity and dramatic flow and an overlong libretto. Varesco had inherited the fable from the French tragédie lyrique, Mozart was going to loosen eighteenth-century stereotyped forms: romantic upheaval was knocking on the door…

"Harding does nothing but delete or reduce antiquated residuals: some dances, secco recitatives and mannerist arias. … As well as at that time traditionalists were silenced by young Mozart’s genius, at present habitués and Muti loyalists has been conquered by young Harding. (On the premier, after two curtain calls, Harding joined the cast on stage for 12-minute ovation).

"Personally, I’ve found this performance excellent (!) and so I’ve enriched it with english subtitles, to improve its disclosure."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 9, 2015 11:47 AM