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Isokoski, Soile - Mozart Aria's

€ 9,90
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Mozart Aria's by Soile Isokoski. Soile Isokoski's 2002 album of orchestral songs by Richard Strauss marked her as a singer of compact vocal splendor and interpretive spark, and her growing international career in the 2000s indicated that those same qualities were as vivid in live performance as on recording. All of which makes the strange flatness of this Mozart aria collection puzzling. Isokoski has the vocal and musical chops to put a lively stamp on every one of these excerpts, but you'd never know it if this were your only exposure to her work. From a purely vocal standpoint, it's fine -- only the chesty low notes of Fiordiligi's "Come scoglio" seem to push her outside her comfortable envelope. But there is a lack of engagement with the texts and dramatic situations that robs most every selection of its vitality. Peter Schreier's tidy but low-key musical direction could use the occasional shot of Tabasco, but in most cases it's just a case of flat vocal delivery. The above-mentioned "Come scoglio" sounds friendly, even accommodating -- hardly like the defiant rejection it's meant to be. "E susanna non vien!" from the Marriage of Figaro does not sound like the musings of a noblewoman in crisis, forced to accept a servant's help in saving her marriage. Someone vaguely sad, maybe, but certainly not pushed outside the usual social and emotional bounds of her life. "Ruhe sanft," from Zaide, is much more successful, benefitting from the purity and simplicity, not to mention the crystalline upper register, of Isokoski's singing. And the concert aria "Ah, lo previdi" has exactly the engagement with text and drama that the rest of the album is missing; the impassioned first line hooks you right away and the momentum never dies. If only the whole album were so interesting.

1 Aria. Temerari... Come scoglio 5:53  
2 Aria. Ei parte... Per pietà, ben mio 8:59  
3 Bella mia fiamma, addio!...Resta, o cara!, recitative and aria for soprano & orchestra, K. 528 9:38 Zaide, opera, K. 344 (K. 336b)  
4 Aria. Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben 6:44  
5 Ah, lo previdi...Ah, t'invola agl'occhi miei, recitative and aria for soprano & orchestra, K. 272 13:02   Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492  
6 Act 3. Aria. E Susanna non vien!... Dove sono 6:40  
7 Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer, amato bene, recitative and aria for soprano, piano & orchestra, K. 505  10:29 

Zeer mooi!