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Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791)
La finta semplice - Opera in three acts, K 51 (1768)
Helen Donath (soprano) – Rosina; Robert Holl (bass) – Don Cassandro; Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) – Don Polidoro; Teresa Berganza (mezzo) – Giacinta; Jutta-Renate Ihloff (soprano) – Ninetta; Thomas Moser (tenor) – Fracasso; Robert Lloyd (bass) – Simone; Mozarteumorchester Salzburg/Leopold Hager
rec. 16-20 January 1983, Mozarteum, Salzburg
Libretto available on line.

The work gives an incomparable insight into Mozart’s development as an operatic composer, and listeners of this splendid recording will be rewarded by the outstanding quality of the music and interpretation. The libretto of La finta semplice spins a tale of love and deception centred around a crafty scheme concocted by Captain Fracasso, who must gain the approval of his host Don Cassandro before he can marry Giacinta, Cassandro’s sister. To soften his host, Fracasso introduces him to his own sister, Rosina, the ‘pretend simpleton’ of the opera’s title, and the plot follows a series of witty twists and turns, all given ample expression in the delightful score. One of only a few recordings available, and one that has consistently drawn critical praise for the quality of its performances and interpretation, this addition to the Brilliant Classics Opera Collection will prove fascinating listening for any fans of Mozart’s mature operas, the seeds of which are evident here. Full of light, elegant arias, skilfully-crafted ensembles and amusing comic numbers, this is an opera of character and instant melodic appeal, which demonstrates the young composer’s remarkably assured understanding of how to use the orchestra to great dramatic effect.

“Helen Donath is her usual bright-toned and fluent self and she has a fine trill; Teresa Berganza is lovely too, nuanced as always and still in creamy voice. Light and springy, even more delectable is Jutta-Renate Ihloff in the soubrette role, Ninetta.” MusicWeb International, May 2013

Brand New/ sealed 3CD
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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