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Hyperion Records

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Photograph by Johnny Greig.
Track(s) taken from CDA30012
Recording details: October 2005
Cadogan Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson
Release date: February 2006
Total duration: 5 minutes 25 seconds

'What more could you want in these works than a soloist who places every note with joyous precision, moves from one to another so cleanly, and demonstrates at every turn such intelligent but unfussy musicianship? This is a sunny and unpretentious disc which deserves to be among the successes of the Mozart year' (Gramophone)

'Robert King and his choral and orchestral forces give clean and direct performances in sound that is nicely balanced and benefits from the mellow acoustic of London's Cadogan Hall. The soprano focus of interest is Carolyn Sampson, whose musical sensibility and personality are exceptional … unreservedly recommended' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Sampson confirms her growing reputation in 18th-century music with delectable performances, fresh and limpid of tone, stylish and shapely of phrase. The reams of coloratura in Exsultate, iubilate! are truly joyous, not merely accurate … prompt, polished orchestral playing and first-rate choral singing set the seal on a delightful and enterprising birthday offering' (The Daily Telegraph)

'These devotional scores are models of understatement. Sampson floats exquisitely through the Agnus Dei of the Coronation Mass, maintains a serene line in Laudate Dominum from the Vespers, unearths two long settings of Regina caeli and indulgently duets with herself in Sub tuum praesidium' (The Times)

'This is thrilling music, rousingly performed by the orchestra and chorus. Even better are the central arias, which Carolyn Sampson sings with heart-easing grace and brilliant virtuosity. She is equally fluent in the Exsultate, iubilate! rising up to a top C at the end that will have you cheering from your seat. And she sings both parts of the duet Sub tuum praesidium so beautifully as to still any disquiet at the fakery. Don't miss this' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Lustrous and engaging performances' (The Scotsman)

'Sampson's ravishing soprano has all the sparkle and purity this music needs, and The King's Consort under Robert King provides a lively foundation' (Financial Times)

'Carolyn Sampson gives a characteristically stunning performance, with great drama, vocal flexibility and a wide range of expressive devices … the orchestra plays with great panache and precise articulation … King's choir sings with clarity and jubilation in their brief appearances, and over-all, this recording plays ideal tribute to the early mature sacred works of Mozart written in his late teens and early twenties' (Early Music)

'Quelle belle surprise! Carolyn Sampson nous livre un CD Mozart qui est non pas un modèle de chaleur, mais un disque très bon gôut, réussi en tout. On admirera aussi la finesse musicale de King, qui ne bouscule jamais le discours et dont les bois enrichessent très bien la palette sonore' (ClassicsTodayFrance.com)

Sub tuum praesidium, K198
composer
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
With no surviving autograph score of this Offertory motet, the duet Sub tuum praesidium, K198 in a variety of manuscript copies has provided scholars over the years with much scope for discussion. The first topic for many years was the identity of the composer: that has now been firmly established as being Mozart himself. The second line of enquiry has been whether the work should be performed by soprano and tenor (which would be an unusual vocal combination in Mozart’s sacred music) or by two sopranos. That line has finally moved towards the soprano duet recorded here. Another question which has concerned scholars has been whether this was originally a work for the opera house, adapted for the church, or whether it was intended from the outset as a sacred work. But all that detective work is in the end secondary, for here is a glorious Mozartian duet in his lyrical key of F major for two equal sopranos and string accompaniment. Mozart especially relishes the pairing of the evenly matched voices.

from notes by Robert King © 2006

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