Erica Jeal
The Guardian
October 2015

Now on its fourth instalment, Classical Opera’s ongoing project to record all Mozart’s stage works is saving the undisputed masterpieces for later, but Il Re Pastore, the last of his teenage operas, gives more than a glimpse of the composer’s mature brilliance.

Mozart was so attached to Aer Tranquillo—an aria for Aminta, the shepherd king of the title—that he reworked it only a few months later to open his G major Violin Concerto. However, the real gems come in the second act, with an aria for Alexander the Great accompanied by playful woodwind, and Aminta’s serene showstopper L’Amerò Sarò Costante.

The whole thing—which, for completists, includes an extended, concert version of Aer Tranquillo as an appendix—sounds poised and elegant under Ian Page’s tasteful and slightly anonymous direction, with a neatly expressive orchestra and a strong cast headed by Sarah Fox’s gleaming, supple-sounding Aminta and John Mark Ainsley’s more self-consciously regal Alexander.

The Guardian