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Even at such a tender age Mozart was already astonishingly fluent and accomplished in setting words to music, and Dr Daines Barrington’s fascinating eyewitness report submitted to the Royal Society in London described how the young Wolfgang had performed for him “an Extemporary opera to nonsense words … [with] an overture of three movements, recitative, Graziosa, Bravura and Pathetic Airs together with accompanied Recitatives, all full of good taste and imagination”.
Oh, temerario Arbace begins with Mozart’s first surviving accompanied recitative, a style of writing in which he was to become unsurpassed. It is sung by Arbaces, who has been wrongly imprisoned for the murder of Xerxes. This crime has actually been committed by his own father, Artabanes, but Arbaces refuses to betray him and nobly accepts his fate. As was sometimes the case with arias written for concert performance, the singer assumes both roles in the scene so as to preserve dramatic continuity.
from notes by Ian Page © 2017
Leading British soprano Sophie Bevan performs a sumptuous programme of concert arias by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Bevan is accompanied on this new recording by The Mozartists, recently launched by Ian Page’s internationally renowned period ense ...» More