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Recorded using the revised version dating some twenty-odd years after its premiere in 1775, Mozart’s youthful opera receives a lively and detailed performance. The orchestration is rich in detail, and the Freiburger Barockorchester relishes every opportunity; under René Jacob’s inspired leadership this is virtuosic playing. The plot is convoluted and somewhat absurd, but Jacob’s cast injects a sense of fun and lightness, and once the story starts to unfold it certainly bubbles along merrily, if at length. Sophie Karthäuser’s Sandrina is cleanly sung, with a nicely soaring top register, and plays well against Alex Penda’s richer-toned and more overt Arminda. Jeremy Ovenden’s tenor rises to the demands put upon it as Contino, and Nicolas Revenq and Michael Nagy’s equally accomplished lower tones help to anchor the work and keep it from becoming too precious. It all adds up to more than the sum of its parts, and creates a true sense of ensemble.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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