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Pointing out that Mozart’s operas run chronologically from A-Z (Apollo and Hyacinthus to Die Zauberflöte), Ian Page conducts the Orchestra of Classical Opera in a selection of arias and ensembles from the canon. It makes for an uneven experience. The orchestral playing is crisp and directional, but a lot of the singing is rather mimsy, launching gently into phrases before swelling them and all sounding somewhat pious and awfully English. Thankfully there are some exceptions, singers who just get on with it, with real style. Anna Leese makes a particular hit of her aria from Lucio Silla, her tone even and clean, yet with a sensuous edge. In ‘Ruhe sanft’ from Zaïde, Susan Gritton’s sweet voice carries through the phrases with elegance and delicacy but without tiptoeing. Matthew Rose brings immediate trenchancy to arias from Bastien und Bastienne and Figaro. Otherwise, everything on the disc sounds pleasant enough.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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