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Divas lead the way in this month’s new releases. First for consideration is Diana Damrau, in a recording of Die Entführung aus dem Serail and a film of La traviata. In both offerings she displays the gifts that have taken her to the top of her profession, unfortunately highlighting the fact that her surrounding casts are perhaps not so naturally endowed. In Entführung she delivers a purposeful and exciting Konstanze, her tone gleaming, her technique solid and her dialogue impassioned. Her tenor, Rolando Villazón, has a voice perfectly suited to Mozart yet he doesn’t say much about the role (although, to be fair, Belmonte is hardly an action hero). The remaining cast is fine and capable, though low on personality. Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s thoughtful conducting generally allows the music to unfold naturally, sometimes pushing and pulling annoyingly at tempi – it seems fashionable to fidget ‘Martern aller Arten’ into overly artful chunks, destroying the flow.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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