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We hit a curate’s egg with Yannick Nézet-Seguin’s continuing Mozart series. His conducting in La clemenza di Tito is the best of the series thus far – confident, dramatic, quite large-scaled, but not overwhelming his singers. On the whole, they are admirable: Marina Rebeka enjoys herself as Vitellia, her soprano accurate and gleaming; Joyce DiDonato and Tara Erraught’s mezzos are well contrasted, and both used sensitively. The text is always to the fore and the recitatives have crackle. Regula Mühlemann and Adam Plachetka add class as Servilia and Publio. All of the above are the parts that are generally excellent. The not-so-good part, in the fact the downright awful part, is Rolando Villazón’s Tito. It is unusual to hear a studio recording where a singer sounds in such difficulties, but this is one of them. Villazón’s tenor still has some beautiful notes, but they are not linked together, and are marred by gulps and gargles, some very blurred coloratura, sagging lines and a huge sense of discomfort with the role. It essentially writes the set off from general recommendation, which is a shame as there is otherwise much to enjoy.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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