Mozart - Signum Records

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Mozart - Signum Records
9 Misero! o sogno, K.431[9.28]
0 Il mio tesoro Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni: Act 2, No.22
1 Il de­­sio di vendetta [5.12]
Lucio, Lucio Silla: Act 1, No.5
2 Sposa cara [4.26]
Polidoro, La finta semplice: Act 2, No.17
3 Quercia annosa [3.05]
Publio, Il sogno di Scipione: Act 1, No.7
q Fuor del Mar [6.25]
Idomeneo, Idomeneo: Act 2, No.12
4 Dentro il mio petto Don Anchises, La finta giardiniera: Act 1, No.3
r Se all’imperio [5.12]
Tito, La Clemenza di Tito: Act 2, No.20
w Un’aura amorosa Ferrando, Cosi fan tutte: Act 1, No.17
e In qual fiero contrasto — Tradito, schernito Ferrando, Cosi fan tutte: Act 2, No.27
5 Se vicendo[6.04]
Alessandro, Il rè pastore: Act 2, Scene 4
Total timings[67.31]
6 Il padre Adorato Idamante, Idomeneo: Act 1, No.7
7 Sol può dir[2.49]
Agenore, Il rè pastore: Act 2, Scene 10
8 Vedrommi intorno[3.51]
Idomeneo, Idomeneo: Act 1, No.6
MOZART (1756-1791)
We started with Lucio Silla which he wrote
when he was 16 years old and ended with
‘Se all impero’ from La Clemenza di Tito, the very
last Italian opera aria that Mozart wrote before
his death at the age of 35. We chose the concert
aria Misero! o sogno o son desto as the
centrepiece of the CD – an aria which is rarely
performed, fiendishly difficult to sing and
emotionally draining, but that shows so well
the brilliance of Mozart.
The inspiration for this recording came from two
simple factors: I have been singing Mozart’s
operas for the last 14 years and I have an
enormous affinity with Italy, the country where
my career began and where I lived happily for
five years.
I wanted the programme for this CD to be a
musical journey through Mozart’s life but
concentrating solely on his Italian repertoire.
Jonathan Cohen and I spent some time going
through every Italian aria that Mozart ever
wrote and began the fascinating task of creating
our disc.
I hope this CD takes you on an enjoyable musical
journey and that you discover for yourself how
the young Mozart changed and became the
Mozart that we know today.
I not only wanted to record the famous arias,
but also to rediscover Mozart’s early arias, and
so I came up with the title of the CD, Mozart: an
Italian Journey: a journey of discovery through
Mozart’s music. I also wanted listeners to
embark on their own journey, discovering for
themselves just how the young Mozart developed
as a composer as he journeyed from childhood
into adulthood.
Jeremy Ovenden
Adrian Peacock (producer), Jeremy Ovenden and Jonathan Cohen (conductor).
was rapidly written but fell foul of Viennese
musical politics, so the Mozarts returned to
Salzburg, where the work was performed at the
Archbishop’s Palace the following year. The
plot, in the manner of the commedia dell’arte,
derives from a farce by Goldoni. In the aria
‘Sposa cara’, the timid Polidoro tells his proud
brother Cassandro that he should not be so rude
to the baroness Rosina, who loves him. If he
is upset, he suggests, then he should beat
Polidoro, not her.
The development of Mozart’s creative genius
can be illustrated in many of the genres that he
adorned – symphony, concerto, string quartet
– but is perhaps most striking in the field of
opera. From his first attempts he was an
amazingly adept setter of a text, and had already
produced operas of marvellous invention in his
teens. But he steadily achieved a more profound
grasp of dramatic situations and pacing, whether
comic or tragic, and refined his psychological
insight in delineating character. The selection
of operatic arias presented here, which range
from his earliest operas to his last, are a perfect
illustration of his unrivalled skills in operation
over more than two decades.
In strong contrast to this amiable comedy
stands Lucio Silla, K.135, a ‘dramma per musica’
composed by the 16-year-old Mozart for
performance in the theatre at Milan (which
was then under Austrian rule). The last opera he
would write for Italy, this is an ambitious and
almost dramatic work, somewhat in the tradition
of the older opera seria, full of long bravura
arias. The libretto by Giovanni de Gamerra
(revised by Metastasio) is loosely founded on
events in the Roman dictatorship of Lucius
Cornelius Sulla in the first century BC. The first
performance, in the Teatro Regio Ducal, Milan
on 26 December 1772, was a near-disaster since
the audience had to wait three hours for the
opera to begin (owing to the delayed arrival of
the Archduke) and the work itself, already four
Mozart’s first full-length opera – and only his
second work for the stage – was the opera
buffa La finta semplice, K.51/46a (The feigned
simpleton), composed at the age of 12 in 1768.
Leopold Mozart had taken his son to Vienna and,
anxious to increase his reputation, invented
a story that the Emperor himself had taken a
fancy to Wolfgang’s music and thus persuaded
the impresario Giuseppe Afflisio to commission
an opera from him for 100 ducats. The work
hours long, was filled out with three ballets.
Nevertheless it played to full houses on 26
subsequent evenings; but like most of Mozart’s
early operas was long forgotten until the 20th
century. ‘Il desio di vendetta’ finds the dictator
Silla in a rage because Junia, whom he desires,
has declared her hatred for him, as the daughter
of his defeated rival Marius and the fiancée of
his enemy Cecilio. All his affectionate feelings
for her have turned to hatred, and he resolves to
kill her. She may beg him for her life, he says,
but he will not grant her a pardon.
Roman general Scipio Aemilianus dreams that
the goddesses of Constancy and Fortune tell him
he must choose one of them as his protectress.
Transported to heaven, he consults his ancestors
on which goddess he should choose, but
eventually selects Constancy of his own volition.
‘Quercia annosa’ is sung by the spirit of
Scipio’s adoptive father, Publio. Scipione
wishes to leave the mortal world and remain
in Heaven, but Publio tells him that it is not yet
time. Like an oak tree growing strong against
winds and winter, Scipione must go through
many trials to strengthen him before he is
ready for heavenly life.
Despite its earlier Köchel number the one-act
‘serenata drammatica’ Il sogno di Scipione,
K.126 (Scipio’s Dream) is probably a little
later than Lucio Silla. In all probability it was
composed in mid-1771 for the celebration of the
50th anniversary of the ordination of Mozart’s
patron, Archbishop von Schrattenbach – who
died before the anniversary arrived. The ‘serenata’
may then in fact have been performed to
celebrate the arrival of his successor as
Archbishop of Salzburg, Hieronymous Colloredo
– with whom Mozart would later have such a
fraught relationship – though no certain record
of the event survives. The libretto, by Metastasio,
had already been set by several composers, and
is founded on a story in Cicero in which the
La finta giardiniera, K.196 (The feigned
gardener), a three-act opera buffa to a libretto
by Giuseppe Petrosellini, was commissioned in
1774 for the carnival season at Munich. Originally
scheduled for performance just before the end
of the year, its difficulties demanded additional
rehearsal time and the premiere took place on
13 January 1775 at Munich’s Salvatortheater.
It was later adapted as a Singspiel in German,
with spoken dialogue. A comedy of errors and
misunderstandings leading to a triple marriage,
it is a work of bucolic simplicity for the most
part. In ‘Dentro il mio petto’ Don Anchises, governor
of the fictitious town of Lagonero, has just declared
his love for Sandrina and sings now of the sound
of the orchestra with its flutes and oboes and its
drum and trumpets: a feast of sound that almost
drives him insane.
friend Agenor, who is in love with Tamyris,
laments the torture he is going through
by losing his love to Aminta through
Alexander’s decree.
Il rè pastore, K.208 (The Shepherd King) is not
a full-length opera but a two-act drama to a
libretto adapted from one that Metastasio had
based upon a 16th-century play by Torquato
Tasso. Contemporary writers also refer to it as a
serenade or a cantata, which rather suggests
that the premiere – which took place in the
Archbishop’s Palace in Salzburg on 23 April
1775 – was a concert performance rather
than staged. The work had been commissioned
to celebrate the fact that a son of the Empress
Maria Theresa was visiting Salzburg. In it,
Alexander the Great restores the rule of Sidon
to its rightful king, Aminta, who has been living
as a shepherd and would prefer to remain one.
Six years passed before, in 1780, Mozart
composed the ‘dramma per musica’ Idomeneo,
rè di Creta, K.366 – another work commissioned
for performance in Munich, but which stands
at the beginning of the series of his mature
operas. Premiered at the Residenz Theater on 29
January 1781, the work was held to be a success,
but its only revival in Mozart’s lifetime was an
amateur performance in Vienna in 1786, for
which he partly revised the score. An epic drama
of conscience and filial love complete with
sea-monster, Idomeneo was among Mozart’s
most ambitious operas, for which he produced a
score of unrelenting intensity. In ‘Il padre Adorato’
Idamante, the son of Idomeneo, greets his
father, whom he has not seen for 20 years. His
joy turns to consternation, however, when
Idomeneo runs away from him. We discover the
reason in ‘Vedrommi intorno’, where Idomeneo
himself recalls how, shipwrecked, he promised
Neptune he would sacrifice the first person that
he met if he was saved from the wreck. Now,
saved indeed, he imagines how the ghost of
the sacrificed person will haunt him for his entire
‘Se vicendo’ is an aria for Alexander (Alessandro),
in the Greek military camp. He has decided
to leave Sidon now that Aminta has assumed
the kingship, and also to wed Tamyris to
Aminta. Believing he has thus made everyone
happy, he sings that as long as he leaves peace
and happiness behind him, he has fulfilled
all his wishes. But in ‘Sol può dir’ Alexander’s
life. Finally in ‘Fuor del Mar’, Idomeneo confronts
the sea-god Neptune who, even though sparing
Idomeneo’s life, is still torturing him: escaped
from the sea, Idomeneo still has a sea raging in
his breast.
commissioned the work and he is said to
have suggested the subject – two men testing
the faithfulness of their fiancées by each, in
disguise, wooing the other’s beloved – though
doubt has been cast on this attribution. True or
not, da Ponte made of this suggestion a
wonderfully rich and humane comedy. After its
initial performances the opera was pretty well
neglected until the 20th century, but is now
generally accepted as one of Mozart’s greatest
works. In ‘Un’aura amorosa’ Ferrando, in love
with Dorabellai, praises the fact that she has
(so far) resisted the advances of his friend
Guglielmo. The recitative ‘In qual fiero contrasto’
and its following cavatina ‘Tradito, schernito’
reflect, on the other hand, Ferrando’s confusion
and turmoil when he realizes that his inammorata
has, in fact, fallen for his friend and thus
betrayed their love.
The remaining extracts are from the great
operas of Mozart’s last few years. The one that
we know as Don Giovanni, K.527 was in fact
originally performed as Il dissoluto punito (The
libertine punished). After the enormous success
of Le Nozze di Figaro in Prague, Mozart’s librettist
Lorenzo da Ponte suggested he should capitalize
upon it by writing another work for performance
there and suggested a version of the Don
Juan legend. Responding with alacrity, Mozart
produced his archetypal study of hubris and its
punishment. ‘Il mio tesoro’ is a revenge aria
sung by Don Ottavio, the fiancé of Donna Anna,
whom Don Giovanni wishes to seduce. Sure that
Giovanni was the person who killed Anna’s father,
Ottavio swears that he will make sure she is
revenged on the rascally nobleman.
Mozart had hoped to write another opera for
Prague after Don Giovanni, but La Clemenza
di Tito, K.621, which proved to be the last opera
he wrote, was actually commissioned by the
Bohemian Estates to celebrate the coronation of
Emperor Leopold II as King of Bohemia. Though
in poor health, Mozart laboured over the work and
travelled to Prague to complete it in time for the
first performance, which took place in September
Mozart’s third da Ponte opera was the highly
sophisticated two-act opera buffa Cosi fan
tutte, K.588 (All women behave so), produced
at the Burgtheater, Vienna on 26 January 1790.
According to legend the Emperor Joseph II
1791. His exertions may well have contributed
to his death on 5 December. In a sense La
Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus) returns
to the old-fashioned form of opera seria, but
with the richness and dramatic power of Mozart’s
late style. The libretto, as so often, was by
Metastasio, and deals with a subject from
Roman history – a political drama about a
plot by star-crossed lovers against the life of
the Emperor Titus. The aria ‘Se all’impero’ is
sung by the Emperor himself as, after an internal
struggle, he tears up the death warrant on one
of the conspirators and declares that if the
world wishes to accuse him of anything it will
be for having an excess of mercy rather than the
desire for revenge.
is unknown: it feels as if it might be part of an
existing libretto, but if so this has never been
identified. Strongly dramatic – even prophetically
looking forward to Beethoven’s Fidelio – it finds
the tenor character imprisoned in a dark and scary
cave. He shouts to his captors to release him,
to open the hellish door, but no one answers his
plea: all he hears is the echo of his own voice, and
implores the winds to carry his sighs to the ears
of his beloved, whom he will never see again. In
the last part of the aria, his mind becomes
increasingly agitated at the thought of never
getting out; he can find no peace. The musical
result is a fascinating blend of the Baroque
and proto-Romantic.
© 2011 by Malcolm MacDonald
In addition to full-scale opera, Mozart wrote
numerous concert arias for independent
performance: glimpses, as it were, of an
unwritten drama, whose antecedents and
consequences we are left to imagine for
ourselves. One such is the recitative and aria
Misero! o sogno, K.431 written for the tenor
Johann Valentin Adamberger (1740-1804), a
Mason and friend of Mozart, who wrote several
other works for him. Adamberger sang this
aria in concerts by the Vienna Tonkünstler-Societät
in December 1783. The authorship of the text
1 Il desio di vendetta
Lucio, Lucio Silla: Act 1, No.5
3 Quercia annosa
Publio, Il sogno di Scipione: Act 1, No.7
Il desìo di vendetta e di morte
Sì m’infiamma e sì m’agita il petto,
Che in quest’alma ogni debole affetto
Disprezzato si cangia in furor.
The desire for vengeance and for death
Inflames me and so agitates
my breast,
that each tender feeling of the soul
That has been scorned is turned to wrath.
Forse nel punto estremo
Della fatal partita
Mi chiederai la vita,
Ma sarà il pianto inutile,
Inutile il dolor.
Perhaps you will at the end
Of the fateful duel
Beg that your life be spared,
Yet tears will then be useless,
Useless anguish.
2 Sposa cara
Polidoro, La finta semplice: Act 2, No.17
Sposa cara, sposa bella,
Per pietà, deh non piangete:
E se voi bevuto avete
Poveretto, andate in letto,
Né la state a molestar.
Dear wife, beautiful bride,
Oh please don’t cry:
And if you have been drinking
Poor man, go to bed,
Don’t disturb her.
Piano, piano, ch’io burlavo;
State in là, che vi son schiavo.
Quanto a me, tutto v’è lecito:
Bastonatemi, accoppatemi,
Ma mia moglie, no signore,
Non l’avete da toccar.
Take it easy, I was joking;
Remain where you are, I am your slave.
As far as I’m concerned, everything is allowed:
Hit me, kill me,
But my wife, no sir,
You mustn’t touch her.
- 10 -
Against the opposition of hostile winds
the aged oak on the steep slopes
makes itself more secure, more steadfast.
For if winter denudes it of foliage,
it digs its feet further into the ground;
if it loses beauty, it gains strength.
Quercia annosa su l’erte pendici
Fra’l contrasto de’venti nemici
Più sicura, più salda si fa.
Chè se’l verno le chiome le sfronda,
Più nel suolo col piè si profonda;
Forza acquista, se perde beltà.
4 Dentro il mio petto
Don Anchises, La finta giardiniera: Act 1, No.3
Dentro il mio petto io sento
Un suono, una dolcezza
Di flauti e di oboe.
Che gioia, che contento,
Manco per l’allegrezza,
Più bel piacer non v’è.
Within my breast I hear
a sound, the sweetness
of flutes and oboes.
What delight, what contentment,
I swoon with happiness,
there is no greater pleasure.
Ma oh Dio, che all’improvviso
Si cangia l’armonia
Che il cor fa palpitar.
Sen’entran le viole,
E in tetra melodia,
Mi vengono a turbar.
Poi sorge un gran fracasso,
Li timpani, le trombe,
Fagotti e contrabbasso
Mi fanno disperar.
But, oh heavens, suddenly
the harmony changes,
making my heart flutter.
I hear the violins enter,
they come to disturb me,
with sombre melodies.
Then a great tumult arises,
the drums, the trumpets,
bassoons and basses
drive me demented.
- 11 -
5 Se vincendo
Alessandro, Il rè pastore: Act 2, Scene 4
If I make you happy by winning,
If I leave no enemies when I go,
What a wonderful day this is for me!
The sweat I spill through my labours
Requires no greater thanks.
Se vincendo vi rendo felici,
Se partendo non lascio nemici,
Che bel giorno fia questo per me!
De’ sudori ch’io spargo pugnando,
Non dimando più bella mercé.
6 Il padre Adorato
Idamante, Idomeneo: Act 1, No.7
Il padre adorato
Ritrovo, e lo perdo,
Mi fugge sdegnato
Fremendo d’orror.
My beloved father
I find again, only to lose him.
He scorns and flies me
trembling with horror.
Morire credei
Di gioia, e d’amore:
Or, barbari Dei!
M’uccide il dolor.
I thought I would die
of joy, and love:
but, cruel gods!
Grief is killing me.
7 Sol può dir
Agenore, Il rè pastore: Act 2, Scene 10
Un tormento è quel ch’io sento,
Più crudel d’ogni tormento,
E un tormento disperato
Che soffribile non è.
I feel tormented,
More cruel than any torment,
This is a desperate torment
Which is impossible to bear.
8 Vedrommi intorno
Idomeneo, Idomeneo: Act 1, No.6
Vedrommi intorno
L’ombra dolente,
Che notte, e giorno:
Sono innocente
I shall see about me
a lamenting shade,
which night and day
will cry to me:
“I am innocent.”
Nel sen trafitto,
Nel corpo esangue
Il mio delitto,
Lo sparso sangue
Qual spavento,
Qual dolore!
Di tormento questo core
Quante volte morirà!
The blood spilt
from his pierced breast,
his pale corpse,
will point out to me
my crime.
What horror,
what grief!
How many times this heart
will die of torment!
The only one who can understand the feelings
For a lover in this state
Is some unfortunate lover,
Who feels the way I do.
Sol può dir come si trova
Un’amante in questo stato
Qualche amante sfortunato,
Che lo prova al par di me.
- 12 -
- 13 -
9 Misero! o sogno
Misero! o sogno, o son desto?
Chiuso è il varco all’uscita!
Io dunque, o stelle!
solo in questo rinchiuso
abitato dall’ombre,
luogo tacito, e mesto,
ove non s’ode
nell’orror della notte
che de’ notturni augelli
la lamentabil voce,
I giorni miei
dovrò qui terminar?
Aprite, indegne,
questa porta infernale!
spietate, aprite!
Alcun non m’ode,
E solo ne’ cavi sassi ascoso,
risponde a’ mesti accenti eco pietoso.
E dovrò qui morir?
Ah! negli estremi amari sospiri
almen potessi, oh Dio!
dar al caro mio ben l’ultimo addio!
Unhappy that I am! Am I dreaming
or awake? The way out is barred!
Here then, O stars!
Alone in this enclosed
silent, gloomy place
haunted by shadows,
where nothing is heard
in the horror of the night
save the mournful voices
of nocturnal birds
must I end my days?
Open this infernal gate,
vile, pitiless creatures,
open, open!
No one hears me, and,
hidden in these rocky caves,
only a merciful echo
answers my cries.
Must I then die here?
Ah, if with my final bitter sighs
I could at least – Oh God! –
bid my beloved a last farewell!
Aura, che intorno spiri,
sull’ali a lei che adoro
deh! porta i miei sospiri,
dì che per essa moro,
Breeze that blows around me,
go, on your wings carry my sighs
to her whom I adore:
say that for her I die,
- 14 -
che più non mi vedrà.
Ho mille larve intorno
di varie voci il suono;
Che orribile soggiorno!
Che nuova crudeltà!
Che barbara sorte!
Che stato dolente!
Mi lagno, sospiro,
nessuno mi sente,
nel grave periglio
nessun non miro,
non spero consiglio,
non trovo pietà!
that she will never see me more.
Around me are a thousand phantoms
and the sound of my voices.
What a dreadful abode!
What new cruelty!
What barbarous fate!
What pitiful state!
I lament, I sigh,
no one hears me,
in this dire peril
I see no one.
I have no hope of help:
I find no pity!
0 Il mio Tesoro
Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni: Act 2, No.22
Il mio Tesoro intanto
Andate a consolar,
E del bel ciglio il pianto
Cercate di asciugar
On your affection relying
I leave her to your care,
Ease all her tears and sighing
And comfort her despair.
Ditele che i suoi torti
A vendicar io vado,
Che sol di stragi e morti
Nunzio vogl’io tornar.
Tell her I go to serve her,
Tell her I shall avenge her,
To him who made her suffer,
Justice and death I bear.
- 15 -
q Fuor del Mar
Idomeneo, Idomeneo: Act 2, No.12
e In qual fiero contrasto — Tradito, schernito
Ferrando, Cosi fan tutte: Act 2, No.27
Saved from the sea, I have a raging sea
more fearsome than before within my bosom,
and Neptune does not cease
his threats even in this.
Stern god! Tell me at least:
If my body was so close to shipwreck,
for what cruel purpose
was that wreck withheld?
Fuor del mar ho un mare in seno,
Che del primo è più funesto,
E Nettuno ancora in questo
Mai non cessa minacciar.
Fiero Nume! dimmi almeno:
Se al naufragio è si vicino Il mio cor,
qual rio destino
Or gli vieta il naufragar?
w Un’aura amorosa
Ferrando, Cosi fan tutte: Act 1, No.17
Un’aura amorosa,
Del nostro tesoro,
Un dolce ristoro
Al cor porgerà;
From eyes so alluring,
Our hope reassuring,
A mystic refreshment
Our hearts will beguile;
Al cor che, nudrito,
Da speme, da amore,
Di un’esca migliore
Bisogno non ha.
For hearts that are nourished,
On longing and passion,
A glance is ambrosia
And nectar a smile.
- 16 -
In qual fiero contrasto, in qual disordine
Di pensieri e di affetti io mi ritrovo?
Tanto insolito e novo è il caso mio,
Che non altri, non io
Basto per consigliarmi … Alfonso, Alfonso,
Quanto rider vorrai
Della mia stupidezza!
Ma mi vendicherò: saprò dal seno
Cancellar quell’iniqua,
Saprò, cancellarla …
Troppo, oh dio, questo cor per lei mi parla.
Ah! My mind is distracted! The voice of reason
is overwhelmed by the conflicting urges of passion?
So completely unheard of is my dilemma,
That there’s no one, but no one,
Competent to advise me … Alfonso, Alfonso,
What contempt you will feel
For my naïve behavior!
But I shall be avenged: You faithless woman
You will see from now onwards
With scorn I’ll dismiss you …
I’ll dismiss you?
Vain attempt if my heart fails to resist you.
Tradito, schernito
Dal perfido cor,
Io sento che ancora
Quest’alma l’adora,
Io sento per essa
Le voci d’amor.
Her treason is poison
That tortures my heart,
Though her love may falter,
Yet mine cannot alter,
I still hear the accents
Of love in my heart.
- 17 -
r Se all’imperio
Tito, La Clemenza di Tito: Act 2, No.20
Se all’impero, amici Dei,
Necessario è un cor severo;
O togliete a me l’impero,
O a me date un altro cor.
If a hard heart is necessary to a ruler,
ye benevolent gods;
either take the empire from me,
or give me another heart.
Se la fé de’ regni miei
Coll’amor non assicuro:
D’una fede non mi curo,
Che sia frutto del timor.
If I cannot assure the loyalty
of my realms by love:
I care not for a loyalty,
that is born of fear.
Jeremy Ovenden studied at The Royal College of
Music, London and privately with Nicolai Gedda.
His regular Mozart appearances have included
Ferrando Così fan tutte for The Royal Opera,
Covent Garden and Staatsoper Berlin; Ottavio
Don Giovanni at La Scala, Milan and Staatsoper
Berlin; Count Belfiore La finta giardiniera
at La Monnaie, Brussels; Vogelsang Der
Schauspieldirektor with Concerto Köln and
Publio Il sogno di Scipione and Ozia Betulia
Liberata with Concentus Musicus. Appearances
at the Salzburg Festival include Fracasso
La finta semplice; Don Asdrubale Lo Sposo
Deluso, Biondello L’Oco del Cairo and Mozart’s
Mass in C Minor.
He has also appeared at Netherlands Opera
and in concerts with the London Philharmonic
and London Symphony Orchestras and Deutsches
Symphonie Orchester Berlin.
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Conductors with whom Jeremy has collaborated
include Sir Colin Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt,
Vladimir Jurowski, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim,
Christophe Rousset, Ivor Bolton, Jeremie Rhorer,
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Paul McCreesh Rene Jacobs,
Rinaldo Alessandrini and Giovanni Antonini in
repertoire ranging from Monteverdi, Bach and
Handel through Mozart and Haydn, to Berlioz,
Britten, Szymanowski and Henze.
Jeremy’s extensive discography includes Mozart’s
Il sogno di Scipione, Betulia Liberata, La finta
semplice, L’Oca del Cairo and Lo Sposo Deluso;
Bach’s St Mark Passion and St John Passion and
Cantatas; Biber’s Missa Salisburgensis; Handel’s
Ode for St Cecilia’s Day and Saul; Haydn’s The
Seasons and The Creation; Holst’s Morning of the
Year and Book VIII of Monteverdi Madrigals.
Just over two decades ago, a group of inquisitive
London musicians took a long hard look at that
curious institution we call the Orchestra, and
decided to start again from scratch. They began
by throwing out the rulebook. Put a single
conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in
repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting.
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Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born.
And as it began to get a foothold, the OAE
made a promise to itself. It vowed to keep
questioning, adapting and inventing as long
as it lived. Residences at the Southbank
Centre and Glyndebourne Festival Opera didn’t
numb its experimentalist bent. A major
record deal didn’t iron out its quirks. Instead,
the OAE examined musical notes and
instruments with ever more freedom and resolve.
That creative thirst remains unquenched.
Informal night-time performances are redefining
concert formats. Searching approaches to
varied repertoires see the OAE involved in
collaborations. New generations of exploratory
musicians are
encouraged into its ranks.
It enjoys a truly
international reputation.
New York and Amsterdam court it; Birmingham
and Bristol cherish it.
In its 24th season, the OAE is part of our
musical furniture. It moved recently to beautiful
new headquarters. It has even graced three
legendary conductors – Rattle, Jurowski and
Fischer – with the joint title of Principal Artist.
But don’t ever think the ensemble has lost sight
of its founding vow. Not all orchestras are
the same. And there’s nothing quite like this one.
Jonathan Cohen is rapidly developing a reputation
as one of Britain’s finest and most versatile young
musicians. A conductor, cellist and keyboardist,
with a wide ranging experience of music from
Baroque to contemporary, he is in increasing
demand worldwide.
In the 2010/2011 season Jonathan conducted
Monteverdi’s Poppea with Glyndebourne Touring
Opera, Ulysses with English National Opera
and Dido & Aeneas with Dijon Opera. On
the concert stage he conducted the
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,
Capella Cracoviensis. Recent highlights have
included the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,
the Irish Chamber Orchestra and Potsdamer
Kammerakademie. For the 30th anniversary
season of Les Arts Florissants, Jonathan
collaborated with William Christie conducting
performances of Dido & Aeneas (Netherlands
Opera), Purcell’s Fairy Queen (Opéra Comique and
Brooklyn Academy New York) as well as a
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programme of Gluck, Haydn and Mozart in
London and Paris.
As assistant conductor to William Christie,
Emmanuelle Haim and Harry Bicket, Jonathan
has worked on numerous productions over the
last few years. Highlights with Emmanuelle
Haim include Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Lille Opera),
Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro (Lille) and Monteverdi’s
Poppea (Glyndebourne Festival).
Jonathan enjoys a close relationship with Les
Arts Florissants and has recently been appointed
Associate Conductor. His conducting debut
with them conducting Zampa at the Opéra
Comique in March 2008 received great critical
acclaim: “his exhilarating yet attentive baton
brought out all the impetus, liveliness and flowing
colours of Hérold’s score” (Opera Magazine).
With counter tenor Iestyn Davies, Jonathan will
début his newly founded orchestra Arcangelo in
2012 with a disc for Hyperion of Porpora cantatas
and a concert tour. Other exciting artistic
projects with Arcangelo are planned and
Jonathan intends to focus his energies on
developing Arcangelo whilst enjoying his
collaboration with Les Arts Florissants and his
rapidly expanding guest conducting career.
Recorded at St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, from 29 September to 2 October 2010.
Producer - Adrian Peacock
Recording Engineer - Mike Hatch
Editor - Dave Rowell
Cover image and photos of Jeremy Ovenden - © Pierre-Philippe Hofmann
Design and Artwork - Woven Design
P 2011 The copyright in this recording is owned by Signum Records Ltd.
© 2011 The copyright in this CD booklet, notes and design is owned by Signum Records Ltd.
Any unauthorised broadcasting, public performance, copying or re-recording of Signum Compact Discs constitutes an infringement of copyright and will render the infringer liable
to an action by law. Licences for public performances or broadcasting may be obtained from Phonographic Performance Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this booklet may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from Signum Records Ltd.
SignumClassics, Signum Records Ltd., Suite 14, 21 Wadsworth Road, Perivale, Middx UB6 7JD, UK.
+44 (0) 20 8997 4000 E-mail: [email protected]
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on signumclassics
Monteverdi Vespers 1610
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
The Choir of the Enlightenment
Robert Howarth, Director & Harpsichord
“Not all orchestras are the same,” runs the message on the
cover, and it’s true: … a shimmering, captivating choral sound
that seems to float effortlessly through the psalms.
The Independent
Available through most record stores and at www.signumrecords.com For more information call +44 (0) 20 8997 4000
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