Composers: Mozart, Traetta, Soler
Compositions: Mozart+
Performers: Olga Peretyatko s, Sinfonieorchester Basel/
Ivor Bolton
Catalogue Number: Sony 19075919052

Olga Peretyatko’s latest release is a compelling one, seeing her pair familiar concert and opera arias by Mozart with pieces by his less well-known contemporaries. For many, it will serve as their first introduction to Tommaso Traetta’s Antigona and Martín y Soler’s Il Burbero di Buon Cuore (The Good-Hearted Curmudgeon), both worthy inclusions, and a reminder of the unique strengths of Paisiello’s Barbiere.

As always, she is a fine technician, if sometimes interpretively vague. Some of the concert arias lack wit – Chi sà, chi sà one example – and her slender instrument lacks the thrust demanded by some of the heavier selections. Her Donna Anna comes up a bit pale as a result, as does her Countess. She’s more at home with something like Ombra cara, a short aria from Traetta’s Antigona. The soprano establishes the appropriate sombre mood, singing with unfailing tenderness before the jaunty cabaletta. Similarly effective is an aria from the aforementioned Soler, an interesting musical artefact. Extremely well received at its premiere in Vienna in 1786, the libretto is the work of Lorenzo Da Ponte, at that time an opera newbie. It’s dispatched with admirable attention to text and purity of tone, as is Konstanze’s Traurigkeit, beautifully done.

The Sinfonieorchester Basel under Ivor Bolton are able musical partners, if not particularly poetic.