Reviewed on Sun 30 Apr, 2017
In Mozart’s 'Ah, lo provedi' soprano Sophie Bevan is angry, dramatic and eventually sad and yearning – one feels she truly is Andromeda!
The theme linking these concert arias is that of treachery, disloyalty and infidelity, reflected in wonderfully stirring music and in this disc's title 'Perfido!'. The programme opens with Haydn’s wonderful Scena di Berenice. Mozart’s 'Oh, temerario Arbace' follows with the outpourings of Arbace, who is condemned for the murder of Xerxes; desperately unhappy, he remains loyal to his father, the actual murderer. Beethoven’s recitative 'No, non turbati…' is most expressively sung and leads into a pastoral love song which, while just maintaining the theme of perfidy, contrasts with all the other tracks in its relative lightness. Perhaps the most beautiful tracks are Dido’s aria 'Basta, vincesti' by Mozart, which is full of yearning, and Haydn’s 'Sole e pensoso'. In Mozart’s 'Ah, lo provedi' Bevan is angry, dramatic and eventually sad and yearning – one feels she truly is Andromeda! Continuing with Mozart’s movingly sung 'Bella mia fiamma...' the final tracks are given over to Beethoven’s 'Ah! perfido'. Anger, bewilderment and pleading are all here in a fantastic climax to a great collection. Ian Page’s interesting notes are ideally interpersed with the relevant libretti making the booklet a pleasure to use. One is indebted to him and to The Mozartists for their sensitively balanced performance; but Sophie Bevan is the star! From turbulent emotions to the calm of despair, everything is wonderfully portrayed in her pure, golden voice.