Music and Vision homepage Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller

 

<<  -- 2 --  Roderic Dunnett    BEAUTIFUL VISION

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Less striking is the brief evidence of his Mozart : Blachut might be an obvious casting for Titus, but the emperor's aria (Deh piu' -- 'Co sláva' in the Czech) from La Clemenza di Tito Act I suffers from undue portamento -- lightly done, but slightly irritating -- and a nervy vibrato; and the Prague RSO is scarcely at its most inspired. Considerably better is his Radames (Aida, in a recording with the beautifully honed National Theatre Orchestra under Zdenek Folprecht, a Czechoslovak conductor hitherto unknown to me), and an enchanting rendering of Gounod's celebrated hymnic aria 'Salut! Demeure' from Faust Act 3 (again under Folprecht), which works with remarkable beauty and naturalness in Czech ('Bud' zdráv, ty milý') : Blachut's beautifully mellow enunciation makes the language issue simply disappear throughout. What's more, he manages Donizetti's 'Una furtiva lacrima' (for once, sung here in Italian) with a beautiful tenderness and restraint that is rare in these days of overkill.

But Blachut starts from Czech opera -- and naturally enough, with Smetana : a delightfully un-obvious choice from The Bartered Bride, Jenik's aria 'Az uzrís' (When You Find') from Act 2, and then a sequence from Dalibor (a role he first sang at the National Theatre in l945) -- very different and more melting than the Dalibor sequences on the Marie Podvalová disc I'll be reviewing here shortly (3504-2 611), and including both the beautifully turned 'Slysels to príteli?' ('Did you hear it in heaven?') and 'Nebyl to on zas?' ('Was it him again?'). The Act 2 duet -- this with Podvalová -- is superb.

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Copyright © 3 March 2001 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

 

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