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Second Sight - Music with Wilfrid Mellers

6. Resuscitation.
Enthusing over an event in recorded opera

'This tragic music, superbly sung by Dorothea Röschmann,
pierces to the heart's core ...'

 

<< Continued from last week

As in Handel's Silla, the plum part goes to the heroine, Elmira, whose aria [listen -- CD 2 track 19, 2:31-3:19] , when first she encounters the peasant-disguised Atys, asks Pilate's unanswered question, What is Truth?- in coloratura that is at once wildly and heroically jubilant yet also on the verge of lunacy. This tragic music, superbly sung by Dorothea Röschmann, pierces to the heart's core because it is alarmingly apposite to the human condition; and at the opposite pole one may say the same of Elcius's debunking owl-song and his monkey-number, sung in 'clownish armour'. He takes the mickey out of Love, War, and Heroism; but is rewarded in the Ballet of Harlequins that succeeds his comic turn with a nobly French processional chaconne that synthesizes sensual charm with spiritual grace.

Kurt Azesberger is a supreme acting-singing comic; while Kwaggul Youn, a straight baritone, as Solon, gives dignified conviction to the multifarious acts of forgiveness.

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Copyright © 21 April 2001 Wilfrid Mellers, York, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - HARMONIA MUNDI HM 901714.16

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