Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
Recording of the Month: 'Soprano Elizabeth Watts gets to the heart of Mozart in a sparkling recording of arias and overtures, performed with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Christian Baldini.'
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MusicWeb International
Recording of the Month: 'I almost passed this by, thinking that I didn't need another collection of Mozart arias and overtures: I was very wrong...it's the quality of the singing that ultimately persuaded me to make this a Recording of the Month.'
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Classical Candor
'Baldini and soprano Elizabeth Watts handle the arias exquisitely. I also loved the precision and poise of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who never fail to impress me with their devotion to the music.'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'a thrilling compilation'
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BBC Radio 3 ‘CD Review’
‘Soprano Elizabeth Watts in radiant form in arias across a half-dozen Mozart operas, each preceded by its overture from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Christian Baldini in the semi- historically informed mode familiar from the orchestra’s Mozart symphony recordings with Sir Charles Mackerras. In fact I think this makes a lovely adjunct to those recordings. Beautifully recorded as well.’
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Sinfini Music
4 Stars
'Thrilling playing from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra make this an essential disc in a crowded market, says Alexandra Coghlan, who enjoys this whistle-stop tour around Mozart's operas.'
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'Wherever you dip into this disc you will find singing of great character, freshness and refinement that marks out all of Elizabeth Watts' performances, making this a disc to return to often with much pleasure. Highly recommended.'
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The Sunday Times
'Watts is a rising British talent in this repertoire.'
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SA-CD.net
'A lovely recording...'
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Pizzicato
,,Elizabeth Watts...hat sich zu einer guten Mozart-Interpretin entwickelt. Ihre warme Stimme eignet sich bestens für die Susanna-Arie aus den ‘Nozze di Figaro’, und sie entwickelt dramatische Kraft und hoch geputschte Emotionalität in der Ilia-Arie aus ‘Idomeneo’.''
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McAlister Matheson Music
'I find something fresh in these seductive performances each time I hear them. This is another winner for Linn and the SCO.'
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AllMusic
4½ Stars
'[Watt's] bright and flexible voice is wonderful in Mozart...This disc invites repeated listening and is highly recommended.'
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Classic FM
Album of the Week: 'A really original idea.'
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Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Mozart: Opera Arias & Overtures - Gramophone


01 July 2015
Gramophone
Richard Wigmore

In Covent Garden's recent Don Giovanni Elizabeth Watts threatened to steal the show with her alluringly sensuous Zerlina. Even without her delightful stage presence, you can hear why in 'Batti, batti' and 'Vedrai carino', both sung here with a seductive tenderness devoid of soubrettish pouts and simpers. In Susanna's 'Deh vieni non tardar', too, Watts catches a specific quality of amorous yearning, shading to a dream of future bliss in the final bars - though she seems to want to take the aria a notch slower than conductor Christian Baldini. Since her debut disc of Schubert

Lieder, Watts's lyric soprano has gradually ripened and deepened without losing its purity. With its admixture of mezzo warmth allied to secure, shining high notes, hers is now an ideal Fiordiligi voice. In 'Per pietà' her technical mastery (immaculate runs, precipitous leaps taken with poise) and urgency of feeling make one eager to hear her in the role on stage - and frustrated that she does not also include Fiordiligi's imperious 'Come scoglio'.

Watts's intense and, again, specifically characterised singing of llia's opening number in Idomeneo, outrage and anguish softening only the major-keyed music of the aria, likewise whets the appetite to hear her in the complete opera. On this evidence her fire and spirit would be a match for any Elettra. She and Baldini surely miss a trick, though, by omitting the first half of llia's accompanied recitative, designed to follow the quiet, ominous close of the Overture without a break. If you know the opera, the hiatus will come as a mild shock. But Watts's deeply felt singing, here and elswhere, and the colourful playing of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the overtures, their sinewy, period-influenced Mozartian style honed under Mackerras, are fair compensation.

The track that moved me most of all was the exquisite minuet song in which Servilia pleads to Vitellia to confess her guilt to the Emperor Titus - a cathartic moment in the opera. Watts chooses an unusually broad tempo (shades here of the Adagio of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto), and vindicates it with the mingled grace and unexaggerated fervour of her singing, the orchestra swelling and ebbing in delicate sympathy.


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Christian BaldiniChristian Baldini
Elizabeth WattsElizabeth Watts
Scottish Chamber OrchestraScottish Chamber Orchestra
Mozart: Opera Arias and OverturesMozart: Opera Arias and Overtures