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.'
more >>
Gramophone
'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 – [Watts] vindicates [her broad tempo] with the mingled grace and unexaggerated fervour of her singing, the orchestra swelling and ebbing in delicate sympathy.'
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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.'
more >>
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.’
more >>
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.'
more >>
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.'
more >>
Classic FM
Album of the Week: 'A really original idea.'
more >>
AllMusic
4½ Stars
'[Watt's] bright and flexible voice is wonderful in Mozart...This disc invites repeated listening and is highly recommended.'
more >>

Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Mozart: Opera Arias & Overtures - Sinfini Music


18 June 2015
Sinfini Music
Alexandra Coghlan
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.

There's bags of revolutionary drama, but also a certain bustling, glint-in-the-eye levity to the performance of Mozart's Overture from The Marriage of Figaro that opens this disc. It's a musical combination that says everything about the current state of play at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. They've always had quality, but under musical director Robin Ticciati have acquired a new expressive boldness, a flexibility, evident here in the rhetorical risk-taking of the orchestral playing.

Conductor Christian Baldini pairs Mozart's best-loved opera overtures - Don GiovanniIdomeneoCosì fan tutte - with arias from the same operas, performed by soprano Elizabeth Watts. It's a canny programme, distilling the genius of Mozart down to a brisk hour of music.

If some of Mozart's heroines suit Watts better than others (her Zerlina radiates persuasive charm and vocal warmth, but her Susanna has a weight and maturity that seem at odds with the youthful maid, even in the self-conscious performance that is 'Deh Vieni'), then it's a small quibble in a disc that ranges from the lightest of comedy to the mature tragedy of Idomeneo's Ilia. A particular welcome inclusion is Servilla's exquisite 'S'altro che lacrime' from La Clemenza di Tito - melody spun into an endless gilded arc by Watts.

But the real star here is the SCO. From the brass-dominated thrills of the Idomeneo overture to the skittish delight of Così's and the lyrical delicacy of La finta giardiniera, this is an ensemble alive to every shifting mood and expressive possibility. The results are giddily exciting; I defy you not to rush immediately to the opera house after listening to this album.


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