Related Reviews
thomasmusic.net
'The singers are consistently good'
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The Guardian
Chosen as one of Stephen Pritchard's picks for the best of 2012
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American Record Guide
'They all do their best to bring the score to life.'
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Golem Magazine
Translation from Italian review: 'the execution is crisp, full of moods and colors.'
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MusicWeb International
'What a wonderful achievement for a boy hardly old enough to attend the grammar school for which the entertainment was intended'.
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Pizzicato
4 Stars
'...d'une interpretation de très bonne qualité.'
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Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
'sparkles from beginning to end...This has to be in any serious Mozart collection.'
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Opera
'Ian Page's direction of Apollo carries rich promise of his ability to deliver a valuable contribution to historically-informed Mozart opera performance.'
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The Independent
'scintillating'
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resmusica.com
Review in French.
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MusicWeb International
Recording of the Month: 'I cannot imagine a better start to Linn's intended series of recordings of Mozart's operas by Classical Opera.'
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ClassicsToday.com
'A highly recommendable bauble'.
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Gramophone
'first-rate singing'
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The Observer
'Ian Page, setting out on an epic Mozart series for Linn, conducts a top cast...with the crisp and alert Classical Opera orchestra...'
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Classical Music Magazine
'...a young, well-nigh perfect cast of singers...'
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Opera Now
4 Stars
'Ek and Bevan lead an outstanding cast...'
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'An auspicious & thrilling start to what will surely prove to be an historic recording project.'
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The Independent
'gracefully regal'
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Classical Opera - Apollo et Hyacinthus - BBC Music Magazine


01 June 2012
BBC Music Magazine
George Hall
4 Stars

If you discount the ‘sacred singspiel' Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, Apollo et Hyacinthus is Mozart's first opera, written in 1767 when he was just 11 years old. It was commissioned to form lighter musical interludes to be performed during the weightier play The Clemency of Croesus, presented by pupils at the grammar school attached to Salzburg University.

Mozart's libretto, in Latin, adapts the story of the god Apollo and the youth Hyacinthus, killed with a blow from a discus thrown by the jealous Zephyrus. The gay love triangle of the original myth is disguised in Rufinus Widl's libretto by the introduction of Hyacinthus's sister Melia, whom Apollo loves instead.

Either way, it's a simple story that Mozart tells in a sequence of da capo arias, plus the odd duet, trio or chorus, with continuo-accompanied recitative linking them together. It's an astonishing piece for an 11 year-old, of course, though not in the same league as Mozart's mature works.

The Classical Opera Company principals do very nicely by it. Tenor Andrew Kennedy, sopranos Sophie Bevan and Klara Ek and countertenor Lawrence Zazzo are all excellent, and Ian Page's band is neat and stylish.


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