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Classical Opera - Apollo et Hyacinthus - American Record Guide

What were you doing when you were 12 years old? When Mozart was 12 he was commissioned by the grammar school attached to Salzburg University to compose Apollo et Hyacinthus, his first opera, with a Latin text. It was intended as a short musical entertainment meant to be inserted in a lengthier work. It tells the familiar myth of Apollo and Hyacinthus, with changes by the librettist, a Benedictine monk. Rufinus Widel. The secco recitatives are rather dull. But Mozart's arias and other numbers for Melia are a forerunner for his later heroines in terms of characterization and musical personality - things one wouldn't expect a child to understand.

Countertenors Zazzo and Ainslie are a nicely contrasted pair, as are sopranos Ek and Bevan. They all do their best to bring the score to life. The period instrument group does its best under Page's enthusiastic baton. I find the vibratoless strings annoying. Multilingual booklet with Latin-English texts. Ms Ek's intense, excellent vocalism makes her the star of the show.

American Record Guide
01 December 2012