Mozart: Davide Penitente / Schuldt-Jensen, et al

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MOZART Davide penitente. Regina coeli Morten Schuldt-Jensen, cond; Trine Wilsberg Lund (sop); Kristina Wahlin (sop); Lothar Odinius (ten); Immortal Bach Ens; Leipzig CO NAXOS 8.570231 (53:05)

In the spring of 1785, Mozart sought membership in the Tonkünstlersocietät or Composers’ Society, a Viennese charitable organization that supported the widows and orphans of composers. The Society responded to Mozart’s interest with a request for a new work to feature in their upcoming concerts. Pressed for time and already obligated to fulfill a number of other composing and performing commitments, Mozart was forced to recycle a liturgical work that had first been given in Salzburg two years earlier. Thus the C-Minor Mass, K 427, was recast to accommodate an Italian text (possibly by da Ponte) and, with two additional arias, first performed at the Composers’ Society concerts on March 13 and 15, 1785, in the National Theatre of the Hofburg. Two members of the original cast of Abduction from the Seraglio were among the soloists.

Davide penitente thus represents something of a hybrid, accorded a vivid and polished performance here under the direction of Morten Schuldt-Jensen. Trine Wilsberg Lund, Kristina Wahlin, and Lothar Odinius handle Mozart’s florid arias and ensembles with true distinction. The Immortal Bach Ensemble’s sound in the choral movements is rich and well blended. Enunciation, on the other hand, is occasionally less than perfectly clear, possibly a function of the infelicitous superimposition of an Italian text over music conceived for the Latin Ordinary of the Mass. The accompaniments of the Leipziger Kammerorchester are tactful, supportive, and feature some exquisite wind-playing. Another fine performance of Davide penitente is available (Deutche Harmonia Mundi 277045) by Sigiswald Kuijken with La Petite Bande and the Netherlands Chamber Choir.

The recording, made in the Leipzig Gewandhaus during the spring of 2006, is technically satisfying in all respects. Keith Anderson’s notes are characteristically fluent and informative.

FANFARE: Patrick Rucker

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8570231

  • UPC: 747313023172

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Conductor: Morten Schuldt-Jensen

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Immortal Bach Ensemble, Leipzig Chamber Orchestra

  • Performer: Kristian Wahlin, Lothar Odinius, Trine Wilsberg Lund