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Marc Minkowski, Elsa Dreisig, Sabine Devieilhe & Michael Spyres – Mozart: Mitridate, re di Ponto (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Marc Minkowski, Elsa Dreisig, Sabine Devieilhe & Michael Spyres – Mozart: Mitridate, re di Ponto (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 02:30:38 minutes | 2,77 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Mozart was just 14 years old when he composed Mitridate, re di Ponto for performance in Milan. An opera seria set in ancient times, it boasts a sequence of spectacular arias for its cast of strongly contrasting characters. At the centre of the action is Mitridate himself – the historical Mithridatus, King of Pontus, a ruler of Persian-Greek ancestry who was a formidable opponent of the Roman empire.

Mitridate is embodied on this new recording, conducted by Marc Minkowski with Les Musiciens du Louvre, by Michael Spyres. When the American tenor (or baritenor) sang the role in Paris in 2016, Opera magazine wrote: “With their vertiginous leaps and wide range, Mozart’s arias present formidable technical challenges, not least for the tenor in the title role, who is pushed to extremes. Michael Spyres, a singer of exceptional agility and control, took these in his stride.” A year later, he took the role at London’s Royal Opera House, and this time Opera magazine praised his performance as “never less than thrilling”, noting that his recitatives were “outstanding for their beauty and unforced eloquence”.

This recording has its roots in Marc Minkowski’s project for a Kabuki-inspired staging of the opera which was scheduled for Berlin’s Staatsoper in November 2020. When the pandemic caused its cancellation, Erato stepped in and conductor and orchestra found themselves back home in France, recording in the Philharmonie de Paris. There was a certain poetic justice to this, since the opera draws on Mithridate by the great French playwright Jean Racine. The play, first performed in 1673, was a particular favourite of another formidable monarch, Louis XIV.

The change of location and the complications of life under Covid-19 also gave rise to some alterations in the cast, which became largely French – the exceptions being Spyres and the Gabonese (but Bordeaux-trained) mezzo-soprano Adriana Bignani Lesca; she sings the governor Arbate, a role originally taken by a castrato. There are three star sopranos: Sabine Devieilhe as the Parthian princess Ismene (Avant-scène Opéra, describing her 2016 performance beside Spyres in Paris, wrote that “Her charm, her virtuosity and her use of the text are balm for the ears”); Julie Fuchs as Aspasia, Mitridate’s betrothed, whose interpretation of Servilia in Mozart’s final opera seria, La clemenza di Tito, has been praised by Gramophone for its “exquisite shaping” and “redemptive grace”, and, as Sifare, Elsa Dreisig, a dazzling Fiordiligi in the 2020 Salzburg Così fan tutte released on DVD by Erato. Like Arbate, Sifare, one of Mitridate’s sons, is a role originally conceived for a castrato. The king’s other son is Farnace, sung here by the French countertenor Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, and the cast is completed by tenor Cyrille Dubois as the Roman legionary Marzio.

Mark Minkowski’s credentials in Mozart are, of course, impeccable. He spent four years (2013-17) as artistic director of Salzburg’s Mozartwoche, and his readings are as exceptional for their intensity and sense of momentum as for their scholarship and exquisite attention to detail.

Tracklist:
1. Marc Minkowski & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: Overture (05:05)
2. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Adriana Bignagni Lesca & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Vieni, signor” (Arbate, Sifare) (00:57)
3. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Se a me s’unisce Arbate” (Sifare, Aspasia) (00:55)
4. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Al destin, che la minaccia” (Aspasia) (06:30)
5. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Qual tumulto nell’alma” (Sifare) (01:10)
6. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Soffre il mio cor con pace” (Sifare) (07:43)
7. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Adriana Bignagni Lesca, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Sin a quando, o regina” (Sifare, Farnace, Aspasia, Arbate) (01:01)
8. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Adriana Bignagni Lesca – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “L’odio nel cor frenate” (Arbate) (03:16)
9. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Principe, che facemmo!” (Farnace, Sifare, Aspasia) (00:13)
10. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Nel sen mi palpita” (Aspasia) (02:18)
11. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Un tale addio, germano” (Farnace, Sifare) (00:39)
12. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Cyrille Dubois – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Eccovi in un momento” (Farnace, Marzio) (00:52)
13. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Venga pur, minacci e frema” (Farnace) (06:30)
14. Marc Minkowski & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: Marcia (03:55)
15. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Se di lauri il crine adorno” (Mitridate) (05:07)
16. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Adriana Bignagni Lesca, Sabine Devieilhe & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Tu mi rivedi, Arbate” (Mitridate, Ismene, Arbate) (01:00)
17. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig, Sabine Devieilhe & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Sulla temuta destra” (Sifare, Mitridate, Farnace, Ismene) (01:41)
18. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Sabine Devieilhe – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “In faccia all’oggetto” (Ismene) (04:19)
19. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Adriana Bignagni Lesca & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Teme Ismene a ragion” (Mitridate, Arbate) (01:41)
20. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Respira alfin, respira” (Mitridate) (01:45)
21. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act I: “Quel ribelle, e quell’ingrato” (Mitridate) (02:54)
22. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Sabine Devieilhe – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Questo è l’amor, Farnace” (Ismene, Farnace) (01:01)
23. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Va’, l’error mio palesa” (Farnace) (02:39)
24. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Sabine Devieilhe & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Perfido, ascolta” (Ismene, Mitridate) (00:49)
25. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Julie Fuchs & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Eccomi a’ cenni tuoi” (Aspasia, Mitridate) (02:06)
26. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Dille, che tema” (Mitridate) (00:15)
27. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Tu, che fedel” (Mitridate) (04:27)
28. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Che dirò? Che ascoltai?” (Sifare, Aspasia) (01:02)
29. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Oh giorno di dolore” (Aspasia, Sifare) (00:52)
30. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Non più regina” (Sifare) (02:33)
31. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Lungi da te, mio bene” (Sifare) (09:29)
32. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Grazie ai numi partì” (Aspasia) (01:37)
33. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Nel grave tormento” (Aspasia) (04:57)
34. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Qui, dove la vendetta” (Mitridate, Sifare, Farnace) (01:52)
35. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig, Cyrille Dubois & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Signor, son io” (Marzio, Mitridate, Sifare) (00:40)
36. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Ah, giacché son tradito” (Farnace) (00:15)
37. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Son reo; l’error confesso” (Farnace) (02:52)
38. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig, Julie Fuchs & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “E crederai, signor” (Sifare, Mitridate, Aspasia) (01:48)
39. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Già di pietà mi spoglio” (Mitridate) (02:16)
40. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Ah mia regina” (Sifare, Aspasia) (00:33)
41. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Io sposa di quel mostro” (Aspasia, Sifare) (01:46)
42. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act II: “Se viver non degg’io” (Sifare, Aspasia) (06:45)
43. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Sabine Devieilhe & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Pera omai chi m’oltraggia” (Mitridate, Ismene) (00:29)
44. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Sabine Devieilhe – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “So quanto a te dispiace” (Ismene) (05:30)
45. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Julie Fuchs & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Il tuo furore” (Aspasia, Mitridate) (00:32)
46. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Adriana Bignagni Lesca & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Mio re, t’affretta” (Arbate, Mitridate) (00:36)
47. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Vado incontro al fato estremo” (Mitridate) (02:40)
48. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Lagrime intempestive” (Aspasia) (00:28)
49. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Ah ben ne fui presaga” (Aspasia) (08:11)
50. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Elsa Dreisig & Julie Fuchs – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Che fai, regina?” (Sifare, Aspasia) (00:31)
51. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Che mi val questa vita” (Sifare) (00:40)
52. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Elsa Dreisig – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Se ‘l rigor d’ingrata sorte” (Sifare) (02:46)
53. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Sorte crudel” (Farnace) (00:12)
54. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Cyrille Dubois – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Teco i patti” (Marzio, Farnace) (00:58)
55. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Cyrille Dubois – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Se di regnar sei vago” (Marzio) (03:45)
56. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Vadasi… Oh ciel, ma dove” (Farnace) (01:08)
57. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian & Les Musiciens du Louvre – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Già dagli occhi il velo è tolto” (Farnace) (09:27)
58. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Figlio, amico, non più” (Mitridate) (01:04)
59. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre & Michael Spyres – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Numi, qual nuova è questa” (Mitridate) (00:57)
60. Marc Minkowski, Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Adriana Bignagni Lesca, Elsa Dreisig, Julie Fuchs & Sabine Devieilhe – Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K. 87, Act III: “Non si ceda al Campidoglio” (Sifare, Aspasia, Farnace, Ismene, Arbate) (00:39)

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