The most spectacular homage to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on his 250th
birthday in 2006 was incontestably the presentation of all of his operas
and operatic fragments at the Salzburg Festival, "Mozart22." Recorded on
film (available from Unitel / Classica), this monumental project has been
preserved for posterity as a benchmark of Mozart interpretation in the
early 21st century.
The "Mozart Gala" held at the Felsenreitschule on 30 July 2006, in the
first days of the 2006 Salzburg Festival, presents a kind of microcosm of
the Mozart festivities, with a selection of arias and orchestral music
performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under Daniel Harding and featuring
some of the top vocalists of the 2006 Salzburg Festival. A sampling of
exquisite hors d'oeuvres prepared by the most outstanding musical chefs!
Internationally celebrated soprano Anna Netrebko lives up to her reputation
as a fiery, dramatic diva in her passionate rendition of Elettra's aria
"D'Oreste, d'Aiace" from "Idomeneo". Thomas Hampson, one of the greatest
baritones of our time, burnishes Guglielmo's aria "Rivolgete a lui lo
sguardo" from "Così fan tutte" with his full, rich, mellow tone. Leading
Mozart tenor Michael Schade appears twice, in arias from "Don Giovanni" and
"La clemenza di Tito".
A particularly bright moment awaits listeners when René Pape gives a
spirited rendition of Leporello's "catalogue" aria from Don Giovanni.
Sopranos Patricia Petibon and Ekaterina Siurina dazzle in arias from
"Mitridate" and "Idomeneo", whereby Siurina is joined by mezzo Magdalena
Kozená in the duet of Idamante and Ilia, "S'io non moro a questi accenti,"
from "Idomeneo". Kozená, who was acclaimed for her passionate account of
Idamante in the Salzburg Festival production of "Idomeneo", also sings an
aria of Sesto from "La clemenza di Tito". The Vienna Philharmonic, which
adds orchestral accents with the overtures to "Don Giovanni" and
"Idomeneo", concludes the program with Mozart's Prague Symphony K. 504.