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John Sheppard
MusicWeb International, May 2012

The present recording is an amalgam of two public concerts. This enables greater visual contrast in the background to the performers and even occasionally permits both occasions to be seen together on opposite sides of the screen. The use of two venues should potentially allow the director a greater choice of architectural details on which to focus. This allows the eye some relief from looking at the performers and provides food for thought.

The musical performance is…admirable. Gemma Bertagnolli sings with controlled fervour, meeting all the contrasting challenges of the music, and Ensemble Aurora, using historic instruments, match her approach. Mozart’s wonderful Adagio and Fugue was originally conceived simply as a fugue for two pianos (K426) in 1783 but was recast in 1788 for string orchestra. It is played here as a quartet which does mean the loss of the few occasions when the double bass has an independent line but these are few and little harm is done. It is a tremendous piece, one of Mozart’s greatest works, and it is good to hear such a committed performance…

There is much that is worthwhile on this disc. All the more so given the very high quality of the music and performances. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review






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