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James Forrest
Fanfare, September 2015

…I found no difficulties in enjoying and evaluating the work and this recorded performance.

Key to the proceedings is the crack Simon Mayr Ensemble which Hauk leads from the harpsichord. They have a bright, gutsy, and resonant sound entirely apposite and bracing in this music. Led by Tbilisi-born concertmaster Theona Gubba-Chkheidze, they demonstrate conclusively the existence of yet another splendid early-instrument group in Europe. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Ralph V. Lucano
American Record Guide, July 2015

Franz Hauk…obviously relishes the colorful orchestration yet always keeps things moving. Brown is a sweet Leah; Lang-Alsvik an accurate, exciting Rachel. The orchestra plays expertly, and the sound is excellent. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Stephen Francis Vasta
Opera News, June 2015

The players in the Ensemble are “drawn from leading German orchestras”; if this is a pickup group, it’s an accomplished, polished one, with a touch of rawness on the horns suggesting “period” instruments and style. Hauk’s tempi and pacing are judicious, and he’s coached his soloists well. © 2015 Opera News Read complete review



David Patrick Stearns
Gramophone, May 2015

All the singers [are] extremely capable and alert to whatever morsels of characterisation come their way. The title-role singers rightly dominate the recording, both summoning implied masculinity from the darker colours of their respective voices. Yet even a minor role such as the Shepherd is charmingly rendered by Katharina Ruckgaber. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, April 2015

Leah’s aria Ah prata adite is a gem and it is excellently sung by Andrea Lauren Brown; Laban has two dramatic arias…and the Norwegian Siri Karoline Thornhill is brilliant…

…the chorus part of the work is rather modest, but what they have to sing they sing well. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2015

It is convenient, if not precisely true, to divide Simon Mayr’s life into three periods, the first given to religious cantatas before embarking on a life composing opera. Such was his fame in the second part, his early cantatas were very soon forgotten. That he was to become a famous opera composer is evident in every bar of a score that had travelled a long way from the days of Handel. The words for Jacob a Labano fugiens (Jacob’s flight from Laban) is taken from the biblical source of Genesis, and is a domestic story that takes on a highly charged content, though the librettist has tended to dilute this aspect. There are very attractive arias…[and] the trio in the first part is highly effective. Gunhild Lang-Alsvik has a marked vibrato in the role of Rachel, but deals very well with the coloratura exhibition in  Per loca incerta obscura and her two arias in the Second Part. The performance of the other solo roles is very good, and I particularly enjoy Andrea Lauren Brown’s Leah. The chorus participation is brief, but highly enjoyable, and the orchestra…is admirable. The booklet does state that the performance is in a performing edition by the conductor, Franz Hauk, and, as so much ‘original’ material from this era is questionable, it would have been interesting to read of his source for this edition. That question apart, this world premiere recording has unveiled a highly enjoyable score. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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