with: Ivana Garaj-Korpar: soprano, Marko Mimica: bass
Sascha Reckert: glassharmonica
Croatian Radio-Television Choir
Chorus Master: Nina Cossetto
Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radio-Television
Ivo Lipanović, conductor
Donizetti Heroines is the album that Elena Mosuc dedicated to some of Donizetti’s most famous heroines, singing arias from Lucrezia Borgia, Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, Roberto Devereux, Lucia di Lammermoor and… from Norma and L’assedio di Corinto, which forces me to start this post with a remark.
I have never been able to understand how it is possible that this album has been entitled Donizetti Heroines although it includes Bellini‘s Casta diva and Ah bello, a me ritorna and L’ora fatal si appressa and Rossini’s Giusto ciel, in tal periglio. If it was obligatory to include arias by the other two bel canto composers, a more common title like Bel canto arias would have been less misleading, even though the amount of Donizetti arias would have seemed exaggerated then. It would be even better to add to the well-known arias of Lucia, Lucrezia or Elisabetta some arias from the less known opera of the composer from Bergamo (as I always hope), also to break the monotony of feelings.
The real limit of Donizetti Heroines, in fact, is that the characters tend to resemble each other, especially since they are almost always high social class women and, even more often, queens, all caught in more or less tragic moments. Mosuc does her best to distinguish them from one another, although she does not always succeed, even if she is a perfect singer for this repertoire thanks to the beautiful voice, despite its vibrato, to the easy and precise coloratura and above all to her temperament. An example that sums up all Mosuc’s qualities is the finale of Lucrezia Borgia, Era desso il figlio mio, in which the soprano does not give in to the temptation to obliterate the desperation felt until then for virtuosity, but she balances both of them, so that the repeat of «Era desso il figlio mio» is even more broken-hearted than at the beginning and the cadenza in the middle of the aria is introduced to underline the mood, in addition to bravura.
As for Ivo Lipanović’s conduction, it seems to me that sometimes the conductor chooses too fast tempi.