Early Mozart Opera – our Collectors’ Choice

MOZART Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791)

Il sogno di Scipione, K126

Chiara Skerath (soprano), Soraya Mafi (soprano), Klara Ek (soprano), Stuart Jackson (tenor), Krystian Adam (tenor), Robert Murray (tenor), Classical Opera, Ian Page

Mozart very probably composed Il sogno di Scipione during April and May 1771, whilst he was still only fifteen. Mozart’s early operas, whilst in no way comparable to his later masterpieces of the genre, demonstrate an unerring ability to match the scale
and ambition of the music to the widely differing circumstances for which each work was
written. In this respect Scipione’s dream is no different; showing an extremely formal
and obsequious presentation designed as a homage to the Archbishop of Salzburg.

The story of Scipio’s Dream takes place in c.148 BC, while the celebrated Roman general is a guest in the palace of his ally Massinissa, King of Numidia (in modern day Tunisia). As Scipio falls into a deep sleep, he dreams that the allegorical figures of Fortuna (Fortune) and Costanza (Constancy) appear to him in Elysium and demand that he should choose one of them to follow for the rest of his days.

This recording from Ian Page and his Classical Opera group is part of their continuing complete Mozart opera recording series. Classical Opera play this work on period instruments about a semitone below today’s pitch to very good effect and the quality of their playing is apparent from the outset. The opera contains a nunber of virtuoso arias that enable Stuart Jackson and the other splendid soloists to show off the agilty of their voices.

Perhaps not a recording for those starting up a classical music collection, but a wonderful addition to a larger collection. This performance provides another fascinating insight into the compositional skills of the young Wolfgang and comes up to the high standards we have come to expect from Ian Page and his group.

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