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Artaxerxes

The Mozartists

Artaxerxes

Price: € 22.95
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212067222
Catnr: SIGCD 672
Release date: 14 May 2021
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212067222
Catalogue number
SIGCD 672
Release date
14 May 2021
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

A composer inextricably linked with London’s Covent Garden, Thomas Arne’s greatest opera, Artaxerxes, was premièred at the Theatre Royal, the predecessor of the Royal Opera House, on 2 February 1762, and remained in the Covent Garden repertory until the late 1830s – where it received a documented 111 performances before 1790. The young Mozart almost certainly attended a performance when he came to London in the mid-1760s, and Haydn was also acquainted with the work, enthusiastically exclaiming that he “had no idea we had such an opera in the English language”.

The Mozartists, under the dynamic leadership of conductor and artistic director Ian Page, are leading exponents of the music of Mozart and his contemporaries. Originally called Classical Opera, the company was founded in 1997, and has received widespread international acclaim for its stylish and virtuosic period-instrument orchestra, its imaginative and innovative programming, and its ability to nurture and develop world-class young artists.

Renowned for their fresh and insightful interpretations of well-known masterpieces as well as for their ability to bring rare and neglected works to light, they have mounted staged productions of many of Mozart’s operas. In 2015 the company launched MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year project exploring the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences. Described by The Observer as “among the most audacious classical music scheduling ever”, this flagship project presents 250th anniversary performances of most of Mozart’s important works, placing them in context alongside other significant works by Mozart’s contemporaries.

Artist(s)

Christopher Ainslie (countertenor)

Caitlin Hulcup (mezzo soprano)

Elizabeth Watts (soprano)

Rebecca Bottone (soprano)

The Mozartists

Under the direction of conductor Ian Page, The Mozartists (formerly Classical Opera) have established themselves among the most exciting period-instrument ensembles in Europe, attracting particular recognition for their fresh, dramatic and stylish performances, their imaginative and innovative programming, and their ability to discover and nurture outstanding young artists. On stage and in concert, they have performed many of Mozart’s operas, and they have given the UK premières of operas by Gluck, Telemann, Jommelli and Hasse. They appear regularly in London at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall and the Barbican Centre, and they presented Mozart’s La finta semplice and Il re pastore and Arne’s Artaxerxes at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. They have also performed at many...
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Under the direction of conductor Ian Page, The Mozartists (formerly Classical Opera) have established themselves among the most exciting period-instrument ensembles in Europe, attracting particular recognition for their fresh, dramatic and stylish performances, their imaginative and innovative programming, and their ability to discover and nurture outstanding young artists.

On stage and in concert, they have performed many of Mozart’s operas, and they have given the UK premières of operas by Gluck, Telemann, Jommelli and Hasse. They appear regularly in London at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall and the Barbican Centre, and they presented Mozart’s La finta semplice and Il re pastore and Arne’s Artaxerxes at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. They have also performed at many of the UK’s leading festivals and in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic.

In 2015 the company launched MOZART 250, a ground-breaking 27-year project following the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences. Each year MOZART 250 explores the music being composed and performed by Mozart and his contemporaries exactly 250 years previously, and this major initiative has already incorporated music by over forty composers.

The Mozartists’ extensive discography has attracted widespread acclaim. In 2012 they embarked on a major new recording cycle of the complete Mozart operas on Signum Classics, and the first seven releases in the series have all received outstanding reviews. ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ (Signum Classics) and ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live) were both selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critics’ Choice, and their solo recital discs with tenor Allan Clayton (‘Where’er You Walk’) and soprano Sophie Bevan (‘Perfido!’) were both shortlisted for the International Opera Awards. At the Greater London Enterprise Awards, The Mozartists were named ‘Most Innovative Classical Music Ensemble’ in 2021 and ‘Best Nationwide Classical Music Ensemble’ in 2022.


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Ian Page (conductor)

Ian Page (conductor) is the founder, conductor and artistic director of Classical Opera, and is emerging as one of the leading British conductors of his generation. He began his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, and studied English Literature at the University of York before completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the start of his career he worked on the music staff at Scottish Opera, Opera Factory, Glyndebourne and the Drottningholm Slottsteater in Sweden, working with such conductors as Sir Alexander Gibson, Nicholas McGegan, Mark Wigglesworth, Ivor Bolton and Sir Charles Mackerras. With Classical Opera he has conducted most of Mozart’s early operas, including the world première of the ‘original’ version of Mitridate,...
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Ian Page (conductor) is the founder, conductor and artistic director of Classical Opera, and is emerging as one of the leading British conductors of his generation. He began his musical education as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, and studied English Literature at the University of York before completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. At the start of his career he worked on the music staff at Scottish Opera, Opera Factory, Glyndebourne and the Drottningholm Slottsteater in Sweden, working with such conductors as Sir Alexander Gibson, Nicholas McGegan, Mark Wigglesworth, Ivor Bolton and Sir Charles Mackerras.

With Classical Opera he has conducted most of Mozart’s early operas, including the world première of the ‘original’ version of Mitridate, re di Ponto and a new completion of Zaide, as well as Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and La clemenza di Tito. He has also conducted the UK premières of Gluck’s La clemenza di Tito, Telemann’s Orpheus and Jommelli’s Il Vologeso, as well as the first new staging for 250 years of Johann Christian Bach’s Adriano in Siria. In 2009 he made his Royal Opera House début conducting Arne’s Artaxerxes at the Linbury Studio Theatre, and his studio recording of the work was released in 2011 on Linn Records.

He devised and conducted Classical Opera’s recordings of ‘The A-Z of Mozart Opera’ (Signum Classics) and ‘Blessed Spirit – a Gluck retrospective’ (Wigmore Hall Live), both of which were selected for Gramophone magazine’s annual Critic’s Choice, and he recently embarked on an acclaimed new complete cycle of Mozart opera recordings with Classical Opera. He has also created and devised MOZART 250, Classical Opera’s ambitious 27-year journey through Mozart’s music and influences, which was launched in London in 2015.


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Composer(s)

Press

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Disc #1
01.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Overture (Poco più che andante – Larghetto – Gavotta)
05:13
(Thomas Arne) The Mozartists
02.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Still silence reigns around” (Mandane, Arbaces)
00:29
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
03.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 1, Duettino: “Fair Aurora, prithee stay” (Mandane, Arbaces)
02:16
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
04.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Alas, thou know’st that for my love to thee” (Arbaces, Mandane)
01:13
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
05.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 2, Air: “Adieu, thou lovely youth” (Mandane)
03:21
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, The Mozartists
06.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “O cruel parting! How can I survive?” (Arbaces, Artabanes)
00:57
(Thomas Arne) Caitlin Hulcup, Andrew Staples, The Mozartists
07.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 3, Air: “Amid a thousand racking woes” (Arbaces)
04:38
(Thomas Arne) Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
08.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Be firm, my heart” (Artabanes, Artaxerxes)
01:26
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, Andrew Staples, The Mozartists
09.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 4, Air: “Behold, on Lethe’s dismal strand” (Artabanes)
03:36
(Thomas Arne) Andrew Staples, The Mozartists
10.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Stay, Artaxerxes, stay” (Semira, Artaxerxes)
00:29
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, Rebecca Bottone, The Mozartists
11.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 5, Air: “Fair Semira, lovely maid” (Artaxerxes)
03:26
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, The Mozartists
12.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “I fear some dread disaster” (Semira, Rimenes)
01:29
(Thomas Arne) Rebecca Bottone, Daniel Norman, The Mozartists
13.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 6, Air: “When real joy we miss” (Rimenes)
01:59
(Thomas Arne) Daniel Norman, The Mozartists
14.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Ye Gods, protectors of the Persian Empire” (Semira)
00:36
(Thomas Arne) Rebecca Bottone, The Mozartists
15.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 7, Air: “How hard is the fate” (Semira)
04:01
(Thomas Arne) Rebecca Bottone, The Mozartists
16.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Whither do I fly?” (Tutti)
03:23
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup, Andrew Staples, Rebecca Bottone, Daniel Norman, The Mozartists
17.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 8, Air: “Thy father! Away, I renounce the soft claim” (Artabanes)
01:23
(Thomas Arne) Andrew Staples, The Mozartists
18.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Ye cruel Gods, what crime have I committed” (Arbaces)
00:14
(Thomas Arne) Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
19.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 9, Air: “Acquit thee of this foul offence” (Semira)
01:27
(Thomas Arne) Rebecca Bottone, The Mozartists
20.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Recitative: “Appearance, I must own, is strong against me” (Arbaces, Artaxerxes, Rimenes, Mandane)
00:48
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup, Daniel Norman, The Mozartists
21.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 10, Air: “O too lovely, too unkind” (Arbaces)
04:24
(Thomas Arne) Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
22.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: Accompanied recitative: “Dear and beloved shade” (Mandane)
00:48
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, The Mozartists
23.
Artaxerxes, Act 1: No. 11, Air: “Fly, soft ideas, fly” (Mandane)
05:01
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, The Mozartists
24.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “Guards, speed ye to the tower” (Artaxerxes, Artabanes)
02:12
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, Andrew Staples, The Mozartists
25.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 12, Air: “In infancy, our hopes and fears” (Artaxerxes)
01:28
(Thomas Arne) Christopher Ainslie, The Mozartists
26.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “So far my great resolve succeeds” (Artabanes, Arbaces)
02:46
(Thomas Arne) Caitlin Hulcup, Andrew Staples, The Mozartists
27.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 13, Air: “Disdainful you fly me” (Arbaces)
02:05
(Thomas Arne) Caitlin Hulcup, The Mozartists
28.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “Why, my dear friend, so pensive” (Rimenes, Artabanes, Semira)
01:12
(Thomas Arne) Andrew Staples, Rebecca Bottone, Daniel Norman, The Mozartists
29.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 14, Air: “To sigh and complain” (Rimenes)
03:00
(Thomas Arne) Daniel Norman, The Mozartists
30.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “How many links to dire misfortune’s chain” (Semira, Mandane)
00:37
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, Rebecca Bottone, The Mozartists
31.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 15, Air: “If o’er the cruel tyrant love” (Mandane)
01:51
(Thomas Arne) Elizabeth Watts, The Mozartists

Disc #2
01.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “Which fatal evil shall I first oppose?” (Semira)
00:31
Rebecca Bottone
02.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 16, Air: “If the river’s swelling waves” (Semira)
02:34
Rebecca Bottone
03.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “Ye solid pillars of the Persian Empire” (Tutti)
05:00
Rebecca Bottone, Christopher Ainslie, Daniel Norman, Andrew Staples, Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup
04.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 17, Air: “By that belov’d embrace” (Arbaces)
03:31
Caitlin Hulcup
05.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “Ah me, at poor Arbaces’ parting” (Mandane, Artabanes)
00:46
Elizabeth Watts, Andrew Staples
06.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 18, Air: “Monster, away” (Mandane)
02:36
Elizabeth Watts
07.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Recitative: “See, lov’d Semira” (Artaxerxes, Semira, Artabanes)
00:37
Christopher Ainslie, Rebecca Bottone, Andrew Staples
08.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: Accompanied recitative: “At last my soul has room” (Artabanes)
04:58
Andrew Staples
09.
Artaxerxes, Act 2: No. 19, Air: “Thou, like the glorious sun” (Artabanes)
01:02
Andrew Staples
10.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 20, Air: “Why is death for ever late” (Arbaces)
02:57
Caitlin Hulcup
11.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “Arbaces! Gracious Heav’n” (Artaxerxes, Arbaces)
01:13
Caitlin Hulcup, Christopher Ainslie
12.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 21, Air: “Water parted from the sea” (Arbaces)
02:19
Caitlin Hulcup
13.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “That face, secure in conscious innocence” (Artaxerxes)
00:25
Christopher Ainslie
14.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 22, Air: “Though oft a cloud with envious shade” (Artaxerxes)
03:38
Christopher Ainslie
15.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “My son, Arbaces... where art thou retir’d?” (Artabanes, Rimenes)
01:52
Daniel Norman, Andrew Staples
16.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 23, Air: “O let the danger of a son” (Rimenes)
02:15
Daniel Norman
17.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Accompanied recitative: “Ye adverse Gods!” (Artabanes)
00:41
Andrew Staples
18.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 24, Air: “O, much lov’d son, if death” (Artabanes)
05:15
Andrew Staples
19.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “Perhaps the King releas’d Arbaces” (Mandane, Semira)
01:34
Elizabeth Watts, Rebecca Bottone
20.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 25, Air: “Let not rage, thy bosom firing” (Mandane)
04:24
Elizabeth Watts
21.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “What have I done? Alas, I vainly thought” (Semira)
00:24
Rebecca Bottone
22.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 26, Air: “’Tis not true that in our grief” (Semira)
04:08
Rebecca Bottone
23.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “Nor here my searching eyes” (Arbaces, Mandane)
01:20
Caitlin Hulcup, Elizabeth Watts
24.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 27, Duetto: “For thee I live, my dearest” (Arbaces, Mandane)
03:37
Caitlin Hulcup, Elizabeth Watts
25.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “To you, my people, much belov’d” (Artaxerxes, Artabanes, Semira, Mandane)
02:20
Christopher Ainslie, Andrew Staples, Rebecca Bottone, Elizabeth Watts
26.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 28, Air: “The soldier, tir’d of war’s alarms” (Mandane)
03:33
Elizabeth Watts
27.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: Recitative: “Behold, my King, Arbaces at thy feet” (Arbaces, Artaxerxes, Mandane, Artabanes)
02:25
Caitlin Hulcup, Christopher Ainslie, Elizabeth Watts, Andrew Staples
28.
Artaxerxes, Act 3: No. 29, Finale: “Live to us, to Empire live” (Semira, Mandane, Arbaces, Artaxerxes, Artabanes)
03:36
Andrew Staples, Christopher Ainslie, Caitlin Hulcup, Elizabeth Watts, Rebecca Bottone
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