Classical Opera continue their continuing complete Mozart opera recording series with the one-act dramatic serenade Il sogno di Scipione, K. 126.
Composed in 1771 as a celebratory homage to Prince Archbishop Sigismund Schrattenbach of Salzburg, the Archbishop died before the piece could be performed. In the spring of 1772 Mozart amended the work so that it could be used in honour of Schrattenbach’s successor, Hieronymus Colloredo – the only necessary change was to alter the name of the dedicatee in the nal recitative.
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.
★★★★★ The singing, indeed the general musicianship throughout, is really good – Classical Ear
★★★★ This is a rewarding set, gracefully paced… An impressive achievement – BBC Music Magazine
★★★★ 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 – iClassical
★★★★ The virtuoso arias demand singers of agility, which Classical Opera’s cast, headed by tenor Stuart Jackson, supplies in abundance. Ian Page is the lively conductor – Financial Times
★★★★ An engaging and fully dramatized reading of the music… Page brings fluency and character to their generous instrumental introductions and succeeding vocal displays – Classical Source
Ian Page presides over a charming performance, with well-paced recitatives and appropriate, sometimes extravagant decoration. This is minor Mozart, done supremely well – Gramophone
Not for the first time in this series I find myself returning in the final analysis to Page’s direction of his outstanding orchestra… beautifully nuanced and balanced playing – Opera Magazine