Sarah and I were getting competitive about our idols, and I claimed to have everything on cd or video of Cecilia Bartoli. Well, I lied again. There are a number of early things I don't have, like this lovely Idomeneo from 1996 with Placido Domingo that came in the mail yesterday. I think it's Deutsche Grammophon, and that's why I didn't know about it. Or maybe I'm not as competitive as I thought.
There are a number of fine things about this opera recording. You get to hear Placido Domingo do a bit of coloratura Mozart, in case you have never heard this before. I certainly had not.
There is some Carol Vaness at her very best. She has a beautiful voice and technique. We were once in a concert together in Grace Cathedral. I sang an obscure Bach aria, and she sang Mozart's Exultate Jubilate. It wasn't a fair comparison. (canned laughter) So you may assume I'm prejudiced when I say that she fails only in the heart area. We don't warm up to her because she basically has a cold center. This is her core repertoire and is quite fine.
Cecilia is still in her low period. It's gorgeous but for the microphone only.
There is some of the best of Thomas Hampson here as well. Everyone rises to meet Mozart.
This is the sacrifice your son to the gods plot. Everything turns out right in the end. Idomeneo is Mozart's finest example of Neapolitan opera seria which always has a happy ending.