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Mozart & Haydn: Scenes & Arias

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Mozart & Haydn: Scenes & Arias
Mozart & Haydn: Scenes & Arias


The role of Constanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail is famously one of the most demanding, not only among Mozart's operas but in the entire dramatic coloratura repertoire. The singer should have youth on her side, yet the technique to master two long and taxing arias placed almost back to back, and the emotional maturity to convey the character's plight as a prisoner and slave. 'One rarely finds a singer to do it justice,' as the Opera magazine reviewer remarked of a Sadler's Wells production in October 1952. And yet, in Jennifer Vyvyan, he did: 'her voice is excellently placed she is already a highly accomplished singer, and there is every possibility that she will become a great one.' Entführung has never commanded the record catalogues like the Da Ponte trilogy, and thus the opportunity was lost to capture Vyvyan in the this and the other Mozartian role which she often sang near the start of her career, Elettra in Idomeneo. By way of partial compensation, she recorded for Decca in 195758 a studio album of dramatic scenes and arias by Haydn and Mozart, which are distinguished by the qualities noted above of her work on stage. 'Ah, lo previdi' and 'Ch'io mi scordi di te' are hardly less technically challenging than Constanze's arias, but Vyvyan sings them with sovereign authority and the penetrating tone that contributed to her imposing stage presence. Indeed her particular combination of authority and vulnerability, both on stage and in life, were qualities captured by Benjamin Britten in the several principal roles he wrote for her such as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw and Tytania (spelled thus in honour of Vyvyan herself) in A Midsummer Night's Dream. 'I have nothing but admiration for the assurance and agility with which [Jennifer Vyvyan] negotiates these vocal precipices The tight little vibrato in her voice is completely in place in moods of passion and anguish Harry Newstone's accompaniment is unfailingly alert, and the recording excellent.' Gramophone, October 1960.


  1. Name
  2. HAYDN: Scena Di Berenice 'Berenice, Che Fai?', Hob. XXIVa:10
  3. Missa Sancta Caeciliae (Missa Cellensis), Hob. XXV:5 - Laudamus Te
  4. Quoniam
  5. W A MOZART: Ah, Lo Previdi Ah, T'invola Agl'occhi Miei, KV 272
  6. Ch'io Mi Scordi Di Te Non Temer, Amato Bene, KV 505
  7. Ah Se In Ciel, Benigne Stelle, KV 538
  8. Credo: Et Incarnatus Est (from Mass In C Minor, KV 427 Grosse Messe)
  9. Alleluia (from Exsultate, Jubilate, KV 165)
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