Jane Archibald; Orchestre Symphonique Bienne; Thomas Rösner
ATMA ACD2 2661
Papa Haydn was an extremely successful musician - and not just by the standards of his era. He was, one could argue, the first musical entrepreneur. In the period of transition from “composer as a servant” to “composer as an artist” he took advantage of the circumstances to sell his works many times over and ended up a wealthy man. He also had a dramatic impact on the development of the Western European musical idiom and established his symphonies as ideals aspired to by many. It is however in the 20 years of service to the Duke Esterhazy when Haydn wrote over 20 operas. Most of them have disappeared from the standard repertoire, but like so many works of Papa Haydn, once brought back, they have a lot of staying power. I am talking here of the comedic Il Mondo della Luna, the classic Orlando Paladino and his last opera, yet another take on the story of Orfeo et Euridice, written in the year of Mozart’s death. Arias from these and other operas are brought to record by the Canadian coloratura soprano, Jane Archibald. Although a fair musical distance from her typical repertoire of Zebrinetta, Musetta, Olympia and Queen of the Night, they provide a showcase for her vocal agility and provide a foreshadowing of the COC performances of next season as Zebrinetta and Semele. An added bonus of the CD is the inclusion of overtures, played beautifully by the Swiss Bienne Symphony, presided over by Thomas Rösner, a very talented Viennese maestro.