• Alexander's Playlist: Mozart and The Weber Sisters

    By Alexander Neef

    General Director Alexander Neef shares his favourite music recordings in this series of weekly recommendations.

    Mozart and The Weber Sisters
    Sabine Devieilhe, soprano
    Raphaël Pichon, conductor
    The Pygmalion Ensemble
    Erato, 2015

    With an artist of such mythological standing as Mozart, it can be hard to distinguish embroidered fictions from historical realities. The composer’s relationship to the Weber family – including Aloysia, whom he was allegedly in love with and who rejected him; Josepha, who originated the role of the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute; and Constanze, who Mozart ultimately ended up marrying – continues to be a potent example of creativity and inspiration born from muse-like personal relationships, even as the reality of their lives may be obscured by embellishment.

    This week’s recommended recording – Mozart and The Weber Sisters, featuring French soprano Sabine Devieilhe, supported by conductor Raphaël Pichon’s the Pygmalion Ensemble – gathers all the music that Mozart wrote for the Weber sisters in one collection, providing a portrait of the artist at his most personal.

    The range here is fascinating, from famous compositions like the Queen of the Night aria to lesser-known variations on popular tunes, songs, and even a singing exercise Mozart wrote for Constanze.

    Devieilhe’s voice and keen artistry is on wonderful display and she is in total control of the material throughout with some inspiring playing from the chamber forces of the Pygmailon Ensemble. It’s an irresistible recording.

    ––Alexander Neef

    Music credit: Mozart and The Weber Sisters; Sabine Devieilhe, soprano; Raphaël Pichon, conductor with the Pygmalion Ensemble; Erato, 2015

    Posted in Alexander Neef Playlist


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