V1860. PETER MATTEI, w.Renes Cond. Royal Stockholm Phil.: Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo, K.584 (Mozart); Arias from Don Giovanni, Nozze, Barbiere, Faust, Don Carlos, Eugen Onégin, Pique Dame, Tannhäuser & Billy Budd. (E.U.) BIS SACD 1749, recorded 2010. - 7318599917498
“The Swedish baritone Peter Mattei came to my attention when I heard (and saw) him as Figaro in Bartlett Sher’s imaginative production of Rossini’s THE BARBER OF SEVILLE at the Met several years ago. Much to my amazement, Mattei proved to be just as compelling a stage personality and singer when he sang Shishkov in Janacek’s FROM THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD, also at the Met, a few years later. He dominated the stage in both works not only because of his physical size (he’s well over six feet tall) but even more so because of his large but smooth and attractive voice and his acting. He’s obviously a very versatile artist; here he sings 15 arias in five languages (Italian, French, German, Russian, and English), all with excellent diction in at least four (I can’t comment on his Russian), all in splendid voice and mostly arresting interpretations. His program starts with Don Giovanni’s ‘Champagne’ aria, sung at a fast, exciting clip but still very well articulated. It’s followed by the Don’s ‘Meta di Voi qua Vadano’, where he sends Masetto and his friends on a wild goose chase trying to find him; he has of course disguised himself as Leporello. The last aria here, from the same opera, is the Don’s ‘Deh Vieni alla Finestra’, where he tries to seduce Elvira’s maid. Here, the tempo is unusually slow, perhaps because it sounds more seductive. From Wagner’s TANNHÄUSER, Mattei sings Wolfram’s two beautiful arias with polished, silken tones, except for a few low notes in the ‘Evening Star’ that sound a bit insecure. The only French aria is Valentin’s good-bye to his sister (from Faust). It’s beautifully sung, also with silken legato. But Mattei’s rendition lacks the aria’s dark sense of foreboding. Another highlight is Rodrigo’s death scene from Verdi’s DON CARLO. It’s sung in Italian and Carlo’s lines are omitted but, unlike many interpreters of that rôle, Mattei minimizes the schmalz; he sings with restraint and tonal beauty. Still, the final verses are touching. Of course, Mattei’s delivery of Figaro’s ‘Largo al Factotum’ is the high point of this recital. Mattei brought down the house when he sang it at the Met. It’s as brilliant vocally as it was histrionically; even Pinza and Siepi didn’t do better.
- Kurt Moses, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2011
"The Swedish baritone Peter Mattei has made a formidable reputation for himself performing at the most prestigious opera houses in the world including the Metropolitan, Teatro alla Scala and Covent Garden.
In the recording studio he is, however, a more rarely seen guest. On this his first and long-awaited disc of arias, he revels in the rich opportunities offered by the baritone literature, performing a selection of his favourite arias and roles. Lovelorn young men and cynical libertines, friends faithful unto death and innocent victims of oppression.
All of these are brought to life as one of today’s finest operatic baritones displays his entire range with the eminent support of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Lawrence Renes on the podium."
- Z. D. Akron