OP0449. ASCANIO IN ALBA (Mozart), w.Hager Cond. Salzburg Ensemble; Lilian Sukis, Agnes Baltsa, Edith Mathis, Peter Schreier, & Arleen Auger. 2-Philips 422 530, recorded 1976, Slipcase Edition with Elaborate 167pp Libretto-Brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 028942253025
“Just as one is about to sneak off for another coffee, the ear is arrested by the sudden vibrancy of an unexpected accompanied recitative, illuminating a moment's silence, or by an aria, from the 15-year-old pen, which suddenly flowers from the tight buds of its surrounding growth. Ascanio, for instance, when left alone to question his vow of silence, has his words propelled by a sonorous choir of divided violas, and is granted a wonderful area of slowmoving harmonies and metrical cross-currents with which to sympathize with Silvia's torments.
Agnes Baltsa catches nicely the tremulous ardour and inner turmoil within the lower register of Ascanio's writing, but the brilliance and power of the legendary Florentine male soprano for whom the part was written tends to elude her. Silvia, radiantly sung by Edith Mathis, purls out her ‘Infelici affetti miei’ to an accompaniment which all but pre-echoes COSI's ‘Soave sia vento’.”
- GRAMOPHONE, Jan., 1992