Anja Harteros is in her late 30s, the perfect time for a voice to blossom to its fullest, and this CD of works by Mozart and Haydn confirms that she has arrived in polished form. Born in German, the daughter of a Greek father and German mother, she has both beauty in appearance and stage deportment as well as overwhelming beauty of voice. She is able to charge her interpretations with passion while at the same time remaining in complete control of the instrument she is so wisely developing. This s a voice that would be classified as a 'German sound' - pure, poised, a bit on the steely side (a good thing) not unlike the voices of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Gundula Janowitz.
For this 'Bella Voce' recital Harteros delivers arias form mozart operas 'Idomeneo', 'Le Nozze di Figaro', and 'Cosi van Tutte' as well as concert arias K 272, K 583 and K 369. In each of these she finds the center of Mozart's gift for elegant line. She is ably accompanied by Pinchus Steinberg and the Wiener Symphoniker.
But perhaps the most dazzling of the offerings in this completely satisfying CD is the impossibly difficult Scena from Haydn's 'Berenice che fai' - a long work that requires not only perfect intonation and diction, but also the ability to tackle flights of passion that would diminish a lesser artist's stamina. Harteros meets this (as well as the demands of the Mozart concert arias) with a sense of assurance and aplomb that is never less that spectacular. She is a gift to the music world and we will be hearing much from her. Grady Harp, April 11