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Elektra steals the show,
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This review is from: Idomeneo: Salzburg Festspiele (Norrington) [DVD]  (DVD)
Elettra (as she is called in the Italian Libretto) has some superb numbers in this Opera, and she lives up to it in this production. A definite show stealer and highly enjoyable to listen to as well. I think the Italianate tenor style also works very well in this opera and Ramon Vargas' Idomeneo is amazing. He looks the part too. There is in fact nothing to complain about regarding the production, it is modernist but not to the detriment of the plot and other than Iadamante holding a hand gun (instead of a dagger) during one of the arias, I think we can forgive it just that once.
The orchestra and dramatic accompaniment from the pit is excellent. The only reason why I give this 4 instead of 5 stars however is the annoying tinkle of the ever present harpsichord. A bit over amplified and detracts from some of the orchestral colours that Mozart gifts us in his ingenious score. We know that he loved the piano (or fortepiano in his day) and there isn't even a harpsichord in the score (I checked) but Norringon does love having them but to me it is a mistake here. Mozart was very much up with progress and he preferred to have the piano wherever he could, and it would have been better to do away with the harpsichord if they couldn't get their hands in a decent fortepiano, at least omit the "optional" keyboard for the orchestral passages (keep it in for recitatives by all means). I have heard period performances or Mozart opera (eg Rene Jacobs with magic flute) using the fortepiano with much more wit and charm than a harpsichord can ever bring. If it weren't for the otherwise superb performance all round, I think the costant ching chung of the harpsichord through some of the amazing musical passages would have put me off this DVD and it would have been straight back on the selling second hand like new list.