Monday, April 3, 2017
Johann Simon Mayr, Amore non soffre opposizioni, Franz Hauk
Naxos with their most welcome, adventurist releases of neglected composers and/or works, has been coming out with some Mayr overtures and operas (I've covered a few here recently), and so we now have a 2-CD set of Amore non soffre opposizioni (Naxos 8.660361-62), conducted by Franz Hauk, the man instrumental in the current Mayr revival.
The reasons this opera and Mayr himself enjoyed popularity in the Italy of the classic age are the same reasons this opera appeals to us today if we give it a chance. There are no recitatives, there is a vibrant tunefulness, a sprightly demeanor, and sophisticated harmonies and instrumentation. We are treated to a very good performance--here by engaging, idiomatic soloists and the East-West European Festival Orchestra.
As you listen for a while, you notice a kind of synthesis between the Italian influence of Rossini and the German one of Mozart, which in Mayr's hands seems unforced and natural.
That this is in every way a carefully conceived and enthusiastic performance goes a long way towards bringing Mayr alive for us.
Anyone who loves classical-era opera will find this release delightful.