The return of contralto duels

Haydn, right? The cheerful composer wrote vocal music among other things, and one of those pieces was the promisingly titled oratorio Il ritorno di Tobia. The biblically challenged me immediately wanted to know where Tobia went in the first place (answer: to Persia, on a money (owed to his father) collecting errand; (post)Baroque-bargain moment: he also found a wife; on the way he ran into the Angel Raphael (as you do), who wisely advised him to pick up certain items that came in very handy later, such as when he needed to cure his father’s blindness and get married – though not at the same time.

Anyway, a weekend Bible lesson isn’t the reason for this post, but a brass-happy aria, Sudò il guerriero (tl;dr: your efforts aren’t always justly rewarded but keep fighting and eventually you will prevail) sung by many (not just contraltos) but new to me. Our duellers today are Ewa Podles and Marie-Nicole Lemieux:

I like the Classicism of it all, with its post-Baroque flashes of virtuosity and construction and the more modern (for its time) development of the phrase. It reminds me of both Mozart’s Mitridate and Entfuhrung, which is of course a good thing.


About dehggial

Mozart/Baroque loving red dragon

Posted on February 24, 2018, in classical period, freeform weekend, mezzos & contraltos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. …a very good thing. Also, hey, Haydn without Tenors! 🙂

  2. i wonder what it would have been like hearing Ewa Podles live.. what was the term again? throwing undies while howlingly cheering?

  3. i’m now quite convinced the only reason we don’t get to hear MNL more in all kinds of roles is that them CTs steal them. i was lucky to hear her as Tancredi, she was really great (and acting wise superb as well).

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