Listen to a Sample:
The more I listen to Idomeneo, the more it occurs to me that it is fast becoming my favorite Mozart opera. I fully understand that it can never truly reach the exalted pedestal of Figaro and Don Giovanni due to its glaring dramatic problems, but musically it seems in many ways to employ a richer palate than even many of Mozart's later masterpieces. This performance is both wonderful and puzzling. Wonderful for the excellent singing actors like Waldemar Kmentt who brings a regal yet burly bearing to the title role. Lisa Della Casa was slightly past her prime at the time of this performance but doesn't seemed that over-burdened by the role of Ilia allowing her brilliance to continue to shine bright. As Elettra, Sena Jurinac manages to find a good balance between electric intensity without approaching characature as happens all to often with this part. And now for the puzzling: This performance takes some very strange cuts and rearranges a lot of the music. The most strange instance comes in Act III where Elettra's aria "D'Oreste d'Ajace" is not only moved much earlier but part of the proceeding accompagnato recit is appropriated by Idomeneo. The sound is good.