Hasse: Arie d’opera

Elena De Simone mezzo-soprano, Ensemble Il Mosaico
61:17
Tactus TC 690801

There are ten arias from eight different operas on this CD running between four minutes to well over eight, and they amply display Hasse’s gifts both in melodic terms but also in knowing the voice for which he was writing. While the objective of the project is noble enough (to bring Hasse’s music back to wider notice), the realisation may not have the desired effect. The problem is not with the performers, but rather with their number; with the best will in the world, a string quartet with violone and harpsichord cannot recreate the sound world of an orchestra, and a whole disc of just one singer and a string ensemble would struggle to sustain anyone’s imagination beyond a few arias – perhaps a few recitatives, or a couple of sinfonias from the operas with woodwinds and brass might have helped. I mean this not as criticism but as encouragement to continue exploring Hasse’s music but with a broader palette!

Brian Clark

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