La Clemenza di Tito (1791): Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart: Clemenza di Tito


(Salzburg Festival 2003; Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt)

For my first opera DVD of the new year, I decided it was time to make the acquaintance of Mozart’s Clemenza. This is one of the most popular and frequently filmed operas out there and it can be hard to know where to start; but fortunately there was help on hand in the form of Dehggial, who writes the knowledgeable and deliciously irreverent blog Opera, innit. Dehggial has a particular fondness for Clemenza and recommended this production from the 2003 Salzburg Festival. It’s a rather austere, dark take on the opera with some splendid singing and powerful acting. It was only after buying it that I realised it had been designed by none other than Martin Kušej, which meant there were some interesting links with motifs from the Royal Opera House’s recent Idomeneo.

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Songs for Running


The Olympics (and today’s long-awaited first gold medals for Great Britain) have reminded me of my own sporting commitment, which I hasten to add is on a much smaller scale. My charity half-marathon is now only two months away and I haven’t been training as much as I should have been over the last few weeks. In fact, I haven’t been training at all. That’s because the last thing I want to do, after staying up past midnight reading a good book, is to get up at 6am the next morning to go running…

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Era-defining albums


My uncle has been doing a stellar job of introducing me to some of the great albums that were around when he was a music journalist for his student paper back in the early ’70s.  We’ve already covered the late ’60s and we’ve currently got up to 1971, though I’m sure there have been a couple of chronological diversions here and there.  But this got me thinking.  Some of these tracks have the power to conjure up very vivid memories for my uncle and my parents of where they were and what they were doing when they listening to them.  And I found myself wondering which albums might have the same effect on me in twenty years time.  Below were some which sprang to mind.

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