Positive Feedback Logo

The Remarkable Mari Eriksmoen in Arias from Handel and Mozart

12-13-2021 | By Rushton Paul | Issue 118

Norwegian soprano Mari Eriksmoen is remarkable. Her clear, agile soprano and light vibrato deliver perfectly in this collection of Mozart and Handel Arias. Highly recommended.

Mozart and Handel: Arias and Overtures, Mari Eriksmoen, Jan Willem de Vriend, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Challenge Classics | Northstar Recording 2020 (DXD) HERE

This is my first occasion listening to Mari Eriksmoen, but I will be watching for her recordings in the future. I am captivated by her purity of vocal tone and magically mellifluous coloratura. I can understand why the opera press is so enthusiastic about her stage performances: "…mastering the music's huge leaps Eriksmoen brings spotless intonation and dramatic presence to the stage" (Süddeutsche Zeitung); "… produces the most alluring, shimmering coloratura; pure magic" (Der Tagesspiegel, June 2016); "excelled in all aspects, she conquered the considerable vocal hurdles with flying colours, and maintained a beautiful, luminous tone throughout her skilful coloratura passages." (Walter Weidringer, Die Presse).

In this album, together with Jan Willem de Vriend and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Eriksmoen showcases arias by George Frideric Handel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in a exploration of the relationship between the two composers, highlighting a number of Mozart's transcriptions of Handel's works, including arias from Acis und Galatea and Der Messias.

Eriksmoen's profile continues to rise through her regular appearances on Europe's major opera, concert and recital stages, and she is consistently praised for her compelling blend of radiant stage personality and purity of vocal tone. On completion of her studies in Oslo (Norwegian Academy of Music), Paris (Conservatoire National Superieur) and Copenhagen (Royal Danish Academy of Opera), Eriksmoen was invited almost immediately to debut as Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) at Theater an der Wien, launching her career and marking the beginnings of a close and ongoing collaboration.

In concert, Eriksmoen has performed with Orchestre de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Münchner Philharmoniker, and the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum among others.

Jan Willem de Vriend and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra provide a lively, alert orchestral accompaniment in partnership with Eriksmoen. The Stavanger is one of Scandinavia's most successful orchestras, performing its concerts in the Stavanger Concert Hall (site of this recording) which is considered one of the best concert halls in Europe.

The sound quality is exceptional. Another outstanding recording from independent producer and recording engineer Bert van der Wolf, Northstar Recordings.