ROBIN DE RAAFF (b.1968): Raaff.
Catalogue Number: 11L112
Reference: KTC 1370
Description: This opera takes its inspiration from the inter-generational conflict between the young Mozart and the established tenor Anton Raaff at the première of Idomeneo (though a cynic might detect that the composer's motivation was also to find as reason to write a piece about his 18th-century namesake). The issues of the opera - the conflict between 'pure' artistic expression and morality, or honesty - are presented in a 'what if?' historical revisionist context; what if a staged opera were really a matter of life and death? The form of the opera ingeniously reflects the conventions of classical style, with its overture and intermezzi, arias and ensembles, but the musical vocabulary, one or two gestures aside, avoids pastiche entirely. De Raaff's style is a form of dramatic post-modernism, largely tonally based, with some unconventional instrumentation alluding to non-classical styles from the background of the composer and the youthful iconoclasm of the fictional "M", the composer in the drama. Raaff is very approachable, and contains much attractive music, which though somewhat complex, never obscures the thrust of the drama, nor departs too abruptly from familiar operatic conventions. English libretto. Marcel Reijans, Mark Tevis (tenors), Danielle de Niese (soprano), Annett Andriesen (alto), Vocal Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble; Lawrence Renes.