Il Vologeso was written by the Neapolitan composer Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774) to a libretto by Mattia Verazi (c.1730-1794). It was first performed in Ludwigsburg palace’s magnificent opera house in 1766. The story is set in Ephesus, c.164AD; the plot revolves around the efforts of Lucio Vero, who jointly rules Rome with Marco Aurelio, to win the affections of the conquered Parthian king Vologeso IV’s bride, Berenice.

The Mozartists
Jommelli’s music is protean, dynamic and responsive both to the letter and the spirit of Verazi’s text. The Mozartists’ conductor Ian Page is right when he says it “provides an operatic equivalent of the Sturm und Drang movement which was sweeping across Europe in instrumental music”.

This 2016 live recording at London’s Cadogan Hall by The Mozartists owes its existence to unusual circumstances. Firstly, that the band’s MOZART 250 project should, for each year between 2015 and 2041, explore the music that was written and performed 250 years previously, thus placing Mozart’s...