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8.550866 - Mozart Evening in Vienna (A)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 -1791)
Aus der Oper "Die Entführung aus dem Serail", KV 384
Aus der Oper "Don Giovanni", KV 527
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, KV 525
Konzert für Klavier Nr. 21, C-Dur, KV 467
Symphonie Nr. 41, "Jupiter", KV 551
Konzert für Violine, A-Dur, KV 219
Aus der Oper "Don Giovanni", KV 527
Aus der Oper "Don Giovanni", KV 527
Aus der Oper "Die Zauberflöte", KV 620
Alla turca (Orchesterbearbeitung)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756, the son of a court musician who, in the year of his youngest child's birth, published an influential book on violin-playing. Leopold Mozart rose to occupy the position of Vice-Kapellmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg, but sacrificed his own creative career to that of his son, in whom he detected early signs of precocious genius. With the indulgence of his patron, he was able to undertake extended concert tours of Europe in which his son and his eider sister Nannerl were able to astonish audiences. The boy played both the keyboard and the violin and could improvise and soon write down his own compositions.
Childhood that had brought signal success was followed by a less satisfactory period of adolescence largely in Salzburg, under the patronage of a new and less sympathetic Archbishop. Mozart, like his father, found opportunities far too limited at home, while chances of travel were now restricted. In 1777, when leave of absence was not granted, he gave up employment in Salzburg to seek a future elsewhere, but neither Mannheim nor Paris, both musical centres of some importance, had anything for him. His Mannheim connections, however, brought a commission for an opera in Munich in 1781, and after its successful staging he was summoned by his patron to Vienna. There his dissatisfaction with his position and the denial of opportunities for advancement resulted in a quarrel with the Archbishop and dismissal from his service.
The last ten years of Mozart's life were spent in Vienna in precarious independence of both patron and immediate paternal advice, a situation aggravated by an imprudent marriage. Initial success in the opera-house and as a performer was followed, as the decade went on, by increasing financial difficulties. Yet this was the period of his greatest achievement, in the theatre, in chamber music and in the series of piano concertos he wrote for his own performance and his final symphonies. In 1791 things seemed about to take a turn for the better, in spite of the lack of interest at the court of the new Emperor. Prague commissioned a coronation opera, La clemenza di Tito, and with the actor-manager Emanuel Schikaneder there was a new and successful German opera for Vienna, The Magic Flute, both works staged in the autumn. Mozart died after a short illness early in December.
The German opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) won Mozart his first operatic success in Vienna, when it was staged at the Burgtheater in July, 1782, with the encouragement of the Emperor Joseph II, who wanted to establish German opera in the city. The story concerns the at1ernpts by the hero Belmonte to rescue his beloved Constanze from the power of the Turkish Pasha Selim, a man of great magnanimity, who eventually releases her and her English maid Blondchen, in spite of the wrongs done him by Belmonte's father. The Overture finds an immediate place for w hat was identified in Mozart's time as Turkish music, indicated principally by triangle, cymbals and bass drum. The maid Blondchen has been entrusted
to the palace overseer Osmin for whom she is more than a match. At the beginning of the second act of the opera she tells him how he ought to treat a European girl, with tenderness and coaxing.
The opera Don Giovanni, alternatively titled Il dissoluto punito (The Rake Punished) was written for Prague, a city that had always welcomed Mozart, and was first staged there at the end of October, 1787. The story, dramatised in the early 17th century by Tirso de Molina, tells of the fate of Don Juan, whose adventures in seduction lead to the murder of the father of one of his victims. The statue of the murdered man, seen at night in a graveyard, comes to life and accepts Don Juan's invitation to dinner, only to drag him down into the flames of Hell.
The canzonetta Deh vieni alla finestra, o mio tesoro, (O come to the window, my treasure) is a serenade, and a particularly heartless one, sung after Don Giovanni has just tricked his former mistress Donna Elvira into mistaking his servant Leporello for his master. An equally famous excerpt from the opera is Don Giovanni's La ci darern la mano, as he takes the hand of the peasant-girl Zerlina, whom he intends to seduce on the day of her wedding. Don Giovanni's servant Leporello, descendant of a long line of complaining servants in European drama, opens the opera with an account of the hardships he suffers. The famous catalogue aria, in which he lists Don Giovanni's amorous conquests, recorded in the note-book he carries, is sung to console Donna Elvira, whose love Don Giovanni has enjoyed and rejected. In Vedrai, carino Zerlina soothes her injured lover, Masetto, who has been beaten by Don Giovanni, disguised as Leporello, an assault that is to have further dramatic consequences.
The Magic Flute, if not the last of Mozart's operas in order of composition, was the last to be staged, and was running at the time of his death in 1791. The story of the opera, with a libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder, the first Papageno, is one of initiation, with obvious debts to the initiatory rites of free- masonry that Mozart himself had undergone first in 1784. The ordeals undergone by the hero Tamino, before he can be united with his Pamina, have a comic parallel in the trials undergone by the comic bird-catcher, Papageno, before he finds his Papagena. In the aria Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen (Papageno wants a girl or a little wife), Papageno accompanies himself on a magic glockenspiel and his efforts are rewarded by the sudden appearance of an ugly old woman by his side, later happily revealed as the charming little Papagena that he had wanted.
The famous Serenade in G major, K. 525, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, was completed on 10th August, 1787, a few months after the death of Mozart's father in Salzburg. Designed for a string quintet, the Serenade has proved an equally valuable addition to the string orchestra repertoire. The following year, 1788, brought Mozart's last three symphonies, written down in the space of a few weeks during the summer, presumably with an eye to possible subscription concerts when the season began. The last of the three, the Symphony in C major, later known as the Jupiter, marks the end of Mozart's achievement in the genre.
The ten years spent in Vienna provided the occasion for a magnificent series of piano concertos, written by Mozart for his own use or occasionally for the use of his pupils in public subscription concerts. The Piano Concerto No.21 in C major, K. 467, was completed on 9th March 1785, a companion and counterpart to the ominous D minor Concerto, committed to paper a month earlier. The second movement of the C major Concerto has won an additional audience since its use in the film Elvira Madigan.
In the 1770s in Salzburg Mozart concentrated largely on the violin, an instrument on which he could, in his father's opinion, have been as great a virtuoso as any. His first paid employment in Salzburg was as Konzertmeister of the court orchestra, and in 1775 he w rote a series of violin concertos, for his own use or for his colleagues. The last of the five violin concertos written in 1775, the Concerto in A major, K. 219, was completed on 20th December. Its last movement, prodigal in its melodic invention, includes a "Turkish" episode
in the characteristic key of A minor. The Alla turca movement that concludes the present collection is an orchestral arrangement of a movement from a piano sonata and is comparable in key and style to other versions of the music of the Turkish janissaries.
The Vienna Mozart Orchestra
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