Donald Macleod finds connections between Mozart’s operas and the composer’s own life
Born in 1756, the theatre was a life-long passion for Mozart. Starting at the tender age of just 11, in the space of 22 years he produced an astonishing 24 theatrical works. His destiny was to follow in his father’s footsteps, as a court musician. Instead, by 1781, after a disagreement over his frequent absences from court, Mozart parted ways with his employer, the Elector of Cologne. He left Salzburg and servitude behind, to set himself up in Vienna, a thriving centre for music. The following year he triumphed with his comic singspiel, Die Entführung aus dem Serail. The succession of works that followed include many of the mainstays of operatic repertory, among them The Magic Flute, which was completed in the year of his death, at the age of 35 in 1791.
This week Donald Macleod finds connecting points between the characters Mozart created for the stage and the composer's own experiences in life. He examines how Mozart struggled to be a dutiful son, and how he tackles honour and duty in Idomeneo, Lucio Silla and Mitridate. The ideas of enlightenment that influenced Mozart's own views find expression in the balance of power he depicts between servants and the ruling classes in The Marriage of Figaro. The composer’s thorny path to marriage with Constanze also finds him examining the complexities of love in Die Enführung aus dem Serail and Così fan tutte. Donald ends with Mozart's masterly representation of temptation and evil, as characterised by the ultimate bad boy Don Giovanni and the scheming and manipulative Queen of the Night.
Overture to Le nozze di Figaro
Le nozze di Figaro, Act 1: Cinque, dieci …. Se vuol ballare, Signor Contino
La finta giardiniera, Act 1: Appena mi vedon
Così fan tutte, Act 1: Scene 3 (excerpt)
Don Giovanni , Act 1: Notte e giorno faticar
Don Giovanni, Act 1: Ah! Chi mi dice mai...Madamina, il catalogo è questo
Don Giovanni, Act 1: Champagne Aria
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Act 2: Martern aller Arten
Le nozze di Figaro, Act 2: Esci ormai, garzon malnato …Signore! Cos’è quell’stupore?
Le nozze di Figaro, Act 3: Hai già vinto la causa….. Vedró, mentr’io sospiro
Don Giovanni, Act 1: Finale, Riposate, vezzose ragazze
La clemenza di Tito, Act 1: Parto, parto
Die Zauberflöte, Act 1: Bei mannern, weiche Liebe fühlen
Idomeneo, Act 1: Estinto e Idomeneo ….tutte nel cor vi sento ..Pieta! Numi pieta!
Così fan tutte, Act 1: Finale, Ah che tutta in un momento … Dammi un bacio
Le nozze di Figaro, Act 2: Porgi Amor
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Act 2: Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen … Ach Belmonte! ach mein Leben!
Don Giovanni, Act 1: O sai che l’onore
Lucio Silla, Overture
Lucio Silla, Act 1: Dall sponda tenebrosa; E tollerare io posso; Il desio di vendetta
Mitridate, Rè di Ponto, Act 2: Lungi da te, mio bene
La Clemenza di Tito, Act 1: Come ti piaci imponi
La Clemenza di Tito, Act 2: Deh per questo istante solo; Ove s’intese mai più contumace; Se all’impero, amici Dei
Die Zauberflöte, Act 2:Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen
Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Act 1: Solche hergelauf’ne Laffen
Le nozze di Figaro, Act 1: La Vendetta… via, resti servita
Idomeneo, Act 3: Ha vinto amore …. d’Oreste, d’Aiace
Die Zauberflöte, Act 1: Finale, Wie stark ist nicht dein zauberton ...Es lebe Sarastro! Sarastro soll leben
Don Giovanni, Act 2: Finale II, Già mensa è preparata ... Ah dov’è il perfido?
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales
For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000s8w7
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