Our Souls at Night


Vorsichtig ausgedrückt merkt man sehr stark die britische Perspektive. In order to make this practicable, great changes must be made, in fact an entirely new plot must be introduced — and Stephanie is up to his neck in other work. The Pasha's titular harem, for example, reprised themes of sexual libertinage. The Emperor Joseph II commissioned the creation of The Abduction from the Seraglio , but when he heard it, he complained to Mozart, "That is too fine for my ears — there are too many notes. Retrieved from " https:

Our Souls at Night (Trailer)


Why are Italian comic operas popular everywhere — in spite of the miserable libretti? An opera is sure of success when the plot is well worked out, the words written solely for the music and not shoved in here and there to suit some miserable rhyme The best thing of all is when a good composer, who understands the stage and is talented enough to make sound suggestions, meets an able poet, that true phoenix; [5] in that case, no fears need be entertained as to the applause — even of the ignorant.

It would seem that something along these lines did happen—that is, Mozart decided to play a major role in the shaping of the libretto, insisting that Stephanie make changes for dramatic and musical effect. On 26 September Mozart wrote:.

Now comes the rub! The first act was finished more than three weeks ago, as was also one aria in act 2 and the drunken duet ["Vivat Bacchus", act 2] But I cannot compose any more, because the whole story is being altered — and, to tell the truth, at my own request.

At the beginning of act 3 there is a charming quintet or rather finale, but I would prefer to have it at the end of act 2. In order to make this practicable, great changes must be made, in fact an entirely new plot must be introduced — and Stephanie is up to his neck in other work. So we must have a little patience. Mozart was evidently quite pleased to have in Stephanie a librettist who would listen to him. The September 26 letter also says:. It may be the case he is only friendly to my face.

But after all he is preparing the libretto for me — and, what is more, exactly as I want it — and by Heaven, I don't ask anything more of him. With the delays for rewriting, the composition took several more months. The premiere took place on 16 July , at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail is in the genre of "Singspiel", thus the music lacks recitatives and consists entirely of set numbers. As Hughes notes, the action is mostly carried forward by the spoken dialogue, so the libretto gave Mozart little opportunity to display an achievement for which his later operas are celebrated, namely the construction of scenes in which the plot is both reflected in and driven forward by the music.

Die Entführung is lighthearted and frequently comic, with little of the deep character exploration or darker feelings found in Mozart's later operas. Certain aspects of the opera conform to an eighteenth-century European view of orientalism.

The Pasha's titular harem, for example, reprised themes of sexual libertinage. And the comically sinister overseer, Osmin, is a send-up of earlier stereotypes of Turkish despotism. The music includes some of the composer's most spectacular and difficult arias. Osmin's act 3 aria " O, wie will ich triumphieren " includes characteristic 18th century coloratura passage work, and twice goes down to a low D D 2 , one of the lowest notes demanded of any voice in opera.

Konstanze sings in a kind of sinfonia concertante with four solo players from the orchestra; the strikingly long orchestral introduction, without stage action, also poses problems for stage directors. The virtuosity of these roles is perhaps attributable to the fact that when he took up the task of composing the opera, Mozart already knew the outstanding reputations of the singers for whom he was writing, and he tailored the arias to their strengths.

Similarly, Mozart wrote of the first Konstanze, Caterina Cavalieri , "I have sacrificed Konstanze's aria a little to the flexible throat of Mlle. The opera was a huge success. The first two performances brought in the large sum of florins, three times what Mozart's salary had been for his old job in Salzburg. Die Entführung aus dem Serail conquered all, and our own carefully written piece has never been so much as mentioned in theater circles. Although the opera greatly raised Mozart's standing with the public as a composer, it did not make him rich: The complexity of Mozart's work noted by Goethe also plays a role in a well-known tale about the opera which appeared in the early biography of Mozart by Franz Xaver Niemetschek.

In the version of the anecdote printed in Bartlett 's Book of Anecdotes , a reference work, the story is told like this:. The Emperor Joseph II commissioned the creation of The Abduction from the Seraglio , but when he heard it, he complained to Mozart, "That is too fine for my ears — there are too many notes.

The authenticity of this story is not accepted by all scholars. The original reads as follows: The singers perform with a Classical-era orchestra: They are augmented with the instruments needed for "Turkish" music: The aria, " Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose ", is augmented by a basset horn. The orchestra for the premiere included a number of eminent musicians of the day: In the first violin section was Franz de Paula Hofer , who later became Mozart's brother-in-law.

After a lively overture, Belmonte enters, looking for his betrothed, Konstanze, who with her English servant Blonde has fallen into the hands of pirates and been sold to Pasha Selim Aria: Belmonte tries to obtain news of his servant, Pedrillo, who has been captured with the women and is serving as a servant in the Pasha's palace. Osmin replies with insults and abuse Duet: Belmonte leaves in disgust. Pedrillo enters and Osmin rages at him, vowing to get him tortured and killed in many different ways Aria: Osmin leaves and Belmonte enters and happily reunites with Pedrillo.

Pedrillo tricks the Pasha into hiring Belmonte as an architect. When Belmonte and Pedrillo try to enter the palace, Osmin bars their way, but they hurry past him anyway Terzett: The Pasha has given Blonde to Osmin, to be his slave; however, she defiantly rebuffs her new master's rough lovemaking attempts Aria: Konstanze enters and greets Blonde in distress Aria: The Pasha enters, demands her love, and threatens to use force, but she resolutely rejects him. Pedrillo informs Blonde that Belmonte has come and is planning to rescue them.

Blonde is filled with joy. After singing a short ditty to boost his courage Aria: Despite his religious prohibition against alcoholic beverages , Osmin drinks heavily and falls asleep. Konstanze joins Belmonte who declares his love Aria: Irgend etwas stimmt da doch nicht oder ich sollte vielleicht mal in mich gehen!

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