Friday 9 December 2011

Mozart's small operatic ensembles - the heights?


Whatever I think in theory, when I am actually hearing some of the duets, trios and small ensembles from Mozart's greatest operas - these seem to me the height of musical achievement.

I am thinking of things like the parts of Act 1 with the three ladies and/or three boys in The Magic Flute, or Papageno and Pamina's duet; or Soave sia il vento from Cosi, or the Letter duet and Act 4 Finale from Figaro...

Of these, above all I perhaps love the little scene where Tamino and Papageno get their flute and bells.

I mean this section - albeit not this performance nor the recording quality:

Presumably this says a lot about me! but the lightness, the little orchestral touches and transitions, the harmonization of voices, the simplicity and sentiment, humanity and glimpsed divinity... well, only Mozart could do this; and perhaps this kind of thing is for me a higher achievement than any other in music.


1 comment:

dearieme said...

Yes. You are getting close to the old Bernard Levin argument that Mozart was a conduit with God pouring in music at the top.

Mind you, the most heart-lifting thing in all music is the overture to the Marriage of Figaro. It says - just you wait, there's some delight in store.