Daniel Behle Sings Mozart: “Un’aura amorosa” from “Così fan tutte”

In the opening scene of Mozart’s 1789 comic opera, Così fan tutte (“Women are like that”), two military officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, boast that their fiancées, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, would never be unfaithful. Don Alfonso makes a wager that, within a day, he can prove the officers wrong. He believes that all women are ultimately fickle. Accepting the wager, Ferrando and Guglielmo pretend to go off to war, but then return in disguise and attempt to seduce the …

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Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, “Dissonance”: The Sixth Child

The introduction which opens the first movement of Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465 foreshadows the mystery and Romantic pathos of late Beethoven. At moments, it even flirts with the twentieth century atonality of Arnold Schoenberg. In the first bars, the viola and two violins enter, one at a time, over a pulsating “C” in the cello. Their chromatic lines wander across a haunting and barren landscape, shrouded …

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Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra: A Sublime Hybrid

Listen to the instrumental music of Mozart, and you may hear the unfolding of a virtual opera without words. Transcending mere vocal virtuosity, Mozart’s greatest operas offer layers of character development and dramatic sophistication. The instrumental lines of the orchestra rise to new prominence and engage with the voices onstage to create a magically enhanced drama. The literal reality of the story meets a deeper poetic reality. Boundaries are blurred and musical …

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Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19: Mitsuko Uchida and the Cleveland Orchestra

Mozart’s mature piano concertos are sublime dramas without words. They are filled with a magical sense of instrumental conversation. Each phrase seems to have drifted out of some imaginary opera scene in which literal meaning has been replaced with a deeper and more fundamental expressive reality. The instrumental voices form a rich and colorful cast of characters. Blurring the boundaries between solo and accompaniment, the solo piano and orchestral voices engage as equals. We …

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Remembering Radu Lupu

The great Romanian pianist, Radu Lupu, passed away earlier this week. According to his manager, Lupu “died peacefully in his home in Switzerland from numerous long-term illnesses.” He was 76 years old. In 1966, Radu Lupu was awarded the first prize at the second Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He went on to win first prizes at the George Enescu International Piano Competition and the Leeds International Piano Competition. Lupu’s playing was filled …

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Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor: Shadowy and Tempestuous

Throughout the music of Mozart, D minor evokes shadowy supernatural forces. It is the central key of Mozart’s Requiem, as well as the searing aria that is sung by the Queen of the Night in the second act of The Magic Flute. The most haunting moments of Don Giovanni are set in D minor, beginning with the Overture’s blood-chilling opening chord. The Overture’s slow introduction foreshadows the ghostly Commendatore Scene, which occurs near the end of the opera, …

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Kiri Te Kanawa Sings Mozart: Pamina’s Aria from “The Magic Flute”

The second act of Mozart’s The Magic Flute contains one of opera’s most beautifully wrenching expressions of despair and lament. Pamina, the daughter of the demonic Queen of the Night, is hurt when Tamino will not speak to her. Not realizing that Tamino is bound by a vow of silence, she believes that he no longer loves her. Ach, ich fühl’s (“Ah, I can feel it”) is Pamina’s intimate, heartbroken soliloquy. It is set in G …

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