180 Days With Mozart And Me

A Survey Of The Philips Complete Mozart Edition…From Symphonies Through Theatre And Ballet Music

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Of Operas Sans Vocals (Theatre and Ballet Music, Box 17)

June 5th, 2010 · No Comments · Box 17: Theatre and Ballet Music, Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail, Don Giovanni, K384 (instrumentals), K527 (instrumentals), Mozart at 26, Mozart at 31, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Prague (October 28 1787), Vienna (May 29 1782)

Theatre and Ballet MusicNow this is refreshing: Mozart’s operas without the vocals.

Since the music was usually my favorite part of Mozart’s operas, I enjoy listening to this CD.


Don Giovanni (Tracks 1-13) is boring even without the vocals. The music just doesn’t move me.

Of much more interest to me is the music from Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Tracks 14-21). It’s more intricate, sprightlier, and less ponderous than Don Giovanni. I can listen to these tracks as stand-alone compositions, and enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed any of Mozart’s instrumental works.

The music on this CD is performed by members of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, a very talented bunch of musicians.

Here is what I listened to today, complete with the best guesses of scholars regarding where and when each composition was penned. This information was pieced together from The Compactothèque book + CD, which is an essential purchase if you want the fullest enjoyment from the Philips Complete Mozart Edition. It’s only about $8 and the sampler CD, alone, is remarkably enjoyable. But the booklet is gold, Jerry! Gold! Keep in mind, some of these places and dates are merely guesses. But I find it fascinating to see even guesses for some of these compositions. They help me put Mozart’s life and creative output in perspective.

For example, Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756. With that in mind, take a look at where and when these pieces were composed. I’ll add Mozart’s approximate age in the parenthetical data below each composition:

1. Don Giovanni – Overture (Members of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble)
2. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – “Notte e giorno faticar”
3. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – “Madamina, il catalogo è questo”
4. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – “Giovinette, che fate all’amore”
5. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – “Là ci darem la mano”
6. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – Dalla sua pace (K.540a)
7. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – “Fin ch’han dal vino”
8. Don Giovanni / Act 1 – Finale: “Presto, presto… pria ch’ei venga”
9. Don Giovanni / Act 2 – “Deh! vieni alla finestra”
10. Don Giovanni / Act 2 – “Vedrai, carino”
11. Don Giovanni / Act 2 – Mi tradì quell’alma ingrata (K540c, Aria)
12. Don Giovanni / Act 2 – “Non mi dir, bell’idol mio”
13. Don Giovanni / Act 2 – Finale: “Già la mensa è preparata”
– Prague, October 28, 1787 (Mozart was 31)

14. Die Entführung aus dem Serail – Overture
15. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 1 – “Hier soll ich dich denn sehen”
16. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 2 – “Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln”
17. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 2 – “Ich gehe, doch rate ich dir”
18. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 2 – “Welche Wonne, welche Lust”
19. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 2 – “Vivat Bacchus! Bacchus lebe!”
20. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 2 – “Wenn der Freude Tränen fließen”
21. Die Entführung aus dem Serail / Act 3 – “Ha, wie will ich triumphieren”
– Vienna, May 29, 1782 (Mozart was 26)

Again, a terrific collection. It was so refreshing to hear the music from Mozart’s operas, sans vocals. I still don’t like Don Giovanni no matter what’s missing or who’s playing it.


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