A Guide to Listening by Song

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Overture:

An overture is the instrumental introduction played at the start of operas and include themes which will be heard later on in the music.


Aria: Hier Soll ich dich den sehen

Belmonte charms us with his lilting high notes right from the beginning in his first aria. “Aria” is an Italian word meaning “air”, and refers to a song for solo voice within an opera.


Duet: Wer Ein Liedchen Hat Gefunden

Osmin’s vocal line is at first lyrical, but the tempo speeds up and Osmin’s responses are curt, abrupt, and defensive. The voices echo each other through the repeated phrases, which are driven by the clean, crisp rhythm and repeated for emphasis and musical balance.


Aria: Soll Ich Mir Noch So Einen Schurken Auf Die Nase Setzen

Osmin shows off the bass voice through meter, tempo and dynamic changes and trills, a musical ornament created from a rapid alternating between two adjacent notes.


Aria: Constanze! Constanze! Geschwind Auf Die Seite

Belmonte begins with a fervent cry of Constanze’s name, and follows a few phrases later with a beautiful display of a tenor coloratura passage, a technique of vocal “coloring”, characterized by agile runs, leaps and trills.


Aria: Immer Noch Traurig…Ach, Ich Liebte, War So Glücklich

Constanze is the epitome of vocal gymnastics, demonstrating the range, flexibility and stamina of the typical Constanze voice. The coloratura passages are a favorite for Mozart fans, not to mention the high D6.


Trio: Marsch! Marsch! Marsch!

The three voices move in harmony in a playful call in response. The march lends itself to movement, with the change in meter and key contributing to the mischievous drama.


Aria: Zärtlichkeit & Schmeichen

This aria showcases the delicacy of the Blonde voice: encompassing the same range, but lighter in weight than her fellow soprano, Constanze.


Duet: Ich Gehe, Doch Rate Ich Dir

This playful duet goes through three distinct sections, which are marked by fermatas and followed by contrasting tempo, rhythm and dynamics. Blonde’s hasty, high pitched, and articulated notes come across as she nags at Osmin and he stands down to her threats.


Aria: Welcher Kummer Herrscht in Meiner Seele

Constanze reveals the vocal restraint and stamina required of sustained notes and connected, long phrases in this in lyric aria.


Aria: Frisch Zum Kampfe

The aria is playful for this character tenor, yet requires a solid high and difficult “A” (A4).


Duet: Wahrhaftig, Das Muss Ich Gestehen

Mozart creates a swift and playful conversation in the duet through frequent tempo changes and through the use of fermatas, a symbol signifying to hold the note longer than the notation suggests.


Aria: Wenn Der Freude Tränen Fliessen

This piece is an example of a modified strophic aria, where several verses are sung to similar music in different musical variations, followed by an ornamented passage.


Quartet: Heir Liber Klass…Ach, Ich Muss Atem Holen

The beauty of Mozart is in these very refined, pronounced phrases paired with subtle vocal nuances. At times the four voices sound like a full opera chorus with alternating voices taking the lead in exquisite solo lines.


Aria: O, Konstanza…Ich Baue Ganze Auf Deine Stärke

Belmonte maneuvers through melismas – a musical passage of many notes, sung on one syllable, requiring great attention to breathing.


Aria: Was Nur Der Lärm Im Palast Bedeutet

While the melody is simple and repetitive, the aria requires quite the range, extending to a deep D3. Osmin also has melismas and a mouthful of text.


Aria: Nun Constanze…Marten Aller Arten

This aria moves through fast sixteenth notes, staccato and sustained notes, and bounces between octaves, including a jump from low B3 to high G6, an octave and a half interval.


Duet: Ach Herr, Wir Sing Hin!

The aria begins with a recitative, a section whose rhythm is representative of patterns in speech. These are typically accompanied by arpeggiated chords.


Quintet: Welch’ ein Geschick…

The quintet features solo lines by each character, followed by an ensemble phrase.