The programme will include:
MOZART Kyrie in D minor
MOZART Symphony no. 35 in D (Haffner)
MOZART Overture and Scenes from Idomeneo
Conductor James Ross
Tickets £17.50, £12.00 and £8.00 (under 18s £9.00, £6.00 and £4.00)
Tickets may be purchased from the Haslemere Hall Box Office (Tel: 01428 642161) or through the Hall website (usual booking fee applies).
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91), Kyrie in D Minor, K.341/368a
Mozart was once thought to have written this impassioned Kyrie eleison, with its unusually full wind and brass scoring, during the winter of 1780-81 while staying in Munich for the first production of his opera Idomeneo. It seems more likely that it dates from 1787-91 in Vienna, conceived possibly as a sample choral work for an application to become Kapellmeister of St Stephen’s Cathedral, and potentially the start of a complete Mass setting if appointed. If this theory is correct, and Mozart was unsuccessful, it explains why he composed no further movements, and omitted it from the thematic catalogue of his works. After Mozart’s death, the Kyrie was found among manuscripts held by his publisher, Johann Anton André, who then either gifted or sold it, and has never been seen since.
After Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781, he was no longer obliged to produce sacred music regularly, as he had been when working for the Archbishop of Salzburg; instead of being a regular part of his output, it became a medium in which to experiment in response either to occasional commissions, or in the service of his own imagination, seen in the C Minor Mass and Requiem, both left unfinished on his death. Around 1788, when the Kapellmeister job at St Stephen’s became vacant, Mozart sketched but did not complete several Kyrie and Gloria settings; it is possible the D Minor Kyrie is part of this effort.
The Kyrie’s published score, like several other Mozart works published by André, has some uncharacteristic technical issues: it is possible that Mozart drafted an incomplete full score, outlining the melodies and bass line throughout, like he did with the several movements of the Requiem, with the remainder completed by another composer.
W.A. Mozart (1756-91), Symphony No. 35 in D, Haffner, K. 385
I. Allegro con spirito
Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony is named after a wealthy Salzburg merchant whose family had helped sponsor his European tours as a child. Sigmund Haffner commissioned a Serenade from Mozart in 1776 for a family wedding; when Haffner was ennobled in 1782, he turned again to Mozart for suitably celebratory music. Mozart created a new symphony out of this music, adding flutes and clarinets to the wind section in the outer movements, in which form it was first performed at the Vienna Burgtheater on 23 March 1783. In this concert, Mozart opened with the Symphony’s first three movements, then several other works including an aria from Idomeneo, his latest opera, before playing the ‘presto’ Finale.
Mozart wrote to his father Leopold that the first movement should be played ‘with fire’ – its character is brilliant, extrovert and playful. After the more intimate charm of the Andante and the Menuetto, with its quiet middle ‘Trio’ section, the Finale, full of unexpected silences and abrupt changes of character more typical of Haydn, surpasses even the first movement’s energy: Mozart told his father that it should be played ‘as fast as possible’.
W.A. Mozart (1756-91), Scenes from Idomeneo, K. 366
Recitative (Ilia): ‘Quando avran fine’ - Aria: ‘Padre, germani, addio!’
Chorus: Godiam la pace
Recitative (Elettra): ‘Estinto è Idomeneo’ - Aria: ‘Tutte nel cor vi sento’ – Chorus: ‘Pietà!’
March (orchestra) - Chorus: ‘Nettuno s’onori
Aria (Ilia): ‘Se il padre, perdei’
Recitative (Elettra): ‘Parto, e l’unico oggetto’ – Aria :‘Idol mio’ - March (orchestra) –
Recitative (Elettra) – Chorus and Elettra: ‘Placido e il mar’ – ‘Soavi zeffiri’
Recitative (Ilia): ‘Solitudini amiche’ – Aria: ‘Zeffiretti lusinghieri’
Chorus: and High Priest ‘Oh voto tremendo!’
Recitative (Elettra): ‘Oh smania!’ – Aria: ‘D’Oreste, d’Aiace’
Chorus: ‘Scenda Amor, scenda Imeneo’
Idomeneo was Mozart’s first mature opera, composed in 1780-81 as a commission for the Elector of Bavaria. It is the culmination of eighteenth-century ‘opera seria’, but also transcends its genre, with unprecedentedly tight dramatic continuity and orchestral virtuosity. The opera was composed for the court opera at Munich. The quality of singers and orchestra at Mozart’s disposal was probably the best in world at the time, and Mozart revels in their abilities. He was involved deeply in adapting the libretto, derived originally from a French play of 1705 by Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, re-writing sections of the opera several times to ensure maximum dramatic continuity and coherence.
The overture establishes opera’s epic character but also its dreadful pathos. Derived from Apollodorus of Athens’ 2nd-Century BC Chronicle, the story tells of the return of King Idomeneo of Crete (grandson of King Minos) at the end of the Trojan War. So anxious is Idomeneo to return home safely from Troy that he has made a Faustian bargain with Neptune, god of the sea, to sacrifice the first living being he meets on arrival. Unbeknown to him at first, this person proves to be his son, Idamante. The opera must resolve this dreadful dilemma.
In Ilia’s first recitative and aria, ‘Padre, germani’, she is a captive in Crete. A daughter of King Priam, she was captured at the sack of Troy, and has been sent in advance of Idomeneo with other prisoners of war. Her recitative sets the scene for the opera – her own tragic situation having lost everything, and having fallen in love with Idamante, whose affections she believes lie with Electra, daughter of the dead King Agamemnon, who has sought refuge in Crete after suffering her own multiple tragedies.
The chorus ‘Godiam la pace’ celebrates war’s ending and the Trojan prisoners’ liberation, ordered by Idamante, both as a goodwill gesture - and a sign of her love for Ilia.
Recitative ‘Estinto è Idomeneo’ and aria: ‘Tutte nel cor vi sento’ introduces Electra. Her father, Agamemnon, the Greek king who had commanded the siege of Troy, had been forced to sacrifice his other daughter, Iphigenia, to enable his fleet to sail before the War begins; in revenge, on Agamemnon’s return home, he was killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, who in revenge, was murdered by her children: Electra and Orestes. A storm brews and Electra fears Idomeneo has perished at sea, dashing her hopes of marrying Idamante. After her aria, the chorus invokes mercy from the gods and eventually Neptune calms the sea.
Act One ends with the chorus ‘Nettuno s’onori’, praising the sea-god whom the people of Crete believe has brought their king home safely, unaware of the terrible truth behind his return.
At the beginning of Act Two, Ilia responds to Idomeneo’s welcome to his kingdom, telling the Cretan king that he has become a new father to her.
Idomeneo’s proposed solution to avoid sacrificing Idamante is to send him abroad and accompany Electra back to her homeland in Argos. Electra is delighted, and in her aria ‘Idol mio’, she hopes that ‘love has more power when the beloved is near’. In the chorus ‘Placido e il mar’, the people ask for a calm sea and good fortune for the voyage. Their hopes are amplified by Electra, who hopes for a ‘gentle breeze … which spreads love everywhere’ – especially if it persuades Idamante to fall in love with her instead of Ilia. Their attempt to leave Crete fails: Neptune conjures another violent storm, and a sea-monster assaults the island.
In Act Three, Ilia is alone in the royal garden: in her aria ‘Zeffiretti lusinghieri, ‘she invokes the winds to tell Idamante that she loves him and to stay true to her.
‘O voto tremendo’ shows the High Priest of Crete with the people, lamenting the ‘terrible vow’ that has led to this disaster and begging Neptune for mercy. At the last minute, after Ilia offers herself in Idamante’s place, Neptune relents. However, he commands Idomeneo to renounce his throne; Idamante should marry Ilia and become the new king. This is the final straw for Electra: she curses the fates, invoking Ajax, the dead Greek hero from the Trojan war, her dead brother Orestes, and Alecto, the mythological punisher of moral crimes, wanting only to end her life, in one of Mozart’s greatest arias for dramatic soprano.
In the final chorus the people call on the goddess Juno to bless the marriage of Idamante and Ilia, after which in the original production there was a lavish ballet – the longest set of continuous orchestral music Mozart ever wrote.
Idomeneo’s setting may be in Greek myth, and its music from more than two centuries ago, but the issues it confronts and how it expresses them – the personal and collective traumas of war, the subjection of even the most powerful people to forces beyond their control, and the search of peace and reconciliation – are more relevant than ever.
MOZART, IDOMENEO: ACT ONE
Ilia's apartments in the royal palace: in the background, a gallery. ILIA alone:
Quando avran fine omai l'aspre sventure mie? Ilia infelice! Di tempesta crudel misero avanzo, del genitor, e de' germani priva del barbaro nemico misto col sangue il sangue
Vittime generose, A qual sorte più rea ti riserbano i Numi?... Pur vendicaste voi di Priamo, e di Troia i danni, e l'onte? Perì la flotta Argiva, e Idomeneo pasto forse sarà d'orca vorace... Ma che mi giova, oh ciel! se al primo aspetto di quel prode Idamante, che all'onde mi rapì, l'odio deposi, e pria fu schiavo il cor, che m'accorgessi d'essere prigioniera.
Ah qual contrasto, oh Dio! d'opposti affetti mi destate nel sen odio, ed amore! Vendetta deggio a chi mi diè la vita, gratitudine a chi vita mi rende... Oh Ilia! oh genitor! oh prence! oh sorte! Oh vita sventurata! oh dolce morte! Ma che? m'ama Idamante?... ah no; l'ingrato per Elettra sospira, e quell’ Elettra meschina principessa esule d'Argo, d'Oreste alle sciagure a queste arene fuggitiva, raminga, è mia rivale. Quanti mi siete intorno carnefici spietati?... orsù sbranate vendetta, gelosia, odio, ed amore, sbranate sì quest'infelice core!
When will my bitter misfortunes be ended? Unhappy Ilia, wretched survivor of a dreadful tempest, bereft of father and brothers, the victims' blood spilt and mingled with the blood of their savage foes, for what harsher fate have the gods preserved you? ... Are the loss and shame of Priam and Troy avenged? The Greek fleet is destroyed, and Idomeneo perhaps will be a meal for hungry fish ... But what comfort is that to me, ye heavens,
if at the first sight of that valiant Idamante who snatched me from the waves I forgot my hatred, and my heart was enslaved before I realised I was a prisoner.
O God, what a conflict of warring emotions you rouse in my breast, hate and love! I owe vengeance to him who gave me life, gratitude to him who restored it … O Ilia! o father, o prince, o destiny! Ill?fated life, o sweet death! But does Idamante love me? … Ah no; ungratefully he sighs for Electra; and that Electra, unhappy princess, an exile from Argos and the torments of Orestes, who fled, a wanderer, to these shores, is my rival. Ruthless butchers, how many of you surround me? … Then up and shatter vengeance, jealousy, hate and love; yes, shatter my unhappy heart!
Padre, germani, addio! Voi foste, io vi perdei.
Grecia, cagion tu sei. E un greco adorerò?
D'ingrata al sangue mio so, che la colpa avrei;
Ma quel sembiante, oh Dei! Odiare ancor non so.
Father, brothers, farewell! You are no more; I have lost you.
Greece, you are the cause; and shall I now love a Greek?
I know that I am guilty of abandoning my kin;
but I cannot bring myself, o gods, to hate that face.
Ecco Idamante, ahimè! Se'n vien : Misero core tu palpiti, e paventi.
Deli, cessate per poco, oh miei tormenti!
Alas, here is Idamante coming. Unhappy heart, you flutter and falter.
Oh grant me some respite from my torments!
Trojan prisoners, with Cretan men and women. The prisoners' chains are removed; the prisoners show their gratitude:
CORO DE'TROIANI E CRETESI : Godiam la pace, Trionfi amore: ora ogni core giubilerà.
DUE CRETESI : Grazie a chi estinse face di guerra; or si la terra riposo avrà.
TUTTI : Godiam la pace, ecc.
DUE TROIANI : A voi dobbiamo, Pietosi Numi! E a quei bei lumi la libertà.
TUTTI : Godiam la pace, ecc.
CHORUS OF TROJANS AND CRETANS: Let us enjoy peace, let love triumph; now every heart will rejoice.
TWO CRETANS: Thanks to him who extinguished the torches of war, now the land can have peace.
ALL: Let us enjoy peace, etc.
TWO TROJANS: We owe our liberty to you, merciful gods, and to those lovely eyes.
ALL: Let us enjoy peace, etc.
Estinto è Idomeneo? …Tutto a' miei danni, tutto congiura il ciel. Può a suo talento
Idamante disporre d'un impero, e dei cor, e a me non resta ombra di speme? A mio dispetto, ahi lassa! Vedrò, vedrà la Grecia a suo gran scorno una schiava Troiana di quel soglio, e del talamo a parte… In vano Elettra ami l'ingrato … e soffre una figlia d'un re, ch'ha re vassalli, che una vil schiava aspiri al grande acquisto?… Oh sdegno! oh smanie! oh duol!… più non resisto.
Is Idomeneo dead? … Heaven conspires to cross me in everything. Idamante can, at his will, dispose of an empire and of his heart; and shall no shadow of hope remain for me? Unfortunate and unhappy that I am, I shall see, and Greece will see, to its shame, a Trojan slave share the throne and the bridal bed … In vain, Electra, you love this ingrate … Shall the daughter of a king, who has kings as vassals suffer a lowly slave to aspire to these great honours? Shame! Fury! Grief! I can bear it no more!
Tutte nel cor vi sento, furie del crudo Averno: lunge a si gran tormento amor, mercé, pietà. Chi mi rubò quel core, quel, che tradito ha il mio, provin dal mio furore vendetta, e crudeltà.
In my heart I feel you all, Furies of bitter Hades; far from such fierce torment be love, pity, or mercy. Let her who stole that heart which betrayed mine feel my fury and cruel revenge.
A sea coast surrounded by crags, with an angry sea. Ships' wreckage on the shore.
Pietà! Numi, pietà! Aiuto oh giusti Numi! A noi volgete i lumi...
Pietà! Numi, pietà! Il ciel, il mare, il vento ci opprimon di spavento...
Pietà! Numi, pietà! In braccio a cruda morte ci spinge l'empia sorte...
Ye gods, have mercy! Help, o just gods! Turn your gaze on us ...
Ye gods, have mercy! The sky, the sea, the wind oppress us with fear ...
Ye gods, have mercy! Pitiless fate thrusts us into the arms of dreadful death ...
Neptune appears on the sea. He signs to the winds to withdraw to their caves. The sea gradually calms. … Cretan soldiers who arrived with Idomeneo disembark. The warriors sing the following chorus in honour of Neptune. The Cretan women run up to embrace and welcome the arrivals and all give vent to their mutual joy in a dance, which ends with the chorus. Warlike march during the disembarkation.
TUTTI : Nettuno s'onori, quel nome risuoni, quel Nume s'adori sovrano del mar; con danze e con suoni convien festeggiar.
PARTE DEL CORO : Dal lunge ci mira di Giove l'ira, e in un baleno va all'Eghe in seno,
da regal sede tosto provvede, fa i generosi destrier squammosi ratto accoppiar.
Dall'onde fuore suonan sonore tritoni araldi robusti, e baldi buccine intorno.
Gia riede il giorno, che il gran tridente il mar furente seppe domar.
TUTTI : Nettuno s'onori, ecc.
PARTE DEL CORO : Su conca d'oro regio decoro spira Nettuno. Scherza Portuno ancor bambino col suo delfino, con Anfitrite. Or noi di Dite fe' trionfar.
Nereide amabili, ninfe adorabili, che alla gran Dea con Galatea corteggio fate, deh ringraziate per noi quei Numi, che i nostri lumi fero asciugar.
TUTTI: Nettuno s'onori, ecc. Or suonin le trombe, solenne ecatombe andiam preparar.
TUTTI: Let Neptune be honoured! Let his name resound and that god, the sovereign
of the sea, be adored. It is meet that we should celebrate in dance and music.
SOLI: From afar he watches Jove's anger, and in a moment descends to the sea's depths, where in his royal seat he makes ready and swiftly has his great scaly steeds harnessed.
From out the waves robust tritons jovially sound their loud trumpets around. Daylight returns, for Neptune's great trident has power to tame the raging sea.
TUTTI: Let Neptune be honoured! etc.
SOLI: Neptune blows on his golden shell, his royal emblem. Portunus, still an infant, plays with his dolphin and with Amphitrite. He made us victorious over the god of Hades.
Lovely nereids, adorable nymphs who with Galatea form a court to the great goddess,
o give our thanks to those gods who allowed us to dry our eyes.
TUTTI: Let Neptune be honoured! etc. Now let the trumpets sound and let us prepare solemn sacrifice.
ILIA (to Idomeneo):
Se il padre perdei, la patria, il riposo, tu padre mi sei, soggiorno amoroso è Creta per me. Or più non rammento le angoscie, gli affanni or gioia, e contento, compenso a miei danni il cielo mi diè.
If I have lost my father, my country and my peace of mind, you are now a father to me, and Crete is for me a blessed land to stay. Now I recall no more my anguish and distress; now heaven has given me joy and contentment to compensate for my loss.
Chi mai del mio provò piacer più dolce? Parto, e l'unico oggetto, che amo, ed adoro, oh Dei! Meco se'n vien? Ah troppo, troppo angusto è il mio cor a tanta gioia! Lunge dalla rivale farò ben io con vezzi, e con lusinghe, che quel fuoco, che pria spegnere non potei, a quei lumi s'estingua, e avvampi ai miei.
What sweeter pleasure than mine was ever felt? I leave, and the one being I love and adore, o gods, comes with me? Ah, my heart cannot contain such joy! Away from my rival, I shall succeed with caresses and endearments, so that the fire I could not quench before no longer burns for her eyes but blazes for mine.
Idol mio, se ritroso altra amante a me ti rende,
Non m'offende rigoroso, più m'alletta austero amor.
Scaccierà vicino ardore dal tuo sen l'ardor lontano;
Più la mano può d'amore, s'è vicin l'amante cor.
My dearest, if reluctantly your other lover yields you to me,
constrained love does not deter me, and your coldness is more alluring to me.
Passion close at hand will drive from your heart more distant fires;
the hand of love has more power when the beloved is near.
A harmonious march is heard in the distance.
March and Recitative
Odo da lunge armonioso suono, che mi chiama all'imbarco, orsù si vada.
In the distance I hear the sweet sound summoning me aboard; well then, I must go.
Exit in haste. The march is heard ever closer as the scene is changed to the port of Sidon, with ships along the shore:
ELETTRA: Sidome sponde! o voi per me di pianto, e duol, d'amor nemico crudo ricetto, or, ch'astro più clemente a voi mi togiie, io vi perdono, e in pace al lieto partir mio al fin vi lascio, e dò l'estremo addio!
Shores of Sidon, you hostile, harsh place which saw my tears, my grief, my love; now that a more compassionate star takes me from you, I forgive you; I go in peace and gladness, leave you at last, and say a final farewell.
Chorus and arietta
CORO : Placido è il mar, andiamo; tutto ci rassicura. Felice avrem ventura, su su, partiamo or or.
ELETTRA : Soavi zeffiri soli spirate, deI freddo borea l'ira calmate.
D'aura piacevole cortesi siate, se da voi spargesi per tutto amor.
CORO: Placido è il mar, andiamo, ecc.
CHORUS: The sea is calm; let us go; everything is reassuring; we shall have good fortune; come, let us leave at once!
ELETTRA: Blow, gentle breezes only; calm the anger of the icy north wind;
be generous with your pleasing breath which spreads love everywhere.
CHORUS: The sea is calm, etc.
[Idamante and Elettra bid farewell to Idomeneo, but they are prevented from leaving by a fierce storm created by Neptune.]
The royal garden. ILIA (alone)
ILIA : Solitudini amiche, aure amorose, piante fiorite, e fiori vaghi! Udite d'una infelice amante i lamenti, che a voi lassa confido. Quanto il tacer presso al mio vincitore, quanto il finger ti costa afflitto core!
Friendly solitude, amorous breezes, blossoming plants and lovely flowers, hearken
to the laments of an unhappy lover who, forsaken, confides in you. How much it costs my afflicted heart to keep silent and pretend, when close to him who conquered it!
Zeffiretti lusinghieri, deli volate al mio tesoro:
E gli dite, ch'io l'adoro, che mi serbi il cor fedel.
E voi piante, e fior sinceri, che ora innaffia il pianto amaro,
Dite a lui, che amor più raro mai vedeste sotto al ciel.
Gently caressing zephyrs, oh fly to my beloved
and tell him I adore him and to keep his heart true to me.
And you, plants and tender flowers, which my bitter tears water,
tell him that you never saw a rarer love beneath the sky.
The High Priest of Neptune leads a crowd of people demanding Idomeneo fulfils his bargain to the sea-god and sacrifices Idamante.
POPOLO : Oh voto tremendo! Spettacolo orrendo! Già regna la morte, d'abisso le porte spalanca crudel.
GRAN SACERDOTE : Oh cielo clemente! Il figlio è innocente, il voto è inumano; arresta la mano del padre fedel.
CORO : Oh voto tremendo! ecc.
THE PEOPLE: O terrible vow! Dreadful sight! Death now reigns and opens wide the gates of the fearful abyss.
HIGH PRIEST: O merciful heaven! The son is innocent and the vow inhuman; stay the hand of this pious father.
THE PEOPLE: O terrible vow! etc.
[Everyone leaves in sorrow… Ilia offers herself in sacrifice in Idamante’s place. Neptune interrupts the sacrifice: he proclaims ‘love has triumphed, Idomeneo shall cease to reign, Idamante shall be king and Ilia his bride. Then will Neptune be appeased, heaven content and innocence rewarded.’] Elettra responds with fury and despair:
Oh smania! oh furie... Oh disperata Elettra! A il cor nel seno già m'ardono l'Eumenidi spietate. Misera, miesra, a che m'arresto? Sarò in queste contrade della gioia e trionfi spettatrice dolente? Vedrò Idamante alla rivale in braccio, e dall’une e dall’altra mostrarmi a dito? Ah no; il germano Oreste ne' cupi abissi io vuo' seguir. Or’or compagna m'avrai là nell'inferno, a sempiterni guai, al pianto eterno.
O madness! O Furies! O despairing Elettra. Farewell to love, farewell to hope! Ah, pitiless Eumenides, sear my heart to my breast. Wretched as I am, why do I wait? Shall I be a doleful spectator at this parade of joy and triumph? Must I see Idamante in my rival's arms, and be pointed at by each of them? Ah no, let me follow my brother Orestes into the hollow abyss. Now you will have me for companion in Hades, in eternal woe, in endless lamenting.
D'Oreste, d'Aiace ho in seno i tormenti, d'Aletto la face già morte mi dà.
Squarciatemi il cuore ceraste, serpenti, o un ferro il dolore in me finirà.
Within my breast I feel the torments of Orestes and of Ajax; Alecto's torch brings me death. Tear out my heart, you horned serpents, or a sword shall end my pain.
Chorus (Coronation of Idamante)
Scenda Amor, scenda Imeneo, e Giunone ai regi sposi,
d'alma pace omai li posi la Dea pronuba nel sen.
Descend, Love and Hymen, descend, Juno, to the royal pair;
benign goddess, now instil the peace of your spirit in their breasts.