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Don Giovanni - Act 1

Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)

Artis Quartet (photo credit: Lukas Beck)

Artis Quartet (photo credit: Lukas Beck)

Composer
Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Composition Year
1787
Work Movements
1. Overture
2. Introduction – Notte e giorno faticar [Leporello, Don Giovanni, Donna Anna, Commendatore]
3. Aria – Ah chi mi dice mai [Donna Elvira]
4. Aria – Madamina, il catalogo è questo [Leporello – Catalogue Aria]
5. Quartetto – Non ti fidar, o misera [Donna Elvira, Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni]
6. Duettino – Là ci darem la mano [Don Giovanni, Zerlina]
7. Aria – Fin ch’han dal vino [Don Giovanni – Champagne Aria]
8. Aria – Batti,batti, o bel Masetto [Zerlina]
9. Finale – Presto, presto pria ch’ei venga [Masetto, Zerlina, Don Giovanni, Donna Elvira, Don Ottavio, Donna Anna, Leporello]
Artists
Artis Quartet (Peter Schuhmayer, Johannes Meissl [violins], Herbert Kefer [viola], Othmar Müller [cello])

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

The delightful custom of making instrumental versions of opera excerpts began in France in 1770, later taken up in Vienna, where complete operas were soon being transcribed for the magnificent Imperial Wind Band. After the successful opening of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart was racing to arrange it for the Wind Band otherwise someone else will get in first and pocket my profits. Speed was essential if the composer wanted to exploit this lucrative possibility of recycling his score, but in the absence of copyright rivals, unhindered by the demands of producing a premiere, often got there first.

And this was not the end of the process – members of the Imperial Wind Band would then profit from their priviliged position by preparing other arrangements for different combinations of instruments. Johann Went was second oboist in the Imperial Wind Band and also a member of the Court Theatre Orchestra and he became one of the most prolific and skilful arrangers of the 1780s and 1790s. His version of Don Giovanni for flute, violin, viola and cello dates from 1788 barely a year after its Prague premiere in October 1787 and is a classic example of the way these arrangements took on a life of their own for by 1804 another anonymous arranger had created a version for string quartet from Went’s already second-hand version.

Most of these arrangements for string quartet that flourished in the new century were primarily designed for amateur performance in middle-class musical life and not for public performance by professional musicians. However Went’s version is technically very demanding and he clearly lavished great care on it as can be heard in his original way of handling melody and accompaniment and his use of tone colour. But in a country more or less starved of opera, there is enormous pleasure in just hearing all that magnificent music in such an unusual form.

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Don Giovanni - Act 1

Composer: Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Performance date: Monday 28th June 2010
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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Composer Wolfgang Mozart (b. 1756 - d. 1791)
Arranger Johann Went and Anon
Work Title Don Giovanni - Act 1
Composition Year 1787
Work Movements 1. Overture
2. Introduction – Notte e giorno faticar [Leporello, Don Giovanni, Donna Anna, Commendatore]
3. Aria – Ah chi mi dice mai [Donna Elvira]
4. Aria – Madamina, il catalogo è questo [Leporello – Catalogue Aria]
5. Quartetto – Non ti fidar, o misera [Donna Elvira, Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni]
6. Duettino – Là ci darem la mano [Don Giovanni, Zerlina]
7. Aria – Fin ch’han dal vino [Don Giovanni – Champagne Aria]
8. Aria – Batti,batti, o bel Masetto [Zerlina]
9. Finale – Presto, presto pria ch’ei venga [Masetto, Zerlina, Don Giovanni, Donna Elvira, Don Ottavio, Donna Anna, Leporello]
Artist(s) Artis Quartet (Peter Schuhmayer, Johannes Meissl [violins], Herbert Kefer [viola], Othmar Müller [cello])
Performance Date Monday 28th June 2010
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:48:55
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category String Quartet
Instrumentation 2vn, va, vc
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

The delightful custom of making instrumental versions of opera excerpts began in France in 1770, later taken up in Vienna, where complete operas were soon being transcribed for the magnificent Imperial Wind Band. After the successful opening of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart was racing to arrange it for the Wind Band otherwise someone else will get in first and pocket my profits. Speed was essential if the composer wanted to exploit this lucrative possibility of recycling his score, but in the absence of copyright rivals, unhindered by the demands of producing a premiere, often got there first.

And this was not the end of the process – members of the Imperial Wind Band would then profit from their priviliged position by preparing other arrangements for different combinations of instruments. Johann Went was second oboist in the Imperial Wind Band and also a member of the Court Theatre Orchestra and he became one of the most prolific and skilful arrangers of the 1780s and 1790s. His version of Don Giovanni for flute, violin, viola and cello dates from 1788 barely a year after its Prague premiere in October 1787 and is a classic example of the way these arrangements took on a life of their own for by 1804 another anonymous arranger had created a version for string quartet from Went’s already second-hand version.

Most of these arrangements for string quartet that flourished in the new century were primarily designed for amateur performance in middle-class musical life and not for public performance by professional musicians. However Went’s version is technically very demanding and he clearly lavished great care on it as can be heard in his original way of handling melody and accompaniment and his use of tone colour. But in a country more or less starved of opera, there is enormous pleasure in just hearing all that magnificent music in such an unusual form.