WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)/PIETRO LICHTENTHAL (1780-1853): Il ratto dal seraglio.
Catalogue Number: 08R030
Reference: GB 2476/77-2
Description: This is truly weird. Italians couldn’t understand the German singspiel genre, see? Too much talking - and that Selim Pasha guy who doesn’t even sing a note? Huh? So this Lichtenthal dude, born in Hungary but living in Italy, a physician, musicologist and music therapist (note that I didn’t say composer), gets together with Mozart’s other son Carl Thomas (1784-1858) and they decide to turn Seraglio into an Italian comic opera every Italian would like. They get the two leading librettists of the day, Gaetano Rossi and Felice Romani, to translate the German libretto and a poet to write new spoken dialogues. Then, they keep only a handful of the original numbers unchanged and use music by Mozart written for completely different purposes - the Turkish March from the piano sonata, the concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te, two movements from violin sonatas, snippets from Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte, two ensemble pieces Mozart wrote for an opera by Francesco Bianchi, a duet lifted whole from an opera by Peter von Winter, a snippet from an opera by Joseph Weigl and ten recitatives written by the non-composing Lichtenthal. Carl Mozart and Lichtenthal looked upon what they had done and saw that it was good. This was in 1838. It was never performed until this live recording from 2012. You can’t make this stuff up. Now if this doesn’t absolutely scream “Records International material!!!!!”, then I don’t know what does. 2 CDs. Italian-English libretto. Sandra Pastrana, Tatiana Aguiar (sopranos), Francesco Marsiglia, Carlos Natale (tenors), Filippo Morace, Gabriele Sagona (basses), I Polifonici Vicentini, Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico; Giovanni Battista Rigon..