Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots

Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots
Sacred Singspiel by W. A. Mozart
Martini bologna mozart 1777.jpg
The composer in 1777, by an unknown painter
LanguageGerman
Premiere
12 March 1767 (1767-03-12)
Knights' Hall, Salzburg Residenz

Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots (complete title in historical spelling: Die Schuldigkeit Des ersten und fürnehmsten Gebotes; The Obligation of the First and Foremost Commandment), K. 35, is a sacred musical play (geistliches Singspiel) composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1767 when he was 11 years old. It is Mozart's first opera or, more specifically, sacred drama, as is suggested by the name. The libretto is now attributed to Ignatz Anton von Weiser, although Johann Adam Wieland or Jakob Anton Marianus Wimmer had been suggested earlier. (The title page of the libretto ascribes it only to "J.A.W.".)[1] Only the first part of the opera was composed by Mozart; the second and third parts were contributed by Michael Haydn and Anton Cajetan Adlgasser respectively. However, these other two parts have not survived.[2] Part 1 of the opera was first performed on March 12, 1767, in the Knight's Hall of the Palace of the Archbishop, the Salzburg Residenz. Part 2 was performed on March 19, and part 3 on March 26.[1]

Background and performance history

Mozart composed the work at age 11 with the help of his two teachers, Michael Haydn and Anton Cajetan Adlgasser. In Salzburg, dividing up a sacred singspiel between other composers was common. The libretto was written by Ignatz Anton von Weiser even though it was said that Johann Adam Wieland suggested the idea first and his name is written on the libretto. Mozart composed only the first part of the opera, and the others composed "part two" and "part three." However, these other two parts have not survived.[3] The performances were predominantly in Salzburg in St. Peter's, in Cathedrals, on the Nonnberg, and in Residenz. The opera includes many recitatives for all of the characters, and each character sings one to three arias. The characters of the opera are two tenors: Christgeist and Christ (a Christian), and three sopranos: Barmherzigkeit, Gerechtigkeit, and Weltgeist. The opera does not have a chorus.

Part I of the opera was first performed on 12 March 1767 in the Knight's Hall of the Palace of the Archbishop, Salzburg. Part II was performed on 19 March, and Part III on 26 March.[1]

Roles

RoleVoice typePremiere cast, 12 March 1767
Gerechtigkeit, divine justicecoloratura sopranoMaria Anna Braunhofer
Christgeist, spirit of ChristianitytenorFranz Anton Spitzeder
Barmherzigkeit, divine mercysopranoMaria Magdalena Lipp
Ein lauer und hinnach eifriger Christ,
a half-hearted but later zealous Christian
tenorJoseph Meissner
Weltgeist, worldlinesssopranoMaria Anna Fesemayer

Musical numbers

  • Sinfonia Allegro
  • Recitativo: Die löblich' und gerechte Bitte
  • No. 1 Aria: Mit Jammer muß ich schauen
  • Recitativo: So viele Seelen Fall
  • No. 2 Aria: Ein ergrimmter Löwe brüllet
  • Recitativo: Was glaubst du?
  • No. 3 Aria: Erwache, fauler Knecht
  • Recitativo: Er reget sich
  • Recitativo: Wie, wer erwecket mich?
  • No. 4 Aria: Hat der Schöpfer dieses Leben
  • Recitativo: Daß Träume Träume sind
  • No. 5 Aria: Jener Donnerworte Kraft
  • Recitativo: Ist dieses, o so zweifle nimmermehr
  • No. 6 Aria: Schildre einen Philosophen
  • Recitativo: Wen hör' ich nun hier in der Nähe
  • No. 7 Aria: Manches Übel
  • Recitativo: Er halt mich einem Kranken gleich
  • Recitativo: Hast du nunmehr erfahren
  • No. 8 Terzetto: Laßt mir eurer Gnade Schein

Recordings

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c OperaGlass summary at stanford.edu, accessed on October 6, 2007
  2. ^ WienMozart2006 page on Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots Archived 2007-12-23 at the Wayback Machine, accessed on October 6, 2007
  3. ^ WienMozart2006 page on Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots Archived 2007-12-23 at the Wayback Machine, accessed on October 6, 2007

External links

Media files used on this page

Martini bologna mozart 1777.jpg
The so-called "Bologna Mozart" was copied 1777 in Salzburg (Austria) by a now unknown painter from a lost original for Padre Martini in Bologna (Italy), who had ordered it for his gallery of composers. Today it is displayed in the Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica in Bologna in Italy. Leopold Mozart, W. A. Mozart’s father, wrote about this portrait:

„It has little value as a piece of art, but as to the issue of resemblance, I can assure you that it is perfect.” (Original text: „Malerisch hat es wenig wert, aber was die Ähnlichkeit anbetrifft, so versichere ich Ihnen, daß es ihm ganz und gar ähnlich sieht.“)

Reference: Letter of Leopold Mozart to Padre Martini in Bologna from Dec 22, 1777 (MBA II, pp. 204f, No. 396).