Saturday, January 24, 2009

Scratching That Itch

The past two weeks or so I've been listening repeatedly to Figaro and Susanna's opening duet from Nozze di Figaro. There's something about the wiggly music in the beginning that starts out alone and continues in the background... it's hard to explain but I feel like it scratches an itch in my brain. It just feels good. I've been listening in the car, so if the volume isn't loud enough to cover street noise I'll actually go back to the beginning of the track so I don't miss the opening measures. The louder the music, the more satisfying the scratch. That's weird, right? That's Mozart.

Here's a nice clip that includes the overture, the duet and the recit that follows. Bryn Terfel and Cecilia Bartoli!!! *sigh* The wiggly part starts at 4:23. Oh and then the clarinet that plays her part before they start singing... that feels good too. I wish I could explain it better... anyway, have a listen.


Kaitebon said...

I really dislike Cecilia...but I LOVE that duet! Check out this performance: (my favorite Susanna and Figaro)

I really like their acting, as well as their singing.

Mozartean said...

This is one of my favorite operatic duets. It's a perfect unity of music and voice in the service of dramatic characterization; by the end of the duet, we feel we know Figaro and Susanna intimately.

The instrument which "sings" Susanna's vocal line is actually an oboe, not a clarinet. The Vienna Burgtheater orchestra did not include clarinets in 1786, so they are absent from this opera, and most of the operas Mozart wrote.

You can see a copy of the score here:

Susan said...

Kaitebon - Thanks for the links - I'll check them out later as YouTube is blocked from work!!

Mo - I was listening (again!) on my way to work today and I realized that it wasn't a clarinet and that "Hmm I should probably change my blog entry..." Thanks for all the info. Feel free to provide more, more, more!

Kaitebon said...

Did you get a chance to see it?

Lilly said...

This duet is SO much fun to sing. When I was in college I assistant directed Le Nozze (we did it in English). I filled in for the girl who sang Susanna one day during rehearsals and I had such a blast doing it. I was taking voice lessons at the time, too, and my teacher (who was the musical director of the production) said she had never heard me sing better. I had a mad crush on the guy who sang the role of the Count, so the seduction scenes were ummm...interesting. ;) Needless to say, 13 years later both Figaro and the Count are on my list of Facebook friends! LOL!