Friday, January 27, 2006
Mozart: Exultate, ,jubilate, K.165
(Right) The little Mozart at the keyboard is adorable, complete with tiny shoes kicked off and lying under the harpsichord -- and the look of love and pride on Leopold's face is priceless.
Today is the day to celebrate the birth date of our dear composer. 250 years young (could Mozart ever be old?) There are few composers in the history of Western music who bequeathed such a valuable and at the same time varied body of vocal music as did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The virtuoso motet Exultate, jubilate K.165, is structured like a concerto with three movements, yet in this case it is a soprano that engages in a dialogue with the orchestra, not a solo instrument. I feel the text is quite appropriate to our birthday boy.
o you blessed souls,
singing sweet hymns;
responding to your song
the skies sing psalms with me."
"The friendly daylight shines,
both clouds and storms have now fled;
for the righteous an unexpected calm has come.
Everywhere dark night reigned,
rise up at last in gladness,
you who were afraid until now,
and joyful present to the happy dawn handfuls of lilies.
You crown of virgins,
give us peace,
you, ready to give comfort
wherever a heart sighs."
Indeed, the last movement comprises a jubilant set of "Alleluias."
I recommend the recording by Judith Blegen with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Essential Classics/Sony SBK 62646.
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