TELARC 2-CDs 80544: MOZART - IL SERAGLIO - Mackerras - 2000 SS
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Background for this listing -
Die Entführung aus dem Serail (K. 384; The Abduction from the Seraglio; also known as Il Seraglio) is an opera Singspiel in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German libretto is by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner with adaptations by Gottlieb Stephanie. The plot concerns the attempt of the hero Belmonte, assisted by his servant Pedrillo, to rescue his beloved Konstanze from the seraglio of the Pasha Selim.

The company that first sponsored the opera was the Nationalsingspiel ("national Singspiel"), a pet project (1778–1783) of the Austrian emperor Joseph II. The Emperor had set up the company to perform works in the German language (Italian opera was already popular in Vienna). This project was ultimately given up as a failure, but along the way it produced a number of successes, mostly a series of translated works. Mozart's opera emerged as its outstanding original success.

The inspector of the Nationalsingspiel was Gottlieb Stephanie. When the 25-year-old Mozart arrived in Vienna in 1781, seeking professional opportunity, one of the first tasks to which he addressed himself was to become acquainted with Stephanie and lobby him for an opera commission. To this end, he brought a copy of his earlier opera Zaide and showed it to Stephanie, who was duly impressed. Mozart also made a strong impression on the manager of the theater, Count Franz Xaver Orsini-Rosenberg, when in the home of Mozart's friend and patroness Maria Wilhelmine Thun the Count heard him play excerpts from his opera Idomeneo, premiered with great success the previous year in Munich. With this backing, it was agreed that Stephanie would find appropriate material and prepare a libretto for Mozart. Stephanie complied by first pirating and then altering Belmont und Constanze, oder Die Entführung aus dem Serail, an earlier work by Bretzner, who later complained loudly and publicly about the theft.

The opera was a huge success. The first two performances brought in the large sum of 1200 florins, three times what Mozart's salary had been for his old job in Salzburg. The work was repeatedly performed in Vienna during Mozart's lifetime, and throughout German-speaking Europe. Although the opera greatly raised Mozart's standing with the public as a composer, it did not make him rich: he was paid a flat fee of 100 Imperial ducats (about 450 florins) for his work, and made no profits from the many subsequent performances.

Place: the country house of the Pasha (German "Bassa"), in Turkey
Time: 18th century

Act 1
Belmonte enters, looking for his betrothed, Konstanze, who with her English servant Blonde has fallen into the hands of pirates and been sold to the Pasha Selim (Aria: "Hier soll ich dich denn sehen" – "Here surely I must find her"). Osmin, the Pasha's bad-tempered servant, comes to pluck figs in the garden and completely ignores Belmonte's questions (Aria: "Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden" – "You may think, you've found a maiden"). Belmonte tries to obtain news of his servant, Pedrillo, who has been captured with the women and is serving as a servant in the Pasha's palace. Osmin replies with insults and abuse (Duet: "Verwünscht seist du samt deinem Liede!" – "The devil take you and your song, sir"). Belmonte leaves in disgust. Pedrillo enters and Osmin rages at him, vowing to get him tortured and killed in many different ways (Aria: "Solche hergelaufne Laffen" – "These young men who go a-spying"). Osmin leaves and Belmonte enters and happily reunites with Pedrillo. Together they resolve to rescue Konstanze and Pedrillo's fiancée, Blonde, who is Konstanze's servant (Aria: "Konstanze, Konstanze, dich wiederzusehen … O wie ängstlich" – "Konstanze, Konstanze, to see thee again … Oh what trembling").

Accompanied by a chorus of Janissaries ("Singt dem großen Bassa Lieder" – "Sing to the mighty Pasha Selim") the Pasha Selim appears with Konstanze, for whose love he strives in vain (Aria of Konstanze: "Ach ich liebte" – "How I loved him"). Pedrillo tricks the Pasha into hiring Belmonte as an architect. When Belmonte and Pedrillo try to enter the palace, Osmin bars their way, but they hurry past him anyway (Terzett: "Marsch! Trollt euch fort!" – "March! March! March!").

Act 2
Blonde repulses the rough lovemaking attempts of Osmin (Aria: "Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln" – "With smiles and kind caresses"), and threatens to scratch out his eyes. After a duet ("Ich gehe, doch rate ich dir" – "I'm going, but mark what I say"), Osmin departs. Konstanze greets Blonde in distress (Aria: "Welcher Wechsel herrscht in meiner Seele … Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose" – "Oh what sorrow overwhelms my spirit … Endless grief tortures my spirit"), informing her that Selim demands her love and threatens to use force (Aria: "Martern aller Arten" – "Tortures unrelenting.")

When she has gone, Pedrillo comes to Blonde, who is his sweetheart, and informs her that Belmonte has come and is planning to rescue them. Blonde is filled with joy. (Aria: "Welche Wonne, welche Lust" – "Oh, the happy, happy day"). Pedrillo invites Osmin to drink, hoping that he will become intoxicated (Aria: "Frisch zum Kampfe" – "Now Pedrillo, now for battle!"; Duet: "Vivat Bacchus! Bacchus lebe!" – "'Here's to Bacchus, long live Bacchus"). When Osmin has drunk himself into a stupor, the two couples reunite (Quartet, Belmonte, Konstanze, Pedrillo, Blonde: "Ach Belmonte! Ach, mein Leben" – "Ah, Belmonte, ah my dear one!"). Belmonte and Pedrillo both question anxiously whether their respective fiancees have remained faithful during their forced separation; to their delight the women respond with indignation and dismay. They forgive the offensive questions and the curtain falls.

Act 3
Belmonte and Pedrillo come to the garden with ladders (Aria, Belmonte: "Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke" – "Love, only love, can now direct me"; Romanze, Pedrillo: "In Mohrenland gefangen war" – "In Moorish lands a maiden fair"). However, they and the women are caught by Osmin, who rouses the castle (Aria: "Ha, wie will ich triumphieren" – "My triumphant hour's approaching"). Belmonte pleads for their lives and tells Selim Pasha that his father is a Spanish Grandee and Governor of Oran, named Lostados, who will pay a generous ransom. Unfortunately, Pasha Selim and Lostados are long-standing enemies. The Pasha rejoices in the opportunity to kill his enemy's son. He leaves Belmonte and Konstanze to bid each other a last farewell (Duet: "Welch ein Geschick! O Qual der Seele" – "What dreadful fate conspires against us"), but when he returns, he decides he can make a better point against Lostados by releasing Belmonte and his friends. All are set at liberty – much to the dismay of Osmin, who would prefer to see them all brutally executed (Finale: "Nie werd' ich deine Huld verkennen" – "Your noble mercy passes measure").

This listing is for a very rare, out of print 2-CD title - a SEALED, MINT 2-CD SET PRESSED and ISSUED by TELARC Records of a highly collectible title from their catalog - a superb title featuring -

MOZART

CD title -
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail -
The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384
(as heard in the motion picture Mozart in Turkey)

Performers on this disc include -
Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor
Scottish Chamber Orchestra & Chorus
Yelda Kodalli
Peter Groves
Desiree Rancatore
Peter Rose
Lynton Atkinson
Oliver Tobias

Track listing:
1. Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail - The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384

The 2-CD set is from the TELARC series of out of print CDs.

CD catalog # CD 80544
CD was issued in 2000
CD was made in the USA (box set)

The CDs, FAT jewel case and INSERTS are all in MINT condition! This set is actually SEALED - see pictures with this listing for more detail.

This CD is an audiophile quality pressing (any collector of fine MFSL, half speeds, direct to discs, Japanese/UK pressings etc., can attest to the    difference a quality pressing can make to an audio system).

Don't let this rarity slip by!!!

  • Item #: Telarc 2CDs 80544 SS
  • Manufacturer: Telarc Records
  • Condition: New

TELARC 2-CDs 80544: MOZART - IL SERAGLIO - Mackerras - 2000 SS

Price: $79.99
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