Mozart - Apollo et Hyacinthus / Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots
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Apollo et Hyacinthus was written to a Latin libretto which is based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. Hyacinth died due to a discus thrown by Apollo, which was blown off course by the wind god Zephyrus, out of jealousy. After he died, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth out of his blood. The stage director John Dew created a charming show as if it were a reconstruction of an opera seria, which is presented in a late Baroque theater. Settings and costumes are baroque style and the singers are imitating baroque theater gestures. The young singers are all excellent, but one must mention tenor Maximilian Kiener in the role of Hyacinth's father Oebalus and Christiane Karg as his sister Melia. The section I liked best in this early work is their duet near the end of the opera, where they are lamenting over Hyacinth's death. This is extremely beautiful and sublime music conveying deep emotions, with the two voices blending perfectly to an accompaniment of strings pizzicati. It is amazing that eleven years old boy could compose music that has strong feeling of grief. Another proof, if there is a need, for Mozart being an unparalleled unique genius. The work lasts 75 minutes.
Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebotes (The Obligation of the First and Foremost Commandment) was first performed on March 12, 1767 in the Knight's Hall of the Palace of the Archbishop, Salzburg. Only the first part of the piece was composed by Mozart, the second and third were completed by Michael Haydn and Anton Cajetan Adlgasser respectively, but are lost now. Mozart part last about 85 minutes.Read more ›
Since Mozart's youth operas can sometimes be perceived as "boring" to modern ears, stage directors all over the worlds have tried many different ways to "better" them. One way is to rewrite the recitatives or cut them (as successfully done by Joachim Schloemer in Finta semplice - issued in the same collection). The other way is to present the works with dynamic staging. John Dew, the director of the production, decided to apply a very successful policy of contrasts. Where Apollo et Hyacinthus is performed "in the manner of" the way baroque operas were performed in the XVIIIth century, the British director goes resolutely towards comedy when he deals with Schuldigkeit, in the second half of the evening. The whole evening is therefore a resounding success from the very moving, affected performance of Apollo to the "borderline tasteless" (as per John Dew himself!) antics of Schuldigkeit.
To be fair, John Dew has the support of a fantastic team of young musicians. We shall start by the amazing Sinfonieorchester of the Mozarteum university: they can do absolutely everything with a very dense and ample sound and also a very good sense of rhythm: their conductor, the brilliant Josef Wallnig, has a lot to be credited with this success.
The team of singers is simply fantastic. The queen of the evening is the amazing Christiane Karg, the only singer to appear in both operas.Read more ›
On the second disc Christiane Karg plays a totally different character, wily and playful, but oh, that voice! How long till she sings the Queen of the Night? Highly recommended --- if you only buy one opera this year, this should be the one!Mozart - Apollo et Hyacinthus / Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots
The other opera, Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, is much more accessible -- full of humor and coloratura (what's not to like?!). It has more preaching than plot, but it's certainly worth listening to.
I entirely agree with the earlier (negative) review that compliments Christiane Karg (Melia in A&H, Worldliness in Sch) -- she's the star of what is over-all an outstanding cast. Fans of baroque or early classical opera will enjoy this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Today is Mozart's 260th birthday and it is a great way to celebrate, listening to these two almost unknown stage works. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Brent Peterson
Delightful and amazingly complex music if you consider that Mozart was only 11 years old when he wrote these two works. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Daniel Rodriguez
The DVD of "Apollo et Hyacinthus" is excellent, with fine singing and first-class inventive staging and marvelous costumes by John Dew, aspects well covered by the other laudatory... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Roo Bookaroo
Amazing. The production of Apollo et Hyacinthus is more to period. I wish they would do that more. There is a tear jerking duet between Maximilian Kiener and Christiane Karg. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Deal or No Deal
A beautiful, traditional production of a VERY young Mozart opera. The Salzburg festival productions have a tendency to be a bit gimmicky, but this production honored the original... Read morePublished on October 7, 2012 by V. A. Koursaros
Amazing what this genius did at age 11. But on a bell shaped curve comparing all of his operas and those after him it is mediocre with moments of brilliance. Read morePublished on May 21, 2011 by sergei kochkin
Because of the dreadful excesses of ugly - and by now, in fact, wholly conventional - Regie theater which undermined the M/22 versions of "Nozze" and "Cosi," I'd rashly assumed... Read morePublished on October 24, 2008 by Stanley H. Nemeth
Apollo et Hyacinthus
I loved the costumes, the baroque style of movements, and the singing. I love the intamacy of the smaller stage. Read more
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