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So, Mozart. What's to say that hasn't already been said, repeatedly? He actually wrote only a few more operas than Haydn (who wrote a good deal more symphonies and quartets, to pick just two genres, than anybody else), but Mozart's stage works still captivate the world and Haydn's, for the most part, don't. (And yes, some of us remember the National Opera Company's World of the Moon.)
There's a reason for Mozart's operatic popularity, of course. One scholar attributed it to his inherent humanity, which informed nearly every composition he undertook; he was truly a composer for all seasons, as all of us who recall the worldwide performances of the Requiem, K. 626, in the wake of 9/11, surely know. Operatically, by the time we get to Idomeneo and the last big handful – Entführung, Nozze, Don G., Cosí, Clemenza, and Zauberflöte – there's no more competition, anywhere – these are as good as opera gets, on the Italian side and the German, too.
So take a look and give a listen to the whole run of them, written from when he was 11 or so (what were you doing at that age?) to the year he took departure, at 35. After the first four – we hesitate to call them "youthful works," but each has its own charms – we reach Mitridate which, deftly presented, still commands serious attention; he was 14 when he wrote it. He kept on and on, and only death staunched the flow. Our loss. Our eternal loss.
Dip in here or there, or take them in turn from start to finish. (All music lovers owe it to themselves to do this at least once.) You'll be glad you did, and the process will refresh your soul in these intensely troubled times.
The format is more or less as before: catalog number, a link to the score with texts (but not translations…), date, type of opera, personnel, place and date of first performance, times and links to suggested Y-T performances, and name of conductor if known.
Get on with it. Time's a-wasting.
PS Did you know that the famous Mozart librettist Lorenzo da Ponte is buried in Queens, NY? Check it out here.
Köchel No. (K.) 35 Score Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, Part 1 (The obligation of the first and foremost commandment) 1767 German Sacred Singspiel (collaboration) Ignaz von Weiser 3 soprano, 2 tenor Archbishop's Palace, Salzburg, 12 Mar 1767. 1:05:08 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=turpKltUvfk (recitatives omitted) (conducted by Neville Marriner)
K.38 Score Apollo et Hyacinthus (Apollo and Hyacinth) 1767 Latin Musical setting of Latin text Rufinus Widl, after Ovid's Metamorphoses 2 treble, 2 boy alto, 1 tenor, 2 bass, chorus Great Hall, University of Salzburg, 13 May 1767. 1:32:03 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqPXS0rX9_0 (Tölzer Knabenchor directed by Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden)
K.50/46b Score Bastien und Bastienne (Bastien and Bastienne) 1768 German Singspiel in one act F. W. Weiskern and J. H. Muller 1 soprano, 1 tenor, 1 bass Architektenhaus, Wilhelmstraße 92, Berlin, 2 Oct 1890 (possibly Vienna, Oct 1768, in the garden of Dr Franz Mesmer). 1:01:52 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9JLymKOPh0 (conducted by Alessandro Arnoldo)
K.51/46a Score La finta semplice (The feigned simpleton) 1768 Italian Opera buffa in three acts Marco Coltellini, after Carlo Goldoni 3 soprano, 2 tenor, 2 bass Archbishop's Palace, Salzburg, 1 May 1769. Part 1 20:35 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egKX4ZBZtRA Part 2 20:08 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYdVnhtAJso Part 3 21:04 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeFghg7hGFM & Part 4 20:31 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKv9wDZ-fLY (conducted by Nvart Andreassian)
K.87/74a Score Mitridate, re di Ponto (Mithridates, King of Pontus) 1770 Italian Opera seria in three acts V. A. Cigna-Santi [it], based on G. Parini's translation of Racine''s Mithridate 4 soprano, 1 alto, 2 tenor Teatro Regio Ducal, Milan, 26 Dec 1770. Audio recording 2:58:56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBHsydwbsfY (conducted by Christoph Rousset)
K.111 Score Ascanio in Alba (Ascanius in Alba) 1771 Italian Festspiel in two acts Giuseppe Parini 4 soprano, 1 tenor, chorus Teatro Regio Ducal, Milan, 17 Oct 1771. 1:49:11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InNl7aJdkvY (conducted by Adam Fischer)
K.126 Score Il sogno di Scipione (Scipio's Dream) 1772 Italian Azione teatrale, or Serenata drammatica, in one act Metastasio, based on Cicero's Somnium Scipionis 3 soprano, 3 tenor, chorus Archbishop's Palace, Salzburg, probably 1 May 1772. 1:34:30 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmsHIxOvLMk (conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli)
K.135 Score Lucio Silla 1772 Italian Dramma per musica in three acts Giovanni de Gamerra, revised by Metastasio 4 soprano, 2 tenor, chorus Teatro Regio Ducal, Milan, 26 Dec 1772. 2:55:56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O9SA-w2_IU (conducted by Antonello Manacorda)
K.196 Score La finta giardiniera (The pretend garden-maid) 1774 Italian Dramma giocoso in three acts Probably Giuseppe Petrosellini 4 soprano, 2 tenor, 1 bass, chorus Salvatortheater [de], Munich, 13 Jan 1775. 2:53:28 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq1nJiVkD00 (conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm)
K.208 Score Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) 1775 Italian Serenata in two acts Metastasio, amended by Varesco, based on Tasso's Aminta 3 soprano, 2 tenor Archbishop's Palace, Salzburg, 23 Apr 1775 .Audio recording 1:54:59 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npvNJj_CWpE (conducted by Jed Wentz)
K.345/336a Score Thamos, König in Ägypten (Thamos, King of Egypt) 1773 and 1779 Incidental music: German choruses and entr'actes for a heroic drama Tobias Philipp von Gebler Chorus and soloists: soprano, alto, tenor, bass Kärntnertor Theatre, Vienna 4 Apr 1774 (two choruses); first complete performance Salzburg, 1779-80. 42:14 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS2k1Xv_u_4 (performers unknown)
K.344/336b Score Zaide 1779 German Singspiel (incomplete) Johann Andreas Schachtner 1 soprano, 2 tenor, 2 bass, ensemble (mini-chorus) of 4 tenors, 1 speaking role Frankfurt (location unrecorded), 27 Jan 1866. Not performed during Mozart's lifetime. 1:31:25 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZkl-07vhbo (conducted by Franco Trinca)
K.366 Score Idomeneo, re di Creta (Idomeneus, King of Crete) 1780-81 Dramma per musica in three acts Giambattista Varesco, after Antoine Danchet 's Idoménée 3 soprano, 1 mezzo-soprano, 4 tenor, 1 baritone, 2 bass, chorus Court Theatre (now Cuvilliés Theatre), Munich, 29 Jan 1781. 2:37:56 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba9K_T5ivTQ (conducted by Daniel Harding)
K.384 Score Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio 1782 German Singspiel in three acts Gottlieb Stephanie, based on C. Bretzner's Belmont und Constanze, oder Die Entführung aus dem Serail 2 soprano, 2 tenor, 1 bass, 2 speaking roles Burgtheater, Vienna, 16 Jul 1782. 2:26:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRn9JpdZTzE (conducted by Karl Böhm)
K.422 Score L'oca del Cairo (The goose of Cairo) 1784 Dramma giocoso (incomplete) in three acts Giambattista Varesco (Provisional) 4 soprano, 2 tenor, 2 bass, chorus Théâtre des Fantaisies-Parisiennes, Paris, 6 Jun 1867. Not performed in Mozart's lifetime. Audio recording 1:04:11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJdQQzFUn00 (conducted by Ferrucсio Scaglia) (Recomposition by Diego Valeri, with reconstruction and orchestration by Virgilio Mortari)
K.430/424a Score Lo sposo deluso (The Deluded Bridegroom) 1784 Italian Opera buffa (incomplete) in two acts Unknown. Once attributed to Lorenzo Da Ponte but may have been by Giuseppe Petrosellini. (Provisional) 3 soprano, 2 tenor, 2 bass Théâtre des Fantaisies-Parisiennes, Paris, 6 Jun 1867. Not performed in Mozart's lifetime. Audio recording 21:10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHPvw8tsWPY (conducted by Colin Davis)
K.486 Score Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario) 1786 German Comedy with music in one act Gottlieb Stephanie 2 soprano, 1 tenor, 1 bass, 6 speaking roles Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, 7 Feb 1786. Audio recording 1:03:29 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbquTQ17Z0k (performers unknown)
K.492 Score Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) 1786 Italian Opera buffa in four acts Lorenzo da Ponte, based on Beaumarchais' La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro 5soprano, 2 tenor, 1 baritone, 3 bass, chorus Burgtheater, Vienna, 1 May 1786. 3:04:58 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OYtlGpApc0 (conducted by Gérard Korsten)
K.527 Score Don Giovanni 1787 Italian Dramma giocoso in two acts Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on Giovanni Bertati's Don Giovanni Tenorio 3 soprano, 1 tenor, 1 baritone, 3 bass, chorus Estates Theatre, Prague (also known as Nostitz-Theater and Tyl theatre), 29 Oct 1787. 2:54:22 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2VdxseTvE (conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncount)
K.588 Score Così fan tutte (Women are like that or All women do that) 1790 Italian Dramma giocoso in two acts Lorenzo Da Ponte 3 soprano, 1 tenor, 1 baritone, 1 bass, chorus Burgtheater, Vienna, 26 Jan 1790. 3:12:33 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXCEuYL1pBU (conducted by John Eliot Gardiner) Note: The only surviving opera conducted by Guido Cantelli is a Così from Piccolo Scala in 1956, well worth hearing despite somewhat limited sound: 2:30:32 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKJfpLaZm4w.
K.592a Score Der Stein der Weisen (The Philosopher's Stone) 1790 (Pasticcio composed with J. B. Henneberg, F. Gerl, B. Schack and E. Schikaneder) German Singspiel in two acts (collaboration) Emanuel Schikaneder 3 soprano, 2 tenor, 2 baritone, 1 bass, 1 speaking role Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, 11 Sep 1790. 1:46:18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4g3kXyvShs (conducted by Martin Pearlman)
K.621 Score La clemenza di Tito (The clemency of Titus) 1791 Italian Opera seria in two acts Metastasio, revised by Caterino Mazzolà 2 soprano, 2 mezzo-soprano, 1 tenor, 1 bass, chorus Estates Theatre, Prague, 6 Sep 1791. 2:27:39 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NH4U6DWtt8 (conducted by Colin Davis)
K.620 Score Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) 1791 German Singspiel in two acts Emanuel Schikaneder 6 soprano, 2 mezzo-soprano, 1 alto, 4 tenor, 1 baritone, 4 bass, chorus Theater auf der Wieden, Vienna, 30 Sep 1791. 2:53:35 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02u4Jf_aNPI (conducted by Riccardo Muti)