Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle (K. 538) is an ambitious virtuoso concert aria for coloratura soprano – composed specifically for Mozart’s sister-in-law, Aloysia Weber. Mozart offers the soloist a kaleidoscope of scintillating passage work interspersed with lyrical lines of sensual beauty and elegance. Highly episodic, the trumpet and piano should aim to find an overall sense of the free-flowing ideas through control of tempo and variety of dynamic and characterisation. It almost feels like a concerto movement and must be performed within that kind of scope. The words, by Pietro Metastasio, concern a request by a lover that the friendly stars look kindly on her, to protect her in her affection and allow her love to fly. For gratifying vocal and instrumental renderings, listen to coloratura soprano Edita Gruberova and oboist Heinz Holliger respectively.
- Trumpet in C
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