Mozart’s Don Giovanni Amadeus Mozart conceals some very complicated techniques of musical emotion in his music for the stage. Among these is his ability to convey not mixed emotions, but separate, conflicting emotions and events involving multiple characters in one scene. An example of this genius is found in his opera “Don Giovanni.” I chose the 1977 Glyndebourne Festival Production. I will be analyzing the finale of Act I, score measures 415 to 457. I think it most effective to not skip around in the score, but rather straight through, and you will see that not only does Mozart creates multiple emotions, he also has them overlapping as in the finale of Act I. This scene is a party thrown by Don Giovanni. Starting in measure 415, Leporello is starting the whole group to dance, and his words are conveyed in a smooth, convincing style, so as to keep the general group out of the loop.
Donna Elvira comments to Donna Anna that Don Giovanni’s voice has given him away, and these words are expressed with short, choppy rhythms, almost recitative-like, indicating a hint of animosity.(mm 417-18) Donna Anna replies, expressing her hurt in a series of long, high descending notes.(mm 418-19) Don Ottavio responds to them in a recitative fashion, yet melodic as if to convey the hiding of vengeful feeling for the moment and to pretend to enjoy an evening of dancing.(mm 420-21) At this point, Don Giovanni and Leporello comment in a relieved melodic duet that everything is good so far.(mm 423-25) Then Masetto sings triumphantly that in his observation, the evening is going well, too. (mm 425-29) Is it though? This amplifies Masetto’s ignorance of two things – one, that Zerlina is emotionally troubled, and two, that he knows nothing of Don Giovanni’s impending plan. When Don Giovanni realizes this, he quickly commands Leporello to distract Masetto away from Zerlina. His tone is sung in short, cut off, almost recitative style that has an effect of being under-his-breath. (mm 429-30) Leporello again uses the melodic, yet convincing style, which is crucial in distracting Masetto.(mm 431-33) Don Giovanni then tries to convince Zerlina to go with him in a connected, aria style(mm 433-37), but this will quickly change as we go farther into the scene. At the same time, Masetto is reluctant to Leporello’s distractions as evident in his choppy responses to Leporello’s asking him to dance. (mm 437-39) He finally starts to give in.(mm 446) Finally, Don Giovanni’s melody to Zerlina becomes very forceful and choppy, leaning toward the recitative, indicating his lack of patience for Zerlina to make up her own mind.(mm 454-57) Staging is important in this scene.
In Garrison Keillor's short story 'Don Giovanni'; the main character, Don Giovanni, is portrayed as a self centered, self serving, seducing womanizer. The story focuses on conversations held between 'The Don'; and Figaro. In these conversations 'The Don'; attempts to erode Figaro's positive views on marriage. The attitude that 'The Don'; has about women is negatively viewed by most societies, and ...
Don Giovanni and Zerlina are left front, Don Ottavio, Donna Anna, and Donna Elvira are front center during the dance in pretend mode, biding their time until Don Giovanni makes a move, and Leporello and Masetto are front right. Giovanni and Zerlina are opposite Leporello and Masetto, which means two things – one, the contrast between Masetto’s innocent ignorance and Zerlina’s deep involvement, and two, the masked threesome has to be blocking Masetto’s view of Zerlina, or he would break the two up. Also notice that in this scene there are three orchestras that have staggered entrances. The largest of the three is for the general dancing group. Orchestra II, which is contrapuntal and duet-like in style and motion, enters at the beginning of and represents Don Giovanni and Zerlina’s confrontation beneath them on the stage. (mm 430) Orchestra III enters above Leporello and Masetto and begins when Masetto starts giving in and dancing.(mm 446) Its music and rhythm is relatively simple and forward, which is reflective of Masetto to this point. Complicated music would not aid Leporello in distracting Masetto. At a point in the scene, all three dialogues and orchestras are happening simultaneously.
Unlike Haydn, his senior by 24 years, and Beethoven, his junior by 15, he excelled in every medium current in his time. He may thus be regarded as the most universal composer in the history of Western music. 1. Ancestry and early childhood. 2. Travels, 1763–73. 3. Salzburg, 1773–80. 4. The break with Salzburg and the early Viennese years, 1780–83. 5. Vienna, 1784–8. 6. The final years. 7. Early ...
What I also notice is that the score does not alternate from major to minor and back, a great tool for emotional change. I believe Mozart did this for many reasons. These dialogues are taking place unbeknownst to the general group that is dancing, and a minor shift would not work here because for one it would foreshadow upcoming events, and there is an underlying deception going on in the scene. Maintaining the major key helps to convey the “nothing is amiss” emotion. Also, these dialogues happen so fast that switching keys would not be effective. As a result, a high attention to detail is demanded of the actors. The styles performed in this scene have striking contrasts, and they have to be conveyed in order for Mozart’s intention to be expressed.
In conclusion, I was impressed by the amount of musical emotion Mozart packed into just a few pages of score. His work in “Don Giovanni” is a musical example more true to real life than a lot of modern music. Words Count: 808. Bibliography 1. Mozart, W.A. Don Giovanni. 1977 Glyndebourne Festival Production..