4 LP - 6.35547 GX - (p) 1980

3 CD - 8.35547 ZB - (c) 1984

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Idomeneo, KV 366


5' 07" A1
Atto primo

56' 53"
- Scena I - Recitativo: "Quando avran fine ormai" - (Ilia) 12' 42" |
- Scena I - No. 1 Aria: "Padre, germani, addio!" - (Ilia) |
- Scena I - Recitativo: "Ecco, Idamante, ahimè!" - (Ilia) |
- Scena II - Recitativo: "Radunate i Troiani, ite" - (Idamante, Ilia) |
- Scena II - No. 2 Aria: "Non ho colpa" - (Idamante) 6' 41"
- Scena II - Recitativo: "Ecco il misero resto de' Troiani" - (Ilia, Idamante) 3' 42" |
- Scena III - No. 3 Coro: "Godiam la pace, trionfi Amore" - (Soli: due Cretesi, due Troiani) |
- Scena IV - Recitativo: "Prence, signor, tutta la Grecia oltraggi" - (Elettra, Idamante, arbace, Ilia) 12' 33" |
- Scena VI - No. 4 Aria: "Tutte nel cor vi sento" - (Elettra) |
- Scena VII - No. 5 Coro: "Pietà! Numi, pietà" |
- Scena VIII - Pantomima e Recitativo: "Eccoci salvi alfin" - (Idomeneo) |
- Scena IX - Recitativo: "Oh voi, di Marte e di Nettuno" - (Idomeneo) |
- Scena IX - No. 6 Aria: "Vedrommi intorno l'ombra dolente" - (Idomeneo) 10' 15" |
- Scena IX - Recitativo: "Cieli! che veggo?" - (Idomeneo, Idamante) |
- Scena X - No. 7 Aria: "Il padre addolorato" - (Idamante) 3' 05"

- Scena X - No. 8 Marcia 2' 13"
- Scena X - No. 9 Coro: "Nettuno s'onori, quel nome risuoni" - (Soli: Soprano I, II, alto, Tenore, Basso) 5' 42"
Atto secondo
45' 32"
- Scena I - No. 10a Recitativo: "Tutto m'è noto" - (Arbace, Idomeneo) 2' 10"
- Scena I - No. 10a Aria: "Se il tuo duol" - (Arbace) 5' 00"
- Scena II - Recitativo: "Se mai pomposo apparse" - (Ilia, Idomeneo) 1' 07"
- Scena II - No. 11 Aria: "Se il padre perdei" - (Ilia) 6' 08"
- Scena III - Recitativo: "Qual mi conturba i sensi" - (Idomeneo) 2' 15"
- Scena III - No. 12 Aria: "Aria Fuor del mar" - (Idomeneo) 6' 22"
- Scena III - Recitativo: "Frettolosa e giuliva Elettra vien" - (Idomeneo, Elettra) 2' 02"
- Scena IV - No. 13 Aria: "Idol mio, se ritroso" - (Elettra) 6' 10" |
- Scena IV - No. 14 Marcia e Recitativo: "Odo da lunge armonioso suono" - (Elettra) |
- Scena V - Recitativo: "Sidonie sponde!" - (Elettra) 14' 18" |
- Scena V - No. 15 Coro: "Placido è il mar, andiamo" - (Elettra, Coro) |
- Scena VI - Recitativo: "Vatene prence" - (Idomeneo, Idamante) |
- Scena VI - No. 16 Terzetto: "Pria di partir, oh Dio!" - (Elettra, Idamante, Idomeneo) |
- Scena VI - No. 17 Coro: "Qual nuovo terrore!" |
- Scena VI - Recitativo: "Eccoti in me, barbaro Nume!" - (Idomeneo) |
- Scena VI - No. 18 Coro: "Corriamo, fuggiamo" |
Atto terzo
87' 32"
- Scena I - Recitativo: "Solitudini amiche" - (Ilia) 0' 50"
- Scena I - No. 19 Aria: "Zeffiretti lusinghieri" - (Ilia) 6' 00" |
- Scena I - Recitativo: "Ei stesso vien... oh Dei!" - (Ilia) |
- Scena II - Recitativo: "Principessa, a' tuoi sguardi" - (Idamante, Ilia) 8' 17" |
- Scena II - No. 20 Duetto: "S'io non moro a questi accenti" - (Ilia, Idamante) |
- Scena III - Recitativo: "Cieli! che vedo?" - (Idomeneo, Ilia, Idamante, Elettra) 8' 23" |
- Scena III - No. 21 Quartetto: "Andrò ramingo e solo" - (Ilia, Elettra, Idamante, Idomeneo) |
- Scena IV - Recitativo: "Sire, alla reggia tua immensa turba" - (Arbace, Ilia, Idomeneo, Elettra) 4' 05" |
- Scena V - Recitativo: "Sventurata Sidon!" - (Arbace) |
- Scena V - No. 22 Aria: "Se colà ne' fati è scritto" - (Arbace) 8' 05"
- Scena VI - No. 23 Recitativo: "Voglio intorno lo sguardo, oh sire" - (Gran Sacerdote, Idomeneo) 10' 55" |
- Scena VI - No. 24 Coro: "Oh voto tremendo!" - (Gran Sacerdote, Idomeneo) |
- Scena VII - No. 25 Marcia |
- Scena VII - No. 26 Cavatina con Coro: "Accogli, oh re del mar" - (Idomeneo, Sacerdoti) 3' 06"
- Scena VII - Coro: "Stupenda vittoria!" 1' 14" |
- Scena VII - Recitativo: "Qual risuona qui intorno" - (Idomeneo, Arbace) |
- Scena IX - No. 27 Recitativo: "Padre, mio caro padre" - (Idamante, Idomeneo, Ilia, Gran Sacerdote, Elettra) 10' 30" |
- Scena X - No. 28d "La Voce Ha Vinto Amore" |
- Scena X - No. 29 Recitativo: "Oh ciel pietoso!" - (Idomeneo, Idamante, Ilia, Arbace, Elettra) 1' 30"

No. 30 Recitativo: "Popoli, a voi l'ultima legge" - (Idomeneo) 4' 57"
No. 31 Coro: "Scenda Amor, scenda Imeneo" 4' 39"
No. 32 Ballet, KV 367

- Chacone 4' 04"
- Larghetto 3' 07"
- La Chaconne qui reprend 2' 55"
- Largo · Allegretto · Allegro 4' 55"

Werner Hollweg, Idomeneo Kurt Equiluz, Arbace
Trudeliese Schmidt, Idamante
Robert Tear, Gran Sacerdote di Nettuno
Rachel Yakar, Ilia
Simon Estes, La Voce
Felicity Palmer, Elettra

Chorsolisten und verstärkter Chor des Opernhauses Zürich
Continuo: Hartwig Natorp. Violoncello / Johann Sonnleitner & Marinette Extermann, Cembalo (Othmar Zumbach)

Mozartorchester des Opernhauses Zürich (Mitglieder des Tonhallen- und Theaterorchesters)

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gesamtleitung
Luogo e data di registrazione
Neue Kirche Albisrieden, Zurigo (Svizzera) - marzo e giugno 1980
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Heinrich J. Weritz
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec - 8.35547 ZB - (3 cd) - 61' 47" + 69' 11" + 64' 03" - (c) 1984
Prima Edizione LP
Telefunken - 6.35547 GX - (4 lp) - 54' 05" + 53' 27" + 46' 35" + 40' 57" - (p) 1980

The Performance of "Idomeneo"
When performing or recording “Idomeneo", the first problem to be solved concerns the version to he used. This underlines the fact that Mozart, as with other operas of which there are known to be later versions, additions or changes, always sought and achieved for each performance the best possible drnnmturgical context and musical balance. We cannot, therefore, simply join up the "best bits" from the various versions; all our notions of "improvement" have always proved futile. Mozart cannot be improved upon; he is invariably right.
This is why we not only opted for the Munich version in terms of the cast, with Idamante sung by a mezzo soprano rather than a tenor, but also omitted the additions composed for Vienna, and adopted the deletions made by Mozart for drammaturgical reasons in Munich in the third act (Idamante's aria "No, la morte non pavento"; Idomeneo's aria "Torna la pace", and Elettra's aria "D'Oreste, d'Aiace") and a few cuts in the recitative, all of wich are thoroughly and incontrovertibly dicumented in Mozart's letters to his father. The extensive changes in the so-called Vienna version are probably due to three significant circumstances: 1) Idamante was sung by a tenor, Baron Pulini; 2) the brotherin-law of the Viennese Elettra, Countess Hatzfeld, was an excellent violinist and also very influential; 3) the performance was not staged. Mozart therefore had to adapt the ensembles which included Idamante for a tenore; he changed the duet in the 3rd act "S'io non moro a questi accenti" for a new duet "Spiegarti non poss'io". Arbace's aria "Se il tuo dol" near the beginning of the 2nd act was replaced by Idamante's concert rondo "Non temer, amato bene", which contained a highly taxing violin solo for Count Hatzfeld. There is also a much shortened version of Idomeneo's bravura aria "Fuor del mare", in which the coloratura passages are left out. These abbreviations have also given rise to speculation, since it is not quite clear when or why Mozart carried them out. They have sometimes been attributed to the Viennese version and described, along with the other adaptations already referred to, as “improvements”; it has been claimed that the deletion of the coloratura has condensed the aria and heightened its eloquence; that the “Viennese Duet” is much more significant than the Munich one, and so on. I am totally opposed is this view, because the cuts deprive the aria of its main characteristic, i. e. the bravura, and produce no benefit other than an easier life for the singer. This, in my opinion, is why Mozart made the deletions: after first being enchanted by the aria, the original Idomeneo, Raaff, seems to have had considerable difficulties with it. On 15th November 1780 Mozart wrote to his father: “... Well, he is an old man and can no longer attempt an aria like fuor del mar... in the second act...". In a word, Mozart prepared a special old man’s version to accommodate him, but I do not consider it better or more mature. The duet is a different matter: the Munich version for soprano and mezzo expresses carefree, almost childlike, joy; it is s piece of touchingly naive happiness, providing an extreme contrast with the tragic character of the work as a whole and in particular with the scene which immediately follows it, in which the young couple are discovered by the horrified ldomeneo. Different criteria had to be applied in the concert version in Vienna because, being cast for soprano and tenor, yhis light, dance-like character would not have been as compelling; in addition, a concertante performance obeys different rules from a staged version. Here again I cannot accept the distinction in terms of quality. However, since all the pieces omitted in Munich and the parts specially composed for Vienna are marvellous music, we intend to record them as well and to publish them on a supplementary record, so that everything that Mozart ever composed for “Idomeneo” is available in one coherent interpretation. Of course all arias and ensembles were recorded without cuts.
"Idomeneo" is the first of Mozart's operas for which he had sole responsability. From then on he always worked together with his librettist; the pressures, ideas, requests and suggestons for changes that emanated from the composer were such that these operas bear his imprint in all their aspects.
"Idomeneo" is sometimes called an “opera seria", still with the same pejorative innuendo that alreaely attached to the genre at the end of the 19th century. This opera, however, springs both in terms of its subject and its musical form from a French background in which the stylistically typically Italian "opera seria" did not exist at all. The model was a tragédie lyrique by Danchet, from which the Mozarts (father and sn), the librettist Varesco and Count Seeau, supervisor of entertainments, prepared their so-called "plan", which then became the contractually binding basis for both the libretto and the music. Mozart adheres to the French pattern. Each of the three acts ended with an "Intermezzo", specifically so described; in some operas these sections are called "Divertissement". In the French operas from Lully to Rameau they consisted of a ballet section with little relevance to the action, in which gods might: appear to display the facilities and effects afforded by the stage machinery, and lavishly arranged dances gave rise to crowd scenes in the manner of a revue. These insertions, which are an integral part of the layout of French opera, are quite alien to the Italian "seria"; at most these might have short, self-contained buffo operas interspersed between the acts, to relieve the tension. Mozart integrated  his intermezzi into the dramatic events in an entirely new manner, using them for the provision of scenic or formal contrast, and giving each one its own distinctive character. After the first act the Cretan woman joyfull greet their husbands who have returned from the Trojan war, with a musically related march and chaconne. (The gavotte which is placed between the two, by way of experiment, in the Neue Mozartausgabe not only disrupts this relationschip, but also the symmetry with the third act, where another march and chaconne conclude the work as though providing it with a frame.) The march describes the joy of the returning Cretans at being reunited with their wives, men and women being given clearly distinct themes. There is thus a fairly, close link with the action, the preceding scene describing the tragic encounter between the returning Idomeneo and his son and the latter's following aria "Il padre adorato". Idamante's despair is emphasised by the contrast with the happiness of the people - after all, he has been plunged into incomprehensible grief from the same happiness at being reunited. The "join" is fairly obvious: the entry of the march. The "Divertimento" at the end of the second act is so integrated into the action that it can only be recognised from its musical form. Nothing of the "entertainment" character of these intermezzi is still in evidence. Mozart describes the terror and horror of the people in flight from the monster, starting with No. 18, the chorus following Idomeneo's great recitativo accompagnato. In the third act intermezzo the traditional coupling of march and chaconne, which occured in the first act, is repeated, imparting a musical and dramatic link between the finales of these acts which, with the ouverture, provides a kind symmetrical framework. This framework is further emphasised by various motivic links starting with the overture, involving several arias, the choral chaconne at the end of Act 1, right up to the final choral march "Scenda Amor" and the final chaconne with its many interpolations. Quite apart from the use of intermezzi, the important role played by the chorus, as well as the form of the choral movements (particularly the choral chaconne at the end of Act 1) which their characteristic dotted notes and dance rhythms, is typically French. It is surely no accident that on that occasion Mozart made such extensive use of the French style: the "Mannheim Orchestra", which was at that time based in Munich, had long been oriented towards French music. Indeed, the orchestra was entrusted with an extremely important part in the work, no doubt because of its excellent quality. (In 1777 Mozart wrote to his father: "...the orchestra is very good and large; on each side 10 to 11 violins, 4 violas, 2 oboes, 2 flutes and 2 clainets, 2 horns, 4 violoncellos, 4 bassoons and 4 double basses and trumpets and timpani... ." On 11th Novembre 1780 his father wrote: "...You may well imagine that I am looking forward just like a child to the splendid orchestra." Since this orchestra to all intents and purposes played in the French style, Mozart allowed for this in his method of composition. Thus we see that he not only "tailor-made" the vocal parts for his singers, but did the same for this orchestra which had such a strong identity. Finally it must not be forgotten that Le Grand's ballet company, which played such a significant part in the conception of the opera, was purely French.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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