Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro

Finally time for Mozart, for the first time. Some people find Mozart too childish, too light, too simple. I can sort of understand that, but I also think that Mozart is sometimes underestimated. I remember a quote from Alfred Brendel, a famous pianist, who said: “Mozart.. too easy for students, and too difficult for professionals”, and who only dared to  play Mozart when he was 60. And Maarten ‘t Hart, a Dutch writer, who writes that of all composers, there are only two that stand out, far above all others: Bach and Mozart.

Also for the first time today: opera. I am not a huge fan of opera, but there are certainly operas, or at least parts of them, that are incredibly beautiful. Le Nozze di Figaro, the wedding of Figaro, is certainly one of those. Below you can find the complete opera, more than 3 hours, in a modern setting. You can listen to all of it, but I forwarded the player to the very end of the last act.

Figaro is declaring his love to Susanna (who he is marrying), but who is dressed as the Countess. The Count thinks that he is betrayed by the Countess, and does not want to forgive. But it is actually the Count who has betrayed the Countess and who has to ask for forgiveness. That very moment, at 3:13:47, when the Count realizes his faults, is so astonishingly beautiful!

Count:
Contessa, perdono (Countess, forgive me)
Countess:
Più docile io sono, (I am milder)
E dico di sì. (I will say yes)

The Countess forgives him, and from 3:14:47, it is a happy ending (tutti contenti). But I don’t care about the happy ending. It’s the intensity in the music and the expressions when the Count asks for forgiveness that makes this such a magnificent part of the opera.

As a bonus, if you liked the above, here is another duet from this opera, sull’aria:

Did you recognize it? It is used in one of the best movies ever, the Shawshank Redemption:

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