Hyperion Records

Exsultate, iubilate, K165
'Salzburg version', first performed on 30 May 1779
author of text

'Mozart: Exsultate jubilate! & other works' (CDA30012)
Mozart: Exsultate jubilate! & other works
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £8.50 CDA30012  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
Movement 1: Exsultate, iubilate
Movement 2: Tandem advenit hora
Movement 3: Tu virginum corona
Movement 4: Alleluia

Exsultate, iubilate, K165
Exsultate, jubilate, K165 is easily the most famous of Mozart’s sacred settings for soprano. It was written following the success of Mozart’s opera Lucio Silla, first staged in Milan at Christmas 1772. The title role was taken by the soprano castrato Venanzio Rauzzini and, captivated by the voice of his primo uomo, during the weeks afterwards Mozart wrote a sacred piece that would make full use of his renowned coloratura, range and wide vocal colour palette. Indeed, the friendship that was struck up between the two lasted for many years. Mozart must have enjoyed working with a musician who was not only an extraordinary singer but also an accomplished all-rounder who composed and played the piano (Rauzzini later moved to England where he enjoyed a long career, dying in the city of Bath in 1810). That Mozart wrote a sacred piece which essentially used operatic techniques and forms would have met with little surprise: the two musical worlds, church and opera, often merged in such a manner.

In 1779, slightly more than six years after the Milan premiere, a new version of Exsultate, jubilate was performed in Salzburg by the castrato Francesco Ceccarelli, probably in Holy Trinity Church on 30 May 1779 at Mass. The diary of Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s sister, mentions that her brother and father lunched that day at the presbytery next to the church. This manuscript was discovered only in 1978 at the Stadtpfarrkirche St Jakob in Wasserburg am Inn, Austria, a village near Salzburg, and is partly copied by Mozart’s father Leopold. The first, striking difference with the more widely known version is the inclusion of flutes, rather than oboes; their presence provides a radically new colour to what is nowadays a well-known score. The other variation in the Salzburg version is the libretto which, in the first two movements, provides not one but two different texts to those performed in Milan: one is suitable for Trinity Sunday, the other for the Nativity (though there is no evidence that the Christmas version was ever performed). The Trinity text is performed here.

The opening of the first Allegro is confident, much in the manner of a concerto movement: running strings present one theme, the flutes cheerfully flourish in the other before the soloist enters. They create first and second subject matter. A brief recitative (its different text to that of the Milan version resulting in markedly different rhythms) leads to a lyrical Andante aria in the relatively distant key of A major, Tu virginum corona. Mozart provides an orchestral link back to the F major of the final, showcase Alleluia which jubilantly presents a series of soloistic fireworks.

from notes by Robert King © 2006

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

   English   Français   Deutsch