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No, non turbarti, WoO92a

author of text

It was with the intention of studying with Mozart that Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) first came to Vienna in April 1787. In the event his visit was soon cut short when he was called to return to his dying mother in Bonn, and there is no absolute proof that the two men ever met; by the time Beethoven returned to Vienna five years later—this time for good—Mozart was dead. Although he had already composed some impressive and distinctive works, including the Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II, Beethoven clearly still felt the need for further study, and he continued to have lessons throughout his first decade in Vienna, voraciously plugging the gaps in his musical education. These lessons focused on two main areas—initially with Haydn and subsequently with Johann Georg Albrechtsberger he studied strict counterpoint, and with the court Kapellmeister Antonio Salieri he studied Italian prosody and vocal composition. All three teachers seem to have had a similar impression of the young firebrand, for several years later Beethoven’s own pupil, Ferdinand Ries, was to recall how “they all said that Beethoven was so headstrong and wilful that he often had to learn through bitter experience what he had refused to accept when it was presented to him during the course of his lessons”.

Lessons with Salieri were probably quite sporadic; in his later years Salieri set aside three mornings a week to give free tuition to talented young composers and singers, and Beethoven continued to take advantage of this generosity at a surprisingly late stage in his development. We know this from the aria No, non turbati, which was composed under Salieri’s supervision between 1801 and 1802, by which time Beethoven had already composed many important works, including his first symphony, the first two piano concertos, Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus and indeed the concert aria Ah! Perfido. The autograph manuscript even contains Salieri’s corrections, although in truth not all of his changes are improvements. The work is scored for soprano and strings, and the text is taken from Metastasio’s La tempesta. In the opening accompanied recitative Beethoven seizes the various opportunities to evoke in his orchestral writing the thunderstorm that is brewing, and this is carried through into the aria, marked ‘andante agitato’, in which the poet, having persuaded his beloved Nice to take shelter with him in a nearby cave, seeks to pursue his amorous ambitions.

from notes by Ian Page © 2017


Studio Master: SIGCD485Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 1. Recitativo: No, non turbarti
Track 8 on SIGCD485 [1'57] Download only
No 2. Aria: Ma tu tremi, o mio tesoro?
Track 9 on SIGCD485 [3'08] Download only

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