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Basta, vincesti, K486a K295a

author of text
Didone abbandonata

This aria was written in Mannheim in February 1778, and is the only concert aria that Mozart wrote for the German soprano Dorothea Wendling (1736-1811); two-and-a-half years later she was to create the role of Ilia in Idomeneo. She was the daughter of a Stuttgart horn-player and his lutenist wife, and was married to the principal flautist in the Mannheim orchestra, Johann Baptist Wendling, whose playing was greatly admired by the Mozarts. She had been appointed a court singer at Mannheim in 1752, and by the time Mozart met her she had enjoyed two decades as the undisputed leading soprano there, performing major roles in operas by Jommelli, Holzbauer, Piccinni and J. C. Bach. The poet and novelist Christoph Martin Wieland wrote in 1777: “Her manner of singing surpasses anything I have ever heard … This alone is true singing—the language of the soul and the heart.”

The text of Basta vincesti is taken from Act 2, scene 4 of Metastasio’s Didone abbandonata. Dido, Queen of Carthage, has been rejected by her beloved Aeneas. Seeking to provoke a reaction from him she has signed a document accepting the marriage proposal of Jarba, King of the Moors, and the jealous Aeneas has duly demanded that she retract this acceptance. As she succumbs to her true feelings and hands the document over for Aeneas to destroy, she begs him to remain faithful and not to abandon her. Her anguished anxiety, insecurity and tenderness are beautifully captured by the plaintive yearning of the melodic line and the burnished orchestral texture, featuring flutes, bassoons and muted violins.

from notes by Ian Page © 2017


Studio Master: SIGCD485Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 1. Recitativo: Basta, vincesti
Track 10 on SIGCD485 [0'52] Download only
No 2. Aria: Ah non lasciarmi, no
Track 11 on SIGCD485 [5'07] Download only

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