lietofinelondon

Aria For … Thursday – Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Gönner! (Mozart)

In Aria For ..., Classical Music, Mozart on January 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

This is a gem of an aria. Written by Mozart for Aloysia Lange née Weber, she was Costanze’s sister and Mozart’s original love if reports are to be believed.

Even though his love was never reciprocated, Mozart wrote some of his most stunning and heartfelt arias– both concert and operatic – for Aloysia who clearly had formidable talent. She was his Vienna Donna Anna for example as well as the recipient of concert arias including Popoli di Tessaglia and Verrei spiegarvi. Oh Dio!.

Yet compared to those arias, Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Gönner! seems beguiling simple and belies the obvious talents that Ms Weber possessed.

Written in 1782 the text portrays an artist thanking her patrons for their support. It’s not clear why the aria was written, some have speculated it was for a benefit concert by Ms Lange as an encore piece and others have speculate that it was an insertion aria for a German performance of Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia.

I lean toward the first option and sung here by Miah Persson – with such grace and delicacy – and accompanied with elegant simplicity by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra under Sebastian Weigle, I can see why it often features as an encore for today’s recitalists.

The two-verse aria doesn’t attempt to plumb the emotional depths of some other Mozart aria but charms with its simplicity – the pizzicato strings, the added warmth provided by the woodwind, above which Mozart’s creates an almost lieder-like melody.

And Mozart skilfully constructs this aria to provide ample opportunity for embellishment by the singer. I have no doubt that Ms Weber would perhaps have indulged in more ornamentation but the restrained and simple additions by Ms Persson fit the music perfectly.

Nehmt meinen Dank always raises a smile with me and is a great way to start the day.

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