Franz Joseph Haydn

Le pescatrici, opera, H. 28/4

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    This three act comic opera was first stages at Esterhaza, the summer palace of the princely Esterhazy family on September 16, 1770, in connection with the wedding of Prince Nicolaus's niece, Countess Lambert, to a Count Poggi or Pocci. An eyewitness account says that it received "universal and well-deserved applause" and that the composer received "the most flattering praise from all the illustrious guests." Another sign of general approval is that it was repeated two days later. It is quite the largest-scale theatrical item yet presented in Prince Nicolaus's private theater; Haydn had to hire musicians from a nearby estate to beef up his permanent company. It calls for pairs or flutes, oboes, English horns, and bassoons, two horns optional pair of trumpets and timpani, and strings with a harpsichord continuo.

    Unfortunately, a fire at Esterhaza in 1779 destroyed the original parts and short scores for the singers, and the score that survived was incomplete, comprising only about two-thirds of the whole opera. A complete libretto did survive. H.C. Robbins Landon and associates reconstructed the opera for the 1965 Holland Festival. Initially they used the first movement of Symphony no 57 as an overture, although later the discovery of a missing symphony (catalogued as Hob. I:106) provided a more authentic choice. In like manner they added music from other Haydn sources.

    The title of the opera means "The Fisher-Women. The plot involves two fishermen who have recently become engaged. The story tells how they almost undo this engagements through foolishness and pretension. There are seven principal singers. The music nicely contrasts the fisher-folk and a group of nobles associated with a visiting Duke. The emotional variety of the music is broad, including the pain of losing a child, a lovely evocation of a warm night along the Mediterranean, and many comic pages.


    1. Tira, Tira viene, viene viene
    2. Tra tuoni, lampi e fumni
    3. So far la simplicetta
    4. Fra cetre e cembali ti sposerò
    5. Voglio amar e vuò schrzare (Cavatina)
    6. Voglio goder contente (fragment)
    7. Detto, detto, detto e si va di tetto in tetto (fragment)
    8. Varca il mar di sponda in sponda (fragment)
    9. Mi ferisce, ferisce qui (fragment)
    10. Bell' ombra gradita, bell' aura diletta
    11. Udite, or son tre lustri Or su m'udite (Accompagnato)
    12. Fiera stragge dell' indegno, dell' indegno
    13. Principessa a voi mi prostro (Finale)
    14. Ha gl'occhi brillanti che pajon dimanti
    15. Vi cerca il fratello vi deve parlar
    16. Son vecchio, son furbo
    17. Chi vi par Son Maestosa (Accompagnato & Aria)
    18. Già si vede i vezzi e vanti
    19. Pescatori, Pescatrice (fragment)
    20. Burlottino, mio carino (Finale)
    21. Nume che al maro sovrano imperi
    22. Questa mano e questa cuore
    23. Favorisco la sua bella mano
    24. Soavi zeffiri al mar c'invitano
    25. Discendi amor pietoso amor pietoso (Finale)

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2009 Hungaroton 32643
    Drive (import) 3801