Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

La clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621

    Description by Rovi Staff

    In August 1791, Mozart was commissioned to compose an opera celebrating the coronation of Emperor Leopold II as King of Bohemia at Prague. The coronation was to take place in early September, leaving Mozart with little time to complete the work. Under pressure, Mozart finished the opera in just 18 days, completing some parts in the carriage on the way to the Prague premiere.

    The opera, La Clemenza di Tito, is a setting of an old libretto by Metastasio, reworked by Caterino Mazzola to reflect the sensibilities of the day. It tells the story of the betrayal of the Roman Emperor Titus and his willingness to pardon those who conspire against him -- even Sesto, who attempts to assassinate him. La Clemenza is an opera seria or serious opera, as opposed to opera buffa or comic opera; Mozart, however, adds some opera buffa elements to La Clemenza, including a number of ensemble finales. Ultimately, the opera is a rather austere Mozartean creation, with its relatively simple melodies, spare orchestral writing, and short numbers. The opera lacks arias in many of the conventional places, giving full-length arias only to the two principal characters. The aria texts themselves are less florid and more forthright than in Metastasio's original. Perhaps Mozart was not terribly inspired by the libretto or by the occasion; his talent was fired by the human dramas of the da Ponte libretti, not by Metastasio's stock characters. However, in the moments when the dramatic situation did catch his imagination, the music and drama are all that one expects from the mature Mozart.

    La Clemenza di Tito was composed in Mozart's final year; he died in the winter of 1791. The opera was not successful at its premiere after the coronation banquet. In fact, it was regarded by many as a complete flop. The opera grew in popularity after 1800, however, and was performed repeatedly in Prague in the early nineteenth century. La Clemenza is perhaps somewhat infamous as the opera whose commission interrupted Mozart's work on The Magic Flute and the Requiem.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Overture. Allegro
    2. Come ti piace, imponi
    3. Deh se piacer mi vuoi
    4. Deh prendi n dolce amplesso, ami comio fedel
    5. March
    6. Serbate, o Dei custodi
    7. Del più sublime soglio
    8. Ah, perdona al primo affetto
    9. Ah, se fosse intorno al trono
    10. Parto, parto, ma tu ben mio
    11. Vengo... aspettate
    12. Oh Dei, che smania è questa
    13. Deh conservate, oh Dei! a Roma il suo splendor (Finale)
    14. Torna di Tito a lato
    15. Se al volto mai ti senti
    16. Ah grazie si rendano
    17. Tardi s' avvede d'un tradimento
    18. Tu fosti tradito
    19. Che orror! Che tradimento! Che nera infedelta!
    20. Quello di tito è il volto
    21. Deh, per questo istante solo
    22. Se all' impero, amici Dei
    23. S'altro che lagrime
    24. Ecco il punto, o Vitellia
    25. Non, più di fiori vaghe catene
    26. Che del ciel, che degli Dei
    27. Ma, che giorno è mai questo?
    28. Tu, è ver, m'assolvi, Augusto? (Finale)

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Deutsche Grammophon 4835210
    2017 Lawo Classics LWC 1141
    2017 Alpha 270
    2016 CPO 7778702
    2013 Glossa / Glossa Cabinet GCDC 81107
    2011 Archiv Produktion
    2010 Brilliant Classics 93967
    2009 Decca
    2009 Decca 4781600
    2008 Philips 4646602
    2006 Harmonia Mundi 901923.24
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000634102
    2006 Capriccio Records 6715960
    2006 Harmonia Mundi 801923.24
    2006 Philips
    2006 Andromeda 9006
    2005 Warner Classics 4623312
    2005 Decca 4757030
    2005 Gala Records 754
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 429878
    2005 Brilliant 92540
    2003 Brilliant 99736/1-2
    2002 Gala Records 709
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 55489
    2000 Philips 464 920-2PB11
    1999 Music & Arts 641
    1995 L'Oiseau-Lyre 444131
    1994 Teldec 90857
    1992 Archiv Produktion 431806
    1992 Philips
    1991 Philips 422544
    Brilliant 92633
    Kultur 4515
    Brilliant 99736