The song Misero pargoletto (Unhappy Child, D. 42) was probably composed in 1813 while the 16-year-old Schubert was under the tutelage of Antonio Salieri. Taking text from a drama by Pietro Metastasio, Schubert composed a da capo aria complete with quasi-orchestral effects in the piano accompaniment of the central section. Set in G minor, the work recalls the phrasing of Pamina's aria from the second act of Die Zauberflöte. Schubert's vocal writing is operatically virtuosic, with cascades of notes and a climax at the highest end of the soprano's tessitura. One of many settings of Italian texts from Schubert's apprenticeship, Misero pargoletto is perhaps too operatic for the concert stage and is not an especially characteristic work by Schubert.
Description by James Leonard
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