Così fan tutte
“It was a treat so truly intellectual that every ear and every breast, susceptible of harmony and of impression, was gratified to a degree beyond our power to describe.” Thus reads one of the first London reviews of Così fan tutte. Its enigmatic mixture of a detached experiment in human foibles and a struggle of sincere emotions has often disturbed audiences. H.C. Robbins Landon observes, however, that Mozart’s heartfelt music proves he is openly on the side of the angels – the ladies – not the deceivers, however cynical Da Ponte’s words appear to be. Brian Trowell describes the sophisticated world in which the opera was conceived, while John Stone traces the origins of the libretto to Ancient Greece, medieval Italy and even to China. The text is certainly Da Ponte’s most original work, and is here presented in Revd M.E. Browne’s acclaimed translation, revised by John Cox.
Contents: Mozart at the time of ‘Così fan tutte’, Brian Trowell; A Commentary on the Score, H.C. Robbins Landon; The Background to the Libretto, John Stone; A Performance History, Nicholas John; Così fan tutte: Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte; Così fan tutte: English translation by Marmaduke E. Browne, revised by John Cox
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) was born in Salzburg, and began composing at the age of five. His subsequent prolific output included the great operas of his maturity, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Zauberflöte.