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Translated as ‘All Women Do The Same’, Così Fan Tutte is admittedly not the most politically correct title in all opera, although there are plenty of other contenders, including Verdi’s ‘La donna è mobile’ (‘Women are fickle’) from his opera Rigoletto.
For Mozart, though, it signalled an external expression of faith in him as a composer, at a time when he needed a boost. The one-time boy wonder had realised, from early on, that music generated further music. If he could have a piano concerto ready by the time he hit town, to play when he got there, he might very well impress enough people to get a commission for, perhaps, another piano concerto.
So it proved with the opera The Marriage of Figaro. It was down to a revival of Figaro that Mozart was commissioned to write Così in 1789, ready for a 1790 premiere, on the day after his birthday.
Mozart’s diaries reveal that he rehearsed it, with singers, in his apartment before Christmas. On one occasion he even invited Haydn along to hear it.
(Highlights) Leila Cuberli (soprano) as Fiordiligi; Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo-soprano) as Dorabella; Joan Rodgers (soprano) as Despina; Kurt Streit (tenor) as Ferrando; Ferruccio Furlanetto (baritone) as Guglielmo; John Tomlinson (bass) as Don Alfonso; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Rias Chamber Chorus of Berlin; Daniel Barenboim (conductor). Erato: 94821.