On Air Now
Cowan's Classics with Rob Cowan 7pm - 9pm
When you realize that this work came from the pen of someone who was, as Rodgers and Hammerstein might say, ‘Sixteen going on seventeen’, it is truly amazing.
Just listen to the 'Tu virginum corona' from Mozart's masterpiece...
It is performed here by soprano Sofia Larsson and the Ensemble Eroica under the baton of Toby Thatcher. The Eroica Foundation works to promote and support our leading young musicians. Find out more (and how to support them) here.
The sheer combination of youth involved in the composition and premiere of Exsultate, jubilate completely belies the sound of the work. To many, it’s the sound of a genius at the peak of his powers, harnessing some of the finest slices of his imagination with aplomb and wisdom.
The man (yes, man) for whom Mozart wrote it, Venanzio Rauzzini, had a good ten years on the composer. He was the Italian soprano castrato of choice for the musical chattering classes of Milan. The composer and performer had been flung together to produce Mozart’s early opera, Lucio Silla, in which Rauzzini starred. The singer would eventually, after a couple more adulatory years wowing them in Italy, move permanently to the unlikely destination of Bath, living largely off his reputation by teaching and mounting subscription concerts.
Today this stunning work is a favourite of female sopranos the world over, especially its final-movement Alleluia in which Mozart sets to music just that one word. Sit back and enjoy it all, courtesy of Kiri and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Just beautifull!