Thursday, 1 December 2016


Mozart as he would have appeared in 1780.
Detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce
It was on this December day in 1780 that the premiere of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s recitative and aria “Wie grausam ist, o Liebe ... Die neugeborne Ros’ entzückt” (The Newly Born Rose is Enchanting), was held. The work was written by the composer some 236 years ago as an insertion aria for the Bavarian dramatist Emanuel Schikaneder for the latters production of hometown writer Johann Gottfried Dyk’s “Le due notti affannose” - an adaptation of Italian playwright Carlo Gozzi’s play by the same name.

Whilst Mozart’s original recitative remains lost to the musical sphere, a single manuscript leaf discovered in 1996 (which would later be acquired by London auctioneer Christie's of London), would detail a 30 bar excerpt of music for the work’s aria. South Korean coloratura soprano Sumi Jo performed the long lost work in Italy’s Teatro Riccardo Zandonai in September of 1998. Her impressive rendition can be heard in the video below.

The Newly Born Rose held it’s premier at the Mozart home in Salzburg December 1, 1780 to much fanfare. Writing to his son, who was on tour in Munich at the time, Leopold Mozart describes the evening’s performance:

“The play for which you composed your aria was performed yesterday- the play was excellent, the house was full, the Archbishop too was present, your aria was well performed and the singer sang it well...”
-Leopold Mozart, Salzburg, December 2, 1780.

The work is numbered in the Köchel catalogue under the designation KV 365a.

Die Neugeborne Ros’ entzückt, as performed by lyric coloratura soprano Sumi Jo:


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