Classical Opera and Ian Page release the seventh recording in their acclaimed Complete Mozart Opera Cycle – the world premiere recording of Mozart’s original 1768 version of Bastien und Bastienne, paired with the 1767 cantata Grabmusik (also the original version) – on 14 September on Signum Classics. The ensemble will then perform the first modern performance of Mozart’s original version of Bastien und Bastienne at Wigmore Hall on 18 September, 250 years after the twelve-year-old composed the one-act singspiel.
Ian Page – conductor, founder and Artistic Director says: “It was only when I started preparations for this recording that I realised how complex and convoluted the origins of Bastien und Bastienne were. Mozart’s autograph manuscript was missing for a great many years, but it was finally rediscovered in Krakow in the 1980s.
As a result it has been possible to establish the provenance of this charming work and to recreate the text as Mozart himself set and performed it. We are coupling the piece with Grabmusik, one of the most astonishing and visceral of Mozart’s childhood compositions, and a particular favourite of mine.”
Ian Page brings together a cast for this album comprising of Anna Lucia Richter (soprano), Alessandro Fisher (tenor), Jacques Imbrailo (baritone) and Darren Jeffery (bass-baritone). Fisher is one of Classical Opera’s Associate Artists, who recently performed in La finta semplice with the ensemble. At Wigmore Hall he and Darren Jeffery are joined by soprano Ellie Laugharne (another Associate Artist of the company), and this concert performance is prefaced in the first half by Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 (‘La Passione͛’) and a selection of arias from Teutsche Comoedie Arien, an anonymous collection of arias that were sung in Viennese comic operas of the 1750s.
Musicologists have suggested that some of these arias might even have been the work of the young Haydn, who at the time was embarking on his career and studying Italian vocal composition in Vienna with Nicola Porpora. These arias provide a rare example of the specific style of music that Mozart was seeking to recreate in Bastien und Bastienne.