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Cherubino's LeapIn Search of the Enlightenment Moment$
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Richard Kramer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226377896

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226384085.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

Konstanze’s Tears

Konstanze’s Tears

“These weeping Eyes, those seeing Tears”1

Chapter:
(p.188) 9 Konstanze’s Tears
Source:
Cherubino's Leap
Author(s):

Richard Kramer

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226384085.003.0009

This chapter examines Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. It argues that when Mozart and Stephanie came to adopt Bretzner's libretto, a recitativo accompagnato was put before Konstanze's “Traurigkeit,” its opening bars establishing the tone of a scena in seria mode. The upper strings then enact a weeping phrase, a sequence of slurred dyads in thirds—tears, we are meant to imagine, each run ending in some bitter, unexpected harmonic twist. But it is the incipit of each run that challenges the mind. Each will be heard as a dissonance suspended from some implicit dominant. But the final run, at measure 15, is yet more extreme. Konstanze sings—fearful torment of yearning—and the violins strike an unprepared (and unpreparable) dissonant dyad where the ear wants something more in tune with the F-minor harmony beneath.

Keywords:   Mozart, Enlightenment, operas, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Konstanze, Christoph Friedrich Bretzner, Gottlieb Stephanie

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