“These weeping Eyes, those seeing Tears”1
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.
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