Mozart’s »Tito« in the New Viennese Version
During the early nineteenth century La clemenza di Tito, in the new Viennese version of 1804, was Mozart’s most popular opera everywhere in Europe. Since he had died a mere three months after its completion, he did not live to see how his last opera went on to rank as his most successful such work for decades. However, in keeping with the practice during that period, it was performed in versions adapted to the times and the taste of the opera public – and this is precisely the starting point for our recording’s conductor – Alessandro De Marchi. He would like to present Tito in the form in which it was staged and acclaimed in great houses from the Vienna Court Opera to the Milan Scala and from Dresden and Hamburg to Paris during the early years of the nineteenth century. In 1804 Joseph Weigl, the court opera director in Vienna, presented the opera there in a new version incorporating two new arias for Tito and a new duet for Tito and Sesto instead of Mozart’s original numbers. The opera practice current at the time sanctioned such changes; a new version was put together for each new production of an opera, and it included selected pieces by other composers. This pasticcio practice was the rule of the day. Moreover, a new type of large-scope opera paving the way to the nineteenth century was the result. De Marchi: »Everything that had never been part of the opera seria was taken by Mozart from the then current opera buffa and the mixed form of the dramma per musica for inclusion in his composition: ensembles, grand finales, choruses, and various newer aria types.« Our recording is based on the acclaimed production at the Innsbruck Festival Weeks 2013 with the Academia Montis Regalis performing on historical instruments.