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Weigl: Venere e Adone

Joseph Weigl
Venere e Adone
Edited by John A. Rice
Weigl: Venere e Adone
Full Score (2019)
9x12, xxxv + 380 pp.

Availability: In stock

Prince Anton Esterházy, faced with staging important festivities in 1791 in the absence of his court composer Haydn, turned to the young Viennese musician Joseph Weigl. He commissioned a dramatic work on a libretto by Giovanni Battista Casti to be performed by members of the Viennese court opera. Inspired by these musicians (including three soloists who had created roles in Mozart’s operas) and by the prospect of an audience that included some of the Habsburg monarchy’s wealthiest and most influential patrons, Weigl produced a well-crafted score that contains moments of extraordinary beauty and dramatic power.
The libretto of Venere e Adone calls itself a cantata; the composer himself, in his memoirs, referred to Venere e Adone as “eine grosse Cantate.” But in both text and music it conforms closely to the subspecies of Italian serious opera known as the azione teatrale or festa teatrale—typical features of which are brevity, a small cast, an important role for chorus, a plot based on Greek mythology, and a celebratory function.
Venere e Adone
Parte prima
Scenes 1–4 (Pleasant countryside with a temple of Venus)
No. 1. Inno (Erofile, Coro delle Donzelle): “O vezzosissima figlia di Giove”
No. 2a. Allegro
No. 2b. Cavatina (Adone): “Cari boschi, amiche piante”
No. 3. Recitativo accompagnato (Adone): “Opportuno è il consiglio”
No. 4. Cavatina (Adone): “Vieni, o sonno, e stendi l’ali”
No. 5. Cavatina (Venere): “Verdi piagge, contrada felice”
No. 6. Recitativo accompagnato and Arioso (Venere): “Quanta grazia e dolcezza”
No. 7a. Recitativo accompagnato (Venere, Marte): “E qual amica stella”
No. 7b. Aria (Marte): “Se gli occhi ridenti”
Scenes 5–6 (Laurel grove divded into several avenues)
No. 8. Aria (Erofile): “In te propizio”
No. 9a. Recitativo accompagnato (Adone): “Ecco Venere”
No. 9b. Coro (Grazie and Amori; Erofile, Adone, and Venere): “Bella diva che l’impero”
No. 10a. Recitativo accompagnato (Adone, Venere): “Anima mia”
No. 10b. Duetto (Adone, Venere): “Spiegarti non poss’io”
Parte seconda
Scenes 1–5 (Great forest with a rustic spring at the back)
No. 11. Coro (Cacciatori): “Vago figliuol di Cinara”
No. 12. Coro (Erofile, Donzelle): “Il pié rivolge Venere”
No. 13. Aria (Adone): “Con te mia diva allato”
Scenes 6–7 (A wooded place crowded with thickets and cliffs)
No. 14a. Recitativo accompagnato (Venere, Marte): “Giusto ciel, dov’è Adon?”
No. 14b. Duetto (Marte, Venere): “Va pur!”
No. 15a. Recitativo accompagnato (Erofile, Venere): “Corri, Venere, ah corri”
Scenes 8–10 (Another more extensive part of the forest)
No. 15b. Coro (Cacciatori): “Ahi sventurato giovine”
No. 16. Coro (Cacciatori): “In te esecrabile”
No. 17a. Recitativo istromentato (Venere, Adone): “Perder dunque ti deggio”
No. 17b. Coro (Venere, Erofile, Cacciatori): “Tu mori o misero”
No. 18a. Recitativo accompagnato (Venere): “Adon! Oh Dio!”
No. 18b. Aria con coro (Venere, Erofile, Cacciatori): “Tu fosti sol l’oggetto”
No. 19. Aria (Marte): “Poiché amante mi sprezza e rigetta”
No. 20a. Recitativo accompagnato (Marte): “Qual soave armonia”
Scene 11 (Chorus descends on clouds that cover the grove, which disappears)
No. 20b. Coro (Grazie, Amorini, Venere, Adone): “Il vago giovine”
Final scene (A delightful place of miraculous beauty)
No. 21. L’ultimo coro (Erofile, Donzelle, Cacciatori): “Viva la bella Venere”
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