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Cruelty Scorned

Die Entführung aus dem Serail -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... a final curtain meriting maximum applause.'

Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail. © 2006 EuroArts Music International GmbH

Free of the Catholic Church or at least its Salzburg archbishop, Mozart turned with relish to Islam as incarnate in both the spiteful Osmin and the finally magnanimous Selim, who had begun life as a Christian but been driven from his homeland by an even more thoroughgoing Christian. The plot depends initially on the prevalence of pirates in the Mediterranean and for its fascination on the modish cultivation of things Turkish now that their presence at the gates of Vienna was all but a century in the past. So Mozart has cymbals and bass drum crashing in the best manner of janissaries at their music, while the triangle tinkles the harim's approval.

From left to right, Hans Peter Blochwitz (Belmonte), Kurt Rydl (Osmin) and Manfred Fink (Pedrillo) in the 1991 Schwetzinger Festspiele production of Mozart's 'Die Entführung aus dem Serail'. DVD screenshot © Schwetzinger Festspiele/SWR/NHK/Maran Film GmbH
From left to right, Hans Peter Blochwitz (Belmonte), Kurt Rydl (Osmin) and Manfred Fink (Pedrillo) in the 1991 Schwetzinger Festspiele production of Mozart's 'Die Entführung aus dem Serail'. DVD screenshot © Schwetzinger Festspiele/SWR/NHK/Maran Film GmbH

 

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Copyright © 14 June 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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