<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson CRUELTY SCORNED
The janissaries line up in praise of Selim, and give a heartening impression that in
18th century Turkey human rights seem admirably in place
[watch and listen -- chapter 7, 30:07-31:12].
But alas, Matthias Habich as the non-singing pasha has fallen deeply in love with the
enchanting Konstanze and is prepared to show claws to the extent of mentioning the word
'torture' should she not yield to his insistent demands. Konstanze has tried all the
delaying tactics in her repertoire but now reveals her mettle in a display of vocal
fireworks that pours scorn on any coercion the pasha might bring to bear
[watch and listen -- chapter 14, 66:37-67:50].
Matthias Habich as Selim and Ruth Ann Swenson as Konstanze. DVD screenshot © Schwetzinger Festspiele/SWR/NHK/Maran Film GmbH
Plans for the elopement are in place, and Pedrillo is busy with ladders to the
apartments of Konstanze and her maid Blonde. Belmonte as heroic tenor must meanwhile
stir the welkin with a ravishing apostrophe to the rapture of love
[watch and listen -- chapter 21, 105:54-107:00].
Small wonder that Osmin, who has been temporarily fuddled in a drinking bout with
Pedrillo, wakes to vehement action, grasps the situation in a trice, and has the
culprits apprehended on the point of departure from the palace. Already he visualises
his victims dangling at the end of a rope, their necks secured by him as tight as
[watch and listen -- chapter 23, 118:34-119:31].
Copyright © 14 June 2006
Robert Anderson, London UK