Bastien und Bastienne was one of Mozart’s earliest single act operas, written in 1768 when he was only twelve years old. It was allegedly commissioned by Viennese physician and ‘magnetist’ Dr. Anton Mesmer (who himself would later be parodied in Così fan tutti) as a satire of the ‘pastoral’ genre then prevalent, and specifically as a parody of the opera Le devin du village by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. After its supposed premiere in Mesmer’s garden theatre (that is only corroborated by an unverified account of Nissen), it was not revived again until 1890, when it was performed on the 2nd October at the Architektenhaus in Berlin.
By a curious coincidence, the opening melody of the overture is almost identical to that of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the Eroica. However, as the piece lay unperformed until long after that symphony was written, this appears to be chance rather than plagiarism.
Eberhard Schoner & Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Source: SQ encoded CD
Format: DVD-A/V MLP: 24/44 DTS: 24/48 DD: 24/48