madfilkentist (madfilkentist) wrote in appassionata_,

Cantata on the Elevation of Leopold II

Having written about the Joseph II cantata, I should say something about the even more obscure sequel, the Cantata on the Elevation of Leopold II to the Imperial Dignity. I don't think it's up to the level of the earlier cantata, and it's a bit more conservative in style, but it's still very impressive for the pre-Vienna Beethoven.

It includes what I think is the first instance of Beethoven's torturing a soprano. The coloratura aria "Fliesse, Wohnezähre, fliesse!" goes on and on for over ten voice-wrecking minutes. I'm more impressed with the trio, "Ihr, die Joseph ihren Vater nannten." The way the voices answer one another hints at some later works. The final chorus is notable for the words "Stürzet nieder, Millionen," which must be the first clear allusion to the Ode to Joy in Beethoven's work. There's even a hint of the Ninth Symphony in the music.

If anyone's interested in tracking this recording down, it's on a 1995 Koch/Schwann CD, 3-1435-2. That's not a brand I've run into before, and may not be normally imported into the US.
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