Mozart conducts the premiere of one of his great operas, Don Giovanni, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, in Prague, Bohemia.
Da Ponte recalled ‘the enthusiasm of the Bohemians’ for Mozart, their appreciation even of ‘the pieces least admired in other countries,’ and their ability to understand ‘perfectly’ a genius whom other nations recognized only ‘after many, many performances.’
Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard called it “a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection.”
A piece appearing in the Prager Neue Zeitung shortly after Mozart’s death expresses this sentiment: ‘Mozart seems to have written for the people of Bohemia, his music is understood nowhere better than in Prague, and even in the countryside it is widely loved.’
The Don Juan subject (dates to 1630) has been made into countless films; the opera itself is adapted to a highly-regarded film(*) in 1979; Lorin Maazel conducting the Paris Opera Orchestra. Note: librettist Da Ponti’s life story is an interesting one.
Harnoncourt:DG Overture 1979 film (3 hrs) Audio: WFMT show on DonG (Stream, 59m) ‘Prague’ Symphony