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Divine Justice: The hidden story of Don Giovanni, Mozartís Jewish opera
Tablet ^ | 10/31/2011 | David "Spengler" Goldman

Posted on 05/07/2012 12:21:34 PM PDT by mojito

A rake seduces women and murders their male relatives with impunity until the statue of one of his victims invites him to supper and drags him to hell. It sounds silly, but for two centuries it was the most-favored plot device in Western literature. Don Juan was the invention of Tirso de Molina, a Spanish monk from a family of converted Jews. Concealed in its puppet-theater plot is a Jewish joke: Don Juan exists to prove by construction that a devout Christian can be a sociopath, and by extension, that the Christian world can be ruled by sociopaths. The Enlightenment’s most insidious attack on Catholic faith, then, came not from atheists like Voltaire, but from a Spanish monk with buried Jewish sensibilities.

A century and a half later, another converted Jew—Emmanuele Conegliano, known as Lorenzo da Ponte—reworked Tirso’s play as a libretto for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the result was an utterly unique work of art. It is pointless to argue about whether Don Giovanni is the best opera ever written, because it is a genre unto itself—the musical tragi-comedy, or “drama giocoso,” as Da Ponte put it. Mozart’s combination of tragic and comic elements turns the world inside out. From the first bars of the orchestra to the final note, we are unsure whether we should laugh, cry, or feel fear. If you don’t leave the theater confused, you haven’t been listening.

(Excerpt) Read more at tabletmag.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History; Music/Entertainment; Religion
KEYWORDS: conversos; donjuan; mozart; spain; tirsodemolina
Fascinating Spengler essay on the origins and spiritual conundrums of Mozart's masterpiece.
1 posted on 05/07/2012 12:21:44 PM PDT by mojito
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To: sitetest

Ping.


2 posted on 05/07/2012 12:23:14 PM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito

More from Spengler on a recent production of Don Giovanni here:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NE08Dj01.html


3 posted on 05/07/2012 12:26:32 PM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito

Excellent pair of articles. Thank you.


4 posted on 05/07/2012 12:47:33 PM PDT by Publius
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To: mojito

I have always loved Classical Music...from Beethoven to the present time.
It is only in recent years that I have come to appreciate Mozart. He was truly unique..Not quite Baroque, and Not quite “Romantic”. He, like Beethoven, were on the cusp of the change of Musical eras, and are categories unto themselves.


5 posted on 05/07/2012 12:48:52 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: mojito
It sounds silly...

It is silly. Even die zauberflöte makes more sense.

6 posted on 05/07/2012 12:53:46 PM PDT by Vide
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To: onedoug

ping


7 posted on 05/07/2012 1:00:54 PM PDT by windcliff
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To: mojito

I’ve seen the opera and I didn’t get this.
Don Giovanni was complete reprobate, and certainly didn’t seem very pious.


8 posted on 05/07/2012 1:05:04 PM PDT by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: Vide

“The Magic Flute” is Mozart’s Masonic opera, as opposed to his Jewish opera.


9 posted on 05/07/2012 1:08:31 PM PDT by Publius
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To: mojito
The laughable intellectualizing of master works is an affront and a waste of time. The brilliance of Don Giovanni is in the music, not the libretto, rendering this entire treatise meaningless.

Mozart clearly could not have cared less about any (cue the scary organ music) ominous intentions behind da Ponte's libretto. He didn't even finish composing the overture until the night before Don Giovanni's debut.

10 posted on 05/07/2012 1:10:59 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Don't vote for anyone who worked for Goldman Sachs)
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To: mojito

None of this would even be worth noting if it weren’t attached to a monumental musical work. Giovanni develops musically right up to the finale. Astonishing compositional work!


11 posted on 05/07/2012 2:22:14 PM PDT by Havisham
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To: mojito; .30Carbine; 1cewolf; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; ...

Dear mojito,

Thanks for the ping!

Classical Music Ping List ping!

If you want on or off this list, let me know via FR e-mail.

Thanks,

sitetest


12 posted on 05/07/2012 3:14:53 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: left that other site

“He was truly unique..Not quite Baroque, and Not quite “Romantic”.”

He was High Classical. As was Haydn. the apotheosis of Classicism.


13 posted on 05/07/2012 3:58:10 PM PDT by Borges
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

14 posted on 05/07/2012 4:43:41 PM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, M Obama)
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To: Borges

Whatever you call it, it is sublime! :-)
Thanks for the clarification.


15 posted on 05/07/2012 7:25:00 PM PDT by left that other site
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To: mojito; sitetest; mickie
The history tour in the article was enlightening to me. Thanks for posting it.

I, too, am a paradox. As an avid and studious opera afficionada from childhood, I acknowledge Mozart's genius. Yet, I really can't stand listening to any of his operas from start to finish.

Leni

16 posted on 05/08/2012 5:00:19 AM PDT by MinuteGal (No control of historic Mt. Rushmore by UN... Get the U.S. OUT of the UN. Get the UN OUT of the U.S.)
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