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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart   KV1 50

Bastien und Bastienne

Opera 1768.
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Bastien und Bastienne (Bastien and Bastienne), K. 50 (revised in 1964 to K. 46b) is a one-act singspiel, comic opera, with German libretto by Friedrich Wilhelm Weiskern and music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Bastien und Bastienne was one of Mozart's earliest 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 tutte) 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 theater (that is only corroborated by an unverified account of Nissen), it was not revived again until 1890. It was first performed on 2 October 1890 at Architektenhaus in Berlin [1].

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. The melody is based entirely on the three notes of the major triad, a common technique in the classical era used to establish the tonality of a piece.

Although he was very young, Mozart already had excellent vocal writing skills and a knack for parody and whimsy which would reach full flower in his later works. Bastien und Bastienne is possibly the easiest-to-perform of Mozart's juvenile works.



Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 2 October 1890
(Conductor: - )
Bastienne, a shepherdess soprano
Bastien, her lover tenor
Colas, a quack magician bass


Place: A pastoral village
Time: Indeterminate
Libbye Hellier and Douglas Park in The New Opera Theatre's Bastien und Bastienne, 1989

Bastienne, a shepherdess, fears that her "dearest friend", Bastien, has forsaken her for another pretty face, and decides to go into the pasture to be comforted by her flock of lambs.

Before she can leave, however, she runs into Colas, the village soothsayer. Bastienne requests the help of his magical powers to help win back her Bastien. Colas (being a soothsayer) knows all about the problem, and comforts her with the knowledge that Bastien has not abandoned her, rather, he's merely been distracted lately by 'the lady of the manor'. His advice is to act coldly towards Bastien, which will make him come running back.

Bastien is heard approaching, so Bastienne hides herself. Bastien swaggers in, proclaiming how much he loves Bastienne. Colas informs him that Bastienne has a new lover. Bastien is shocked and asks the magician for help.

Colas opens his book of spells and recites a nonsense aria filled with random syllables and Latin quotations. Colas declares the spell a success and that Bastienne is in love with Bastien once more. Bastienne, however, decides to keep up the game a bit longer and spurns Bastien with great vehemence. Bastien threatens suicide, which Bastienne merely shrugs off.

Finally, the two decide that they've gone far enough and agree to reconcile. Colas joins them as they all sing a final trio in praise of the magician.

Noted arias

  • "Befraget mich ein zartes Kind" - Colas
  • "Diggi, daggi, shurry, murry" - Colas
  • "Er war mir sonst treu und ergeben" - Bastienne
  • "Geh'! du sagst mir eine Fabel" - Bastien
  • "Grossen Dank dir abzustatten" - Bastien
  • "Ich geh' jetzt auf die Weide" - Bastienne
  • "Mein liebster Freund" - Bastienne
  • "Meiner Liebsten schöne Wangen" - Bastien
  • "Wenn mein Bastien einst im Scherze" - Bastienne
  • "Würd'ich auch wie manche Buhlerinnen" - Bastienne


Year Cast
(Bastien, Bastienne, Colas)
Catalogue number
1952 Waldemar Kmentt
Ilse Hollweg
Walter Berry
John Pritchard
Wiener Symphoniker
LP: Philips
Cat: ABL 3010
1956 Richard Holm
Rita Streich
Toni Blankenheim
Christoph Stepp
Münchner Kammerorchester
Audio CD: Deutsche Grammophon
Cat: 474 738 2
1957 Three soloists of Wiener Sängerknaben Edouard Lindenberg
Wiener Kammerorchester
LP: Philips
1965 Peter Schreier
Adele Stolte
Theo Adam
Helmut Koch
Kammerorchester Berlin
Audio CD: Berlin Classics
Cat: 0091292 BC
1969 Thomas Lehrberger
Ileana Cotrubas
Peter van der Bilt
Leopold Hager
Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg
Cat: C 705061 B
1976 Adolf Dallapozza
Brigitte Lindner
Kurt Moll
Eberhard Schoener
Bayerisches Staatsorchester
LP: EMI Electrola
Cat: 1C 065 30231
1986 Three soloists of Wiener Sängerknaben:
Dominik Orieschnig
Georg Nigl
David Busch
Uwe Christian Harrer
Wiener Symphoniker
CD: Philips
Cat: 422 527-2
1989 Vinson Cole
Edita Gruberova
László Polgár
Raymond Leppard
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra
Audio CD: Sony Classical
Cat: 45855
1990 Ralph Eschrig
Dagmar Schellenberger
René Pape
Max Pommer
Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig
Audio CD: Berlin Classics
Cat: 0010102BC
1991 Dongkyu Choy
Eva Kirchner
Thomas Müller De Vries
René Clemencic
Alpe Adria Ensemble
Audio CD: Nuova Era
Cat: 7344
2006 Bernhard Berchtold
Evmorfia Metaxaki
Radu Cojocariu
Elisabeth Fuchs
Junge Philharmonie Salzburg
DVD Video: Deutsche Grammophon
Cat: 000440 073 4244 2

See also


  1. ^ History of the opera from
  2. ^ "Bastien und Bastienne discography". Retrieved 12 September 2010. 

External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bastien_und_Bastienne". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.

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