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  You are in: Home > Musicology > A Conductor's Commentary on the Operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  

From Idomeneo to Die Zauberflöte
A Conductor's Commentary on the Operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Myer Fredman

Myer Fredman studied at Dartington Hall and in London with Peter Gellhorn, Vilem Tausky, Sir Adrian Boult, and was Assistant conductor to Otto Klemperer, Sir John Pritchard and Sir Charles Mackerras. Among his many international musical engagements he was: Conductor at the Glyndebourne Festival, 1963–74; Initial Musical Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera, 1968–74; Musical Director, State Opera of South Australia, 1974–80; Conductor and Artistic Associate with The Australian Opera, 1983–98. The Italian Government awarded Maestro Fredman a medal “Per Servizio della Musica e Cultura Italiana”. He has conducted premiere recordings of symphonies by Arnold Bax and Havergal Brian with the LPO as well as CDs of music by Britten and Delius.


This is the first book by an experienced conductor to explore the orchestra’s contribution to Mozart’s greatest operatic works: Idomeneo, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Schauspieldirektor, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito, and Die Zauberflöte. It is written for the concert and opera going public who are interested in enlarging their knowledge and appreciation of these masterpieces, but also contains many practical suggestions for aspiring conductors.

More info at

Foreword by Sir Charles Mackerras

Part I Mozart’s Evolving Craft & Style
Mozart’s baroque inheritance
The baroque conception of tempo
Time signatures
The conductor and the continuo
The baroque orchestra
The modern orchestra and the baroque style
Secco recitative
The appoggiatura
Vocal cadenzas and embellishments
Stage directions
Choice of keys
Compositional methods
The clarinet family
Mozart’s legacy
Practical suggestions for conductors

Part II The Orchestra’s Contribution
Idomeneo, Rè di Creta k. 366
Opera seria in three acts première 1781

Die Entführung aus dem Serail k. 384
Comic singspiel in three acts première 1782

Der Schauspieldirektor k. 486
Comedy with music, in one act première 1786

Le nozze di Figaro k. 492
Dramma Giocoso in four acts première 1786

Don Giovanni k. 527
Dramma Giocoso in two acts première 1787

Così fan tutte k. 588
Dramma Giocoso in two acts première 1790

La clemenza di Tito k. 621
Opera seria in two acts première 1791

Die Zauberflöte k. 620
Opera in two acts première 1791

Sources of Quotations

“There is plenty that the professional musician can learn from Myer Fredman and many an interesting fact or comment which can be appreciated by layman and professional alike. It is a pleasure to welcome this excellent addition to the literature about these towering masterpieces.” From the Foreword by Sir Charles Mackerras

“Fredman's hands-on experience conducting the Mozart operas is reflected in many a passing titbit of professional wisdom or practical advice.” Opera Quarterly


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
212 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
Hardcover, September 2002; paperback, January 2014
  Illustrated:   No
Hardback Price:
£39.95 / $59.50
Paperback Price:
£22.50 / $34.95

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