Tune of the Day: Overture from The Marriage of Figaro
Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or the Day of Madness) is a four-act opera buffa (comic opera) composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais. Although the play by Beaumarchais was at first banned in Vienna because of its satire of the aristocracy, considered dangerous in the decade before the French Revolution, the opera became one of Mozart's most successful works.
The overture is especially famous and is often played as a concert piece. This effervescent number does not make use of any thematic material from the opera itself, but captures the essence of the work superbly. Mozart is said to have intended to insert a slow interlude, in the old Italian tradition, just before the recapitulation, and to have omitted it only because he hadn't time to write it down; he thus reunited the two parts of the Allegro, giving the piece a lively, genial character throughout.