Tune of the Day: O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn
“O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn” (“Tremble not, my dear son”) is the first aria performed by the Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. It is not as well known as the Queen's second aria, “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen”, though no less demanding. In fact, this aria requires a soprano with great vocal flexibility and extremely high tessitura: going up to high F is normal for a flute, not so for the human voice!
This aria is one of the first numbers of Act I. In the preceding scene, Prince Tamino is shown a portrait of the Queen's daughter Pamina, and falls instantly in love with her. The Queen then makes a dramatic entrance, marked “Allegro maestoso”; she quiets Tamino's fears and attempts to befriend him. The three parts of the Queen's discourse are set as musically separate items, each marked by a change in key: after the recitative, the first part of the aria is a Larghetto in G minor, while the second part goes back to B-flat major. It is in this last part that the music reaches a high level of virtuosity for the soloist.
Thanks to Pablo for suggesting this piece!