Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mozart's Motet for Castrato: Exultate Jubilate

Mozart's motet, Exultate Jubilate was composed for the castrato Vinanzio Rauzzini (later the voice teacher of young Nancy Storace), in 1773 when Mozart was visiting in Milan. Rauzinni was born in Camerino, Italy in 1746. Mozart first heard him sing in the Viennese court in 1767 and was so delighted with his voice that he offered him the premiere role in his opera Lucio Silla, when it was staged in Milan in 1772.

The Exultate Jubilate is a three movement motet consisting of an allegro movement followed by a slower andante movement, then another allegro movement known as the "Alleluja".

The two allegro movements are sung here by male soprano Michael Maniaci. Maniaci is a true male soprano and not a counter tenor or a castrato. This is the closest the 21st century ear will ever hear to how this piece sounded when Rauzzini sang it.