About this work
This aria is one of the several that Mozart wrote to parts of Metastasio's libretto "Demofoonte." The others include "Non curo l'affetto, " "Misero me...misero pargoletto", Se ardire e speranza all written around 1770, and In te spero, which, like this aria, was written in the early 1870s. We can see Mozart's musical development in these pieces; the latter two are, not surprisingly, more sophisticated and show a level of experimentation that the younger Mozart rarely displayed.
In this piece, Timante, Dircea's husband (and as he later finds out, her brother), expresses his fears for their future. The aria is written for soprano, and demands an incredible range and coloratura precision. In the recitative, Timante prays to the gods for their protection for Dircea and their wedding, and in the aria (ironically, considering the discovery he is soon to make), sings "I had hoped the shore was near, I believed the wind calmed, but now I am carried away again by the storms. And in my wish to save myself from one treacherous rock, I am thrown onto another, worse than the first." Unusually, the aria sometimes returns to lines from the recitative.
The orchestra depicts, though not as skillfully as in "Soave sia il vento" from Cosi fan tutte or "Fuor dal mar" from Idomeneo, the deceptive calm and the storms that Timante describes in the text.