About this work
This concert aria, written to text from the libretto for Sertor's Zemira,
shows Mozart's growing sophistication in expressing mood through both the
vocal and the instrumental parts of his works.
This recitative and scene show Gandarte (sung by a soprano voice) bidding
farewell to Zemira. "My adored hope, ah, the rage of heaven is too deadly
for us. This is the last time that I shall hold you to my heart. My soul,
I shall not see you again." The woodwinds and the voice combine very
touchingly on the "anima mia" (my soul), and in the "addio" (farewell)
that end the recitative.
In the aria itself, Gandarte sings of his pain, and reproaches the gods
for inflicting this suffering. "What a barbarous torment you have prepared
me for, hostile gods! Tell me, you, if my circumstances are unworthy of
pity." The contrast between this anger and the tenderness in the music
with which he addresses Zemira seem to foreshadow Donna Elvira's music
in Don Giovanni.