Give Now

Ether Game

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Bastian and Bastienne, Overture

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: a “social contract” is okay, but opera singers prefer the real thing…

Mozart’s “Bastien and Bastienne” is connected to two very different philosophers. One, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, was the author of “The Social Contract” and an important Enlightenment thinker. Rousseau also wrote an opera of his own—“The Village Soothsayer”—from which the libretto of “Bastien and Bastienne” was adapted. The other philosopher was Franz Anton Mesmer, at whose home the work premiered. While Rousseau is still considered an influential thinker today, Mesmer’s “natural philosophy” of animal magnetism has been largely disproven, and was even parodied by Mozart himself, years later, in “Cosí fan tutte.” “Bastein and Bastienne” hasn’t attracted the same attention as Mozart’s mature works, as it was composed when Mozart was twelve. An exception, however, is the overture, which has frequently been noted for its (probably coincidental) similarity to Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony!

Music Heard On This Episode

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Overture to Bastian and Bastienne
Adele Stolte, soprano; Berlin Chamber Orchestra; Helmut Koch, cond. — Mozart: Bastien und Bastienne (Classics, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Overture to Bastian and Bastienne
Adele Stolte, soprano; Berlin Chamber Orchestra; Helmut Koch, cond. — Mozart: Bastien und Bastienne (Classics, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Ether Game:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Ether Game

Search Ether Game

Ether Game is on Twitter