Long neglected and misunderstood, 'Cosi Fan Tutte' (Thus Do All Women) emerged from obscurity in the twentieth century, and has come to be regarded as among Mozart's finest works. The Libretto is by Lorenzo da Ponte and tells of two friends, Ferrando and Guglielmo, who wager with Don Alfonso that their lovers, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, will remain constant in their absence. To prove the point, they depart under false pretences and return as 'Albanians' to try to woo the women away. Each of the six characters receives an equally insightful musical portrayal, for example Fiordiligi transcends her role as the victim of cruel manipulation, revealing a complex personality that is sincere, capable of growth, and inarguably sympathetic. In contrast, Guglielmo never progresses beyond concern for his own ego and interests; his music therefore remains within the stock traditions of opera buffa. The ambigous nature of the ending (who actually loves whom?) can be seen as appropriate, given the emotional issues aired during the drama. This is the Schirmer edition of the Vocal Score, with an English version by Ruth and Thomas Martin.
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