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A Viennese Serenata of:
Johann Joseph Fux: “Dafne in Lauro”, 1714 & Antonio Caldara: “La Concordia de’ Pianeti”, 1723
Mercury, the winged patron god of commerce, has been the master of the Italian Wednesday – “Mercoledi” – until today. That’s why his Italian name “Mercurio” was also used in baroque Vienna and why an Italian tenor lent him his voice. As a messenger of the gods, he was busy appearing in the pompous operas written for the imperial court, such as in Johann Joseph Fux’s magnificent opera “Dafne in Lauro”, performed on the occasion of Charles VI’s birthday in 1714. It sees Mercurio taming the love-stricken Apollo who has fallen in love with the nymph Daphne. In Antonio Caldara’s serenata “La Concoardia de´ Pianeti”, Mercurio has to face Apollo as well. The arias that Fux and Caldara put into the two gods’ mouths are some of the most beautiful pieces of music from the era of Viennese baroque.