For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Betulia liberata.

Betulia liberata

Betulia liberata
Azione sacra by W. A. Mozart
Mozart in 1777, by an unknown painter
TranslationThe Liberation of Bethulia
LibrettistPietro Metastasio
Based onJudith and Holofernes

La Betulia liberata (The Liberation of Bethulia) is a libretto by Pietro Metastasio which was originally commissioned by Emperor Charles VI and set to music by Georg Reutter the Younger in 1734. It was subsequently set by as many as 30 composers, including Niccolò Jommelli (1743), Ignaz Holzbauer (1752), Florian Leopold Gassmann (1772),[1] Joseph Schuster (1787), and most famously Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1771).

Mozart's setting

The work of Mozart is the best known, if only because the composer's output receives more examination. Composed in March to July 1771 when Mozart was 15 years old, K. 118 (74c) is a 140-minute azione sacra on a text by Metastasio tracing the story of Judith beheading Holofernes from the biblical Book of Judith. It was commissioned in March 1771 by Giuseppe Ximenes, Prince of Aragon, while Mozart and his father Leopold were on the way home to Salzburg from their first journey to Italy. It is the only oratorio Mozart ever wrote. Its two parts comprise sixteen arias, with solo or choral parts, scored for soloists, choir and orchestra. Not performed in Mozart's lifetime, La Betulia liberata is shaped stylistically to works by Leonardo Leo and Johann Adolph Hasse.

Recent high-profile performances of Mozart's setting include one in the 2006 Salzburg Festival conducted by Christoph Poppen, as part of the M22 series, masterminded by Bernhard Fleischer to perform all Mozart's operas (and the only oratorio) in 2006 Salzburg Festival. The performance was recorded and subsequently released as DVD. (See Recordings section below.) In 2010 both the Mozart and the Jommelli settings were performed side by side at the Salzburg Whitsun and Ravenna festivals under the leadership of Riccardo Muti.



First part

  1. Overtura
  2. Recitative: Popoli di Betulia (Ozia)
  3. Aria #1: D'ogni colpa la colpa maggiore (Ozia)
  4. Recitative: E in che sperar? (Cabri, Amital)
  5. Aria #2: Ma qual virtù non cede (Cabri)
  6. Recitative: Già le memorie antiche (Ozia, Cabri, Amital)
  7. Aria #3: Non hai cor (Amital)
  8. Recitative: E qual pace sperate (Ozia, Amital, chorus)
  9. Aria with chorus #4: Pietà, se irato sei (Ozia, chorus)
  10. Recitative: Chi è costei che qual sorgente aurora (Cabri, Amital, Ozia, Giuditta)
  11. Aria #5: Del pari infeconda (Giuditta)
  12. Recitative: Oh saggia, oh santa (Ozia, Cabri, Giuditta)
  13. Aria with chorus #6: Pietà, se irato sei (Ozia, chorus)
  14. Recitative: Signor, Carmi a te viene (Cabri, Amital, Carmi, Ozia, Achior)
  15. Aria #7: Terribile d'aspetto (Achior)
  16. Recitative: Ti consola, Achior (Ozia, Cabri, Achior, Giuditta)
  17. Aria #8: Parto inerme, e non pavento (Giuditta)
  18. Chorus #9: Oh prodigio! Oh stupor! (Chorus)

Second part

  1. Recitative: Troppo mal corrisponde (Achior, Ozia)
  2. Aria #10: Se Dio veder tu vuoi (Ozia)
  3. Recitative: Confuso io son (Achior, Ozia, Amital)
  4. Aria #11: Quel nocchier che in gran procella (Amital)
  5. Recitative: Lungamente non dura (Ozia, Amital, chorus, Cabri, Giuditta, Achior)
  6. Aria #12: Prigionier che fa ritorno (Giuditta)
  7. Recitative: Giuditta, Ozia, popoli, amici (Achior)
  8. Aria #13: Te solo adoro (Achior)
  9. Recitative: Di tua vittoria (Ozia, Amital)
  10. Aria #14: Con troppa rea viltà (Amital)
  11. Recitative: Quanta cura hai di noi (Cabri, Carmi, Ozia, Amital)
  12. Aria #15: Quei moti che senti (Carmi)
  13. Recitative: Seguansi, o Carmi (Ozia, Amital, Cabri, Achior, Giuditta)
  14. Aria with chorus #16: Lodi al gran Dio (Giuditta, chorus)


(Conductor, label, catalogue number, year)

Settings by other composers

Antonio Salieri in 1820 revised Florian Leopold Gassmann's La Betulia liberata by shortening some recitatives and arias, and adding additional choirs taken from Gassmann's other compositions.[2][3]

As a student of Antonio Salieri, Franz Schubert set "Te solo adoro", Anchior's aria from the second part, as a composition exercise for four voices in November 1812.[4] The exercise was first published in 1940, and, catalogued as D. 34, again in the New Schubert Edition in 1986.[5]


  1. ^ George R. Hill; Joshua Kosman (2001). "Gassmann, Florian Leopold". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.10717. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0.
  2. ^ La Betulia liberata (Gassmann, Florian Leopold): Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  3. ^ Hettrick, Jane Schatkin; Rice, John A. (2001). "Salieri, Antonio". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.24378. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0.
  4. ^ Otto Erich Deutsch, Werner Aderhold and others (eds.) New Schubert Edition; Series VIII: Supplement; Volume 4: Franz Schubert: Thematisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke in chronologischer Folge Bärenreiter, 1978. ISBN 9783761805718, pp. 27–28
  5. ^ Alfred Mann (ed.) New Schubert Edition; Series VIII: Supplement Volume 2: Schuberts Studien Bärenreiter, 1986. No. 39
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Betulia liberata
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?