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The online opera guide to Mozart’s aria MARTERN ALLER ARTEN

Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous Aria “MARTERN ALLER ARTEN “.



If you want to hear more about the opera ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, click on the link to the opera portrait



The aria – synopsis & background


Synopsis: Konstanze was captured by pirates and sold to the Turkish pasha Selim together with the servants Blonde and Pedrillo. Selim took her into the seraglio and repeatedly declared his love for her. He could be cruel to her, but he wants her to love him of her own free will. His patience is drawing to a close and Konstanze asks him for the last time to be patient, for she cannot forget her lover, to whom she has sworn allegiance. Now Selim gives her an ultimatum and expects that Konstanze will belong to him tomorrow and will love him. But Constanze would rather die than give herself to him. When Selim threatens her, she shows herself willing to endure torture.  The redemption will be her death.


Mozart wrote an overwhelming piece for this psychological drama of Konstanze. The so-called “Martern-Arie” is one of the most difficult arias in the opera literature. It requires strength for the long dramatic passages, a great mastery of coloratura and a considerable range of voice. In addition, stamina is required, because directly before this aria the singer already had to sing a long aria. While the preceding aria “Traurigkeit ist mein Los” is in a resigned, hopeless tone, Mozart shows Konstanze in the so-called “Martern-Aria” (“Marter” means “torture”) as a passionate, sacrificial woman.

This 10-minute piece is musically and dramatically immensely rich in content and is often described as a huge “Concerto for coloratura soprano, solo instruments and orchestra”. The aria begins with an unusually long and overture-like introduction in which the solo instruments (oboe, flute, violin, cello) play colorful passages.

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart


After this 2 minute introduction, Konstanze throws Selim her desperation in his face  with a high A  and then sings a beautiful first coloratura cadenza.

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart


Then the aria continues with scales and coloraturas, accompanied by melody lines and interjections from the solo instruments. Mozart continually increases the virtuosity of the vocal part, for example with a trill over several bars:

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart


A little later he leads the voice to a high D:

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart


Shortly thereafter the final fireworks display begins with a scale up to high C …

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart


… which must then be held over several bars.

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart


And the aria ends with a furious final run:

opera-inside, Aria, Martern aller Arten, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart





The Aria – the text of MARTERN ALLER ARTEN


Martern aller Arten
Mögen meiner warten,
Ich verlache Qual und Pein.
Nichts soll mich erschüttern,
Nur dann würd’ ich zittern,
Wenn ich untreu könnte seyn.
Lass dich bewegen,
Verschone mich!
Des Himmels Segen
Belohne dich!
Doch du bist entschlossen.
Willig, unverdrossen
Wähl’ ich jede Pein und Noth.
Ordne nur, gebiethe,
Lärme, tobe, wüthe,
Zuletzt befreyt mich doch der Tod.



Tortures of every kind
May await me,
I scorn agony and pain.
Nothing will shake me,
Only one thing might make me tremble:
If I were to be unfaithful.
I implore you,
Spare me!
The blessings of heaven
Shall be your reward.
But you are determined.
Willingly, unflinchingly
I choose every pain and grief.
Well then, command, coerce me,
Roar, fulminate, rage,
Death will liberate me in the end.




Written for a «dramatic coloratura soprano»


The role of Konstanze is written for a dramatic coloratura soprano. The dramatic coloratura soprano must have both coloratura ability and the ability to master dramatic expression with a larger vocal volume. If this voice can also sing lyrical parts, so it can happen that the “dramatic coloratura soprano” can sing a wide repertoire.




Famous interpretations of MARTERN ALLER ARTEN


Edda Moser was one of the great Mozart coloratura sopranos of the post-war period. She was a singer who commited herself to her roles without compromise and never spared her voice. The power of her voice enabled her not only to sing roles of the coloratura fach but also to shine in the dramatic field. Her recordings of Konstanze and her “Königin der Nacht” glowed like a red flame. The latter even made it into the series of golden recordings that the spaceship Voyager carried into the vastness of space. The simultaneous agility and power of the voice was remarkable, listen for example to the passage where she sings the sustained high C and then sings a flawless trill (6:30).

Martern aller Arten  –  Moser



Maria Callas has sung very little Mozart in her career. Konstanze from the Abduction was an exception, she has sung the role a total of four times in her career on stage. Mozart was alien to her, she even went as far as saying that most of his music was “boring” (dull). Anyway, she had the technical abilities for the Konstanze. Trills and scales are perfect, the euphony is debatable. Callas put drama above beauty of sound, only hear the breathtaking end of this aria sung in Italian language.

Tutte le torture  –  Callas



Diane Damrau is a distinguished Mozart singer. Her coloraturas are brilliant. Her voice is more lyrical and does not have the power of the Moser, but her floating coloraturas and the role portrait were convincing.

Martern aller Arten  –  Damrau



Sutherland’s voice has an almost icy clarity and the high notes are like chiseled and the trills are perfect.

Martern aller Arten  –  Sutherland



Similar to Sutherland, Gruberova is granted perfect technology. Her career took off with the Queen of the Night and she then continuously expanded her repertoire into bel canto. Her Martern aria is technically great, but does not reach the drama of Moser.

Martern aller Arten  –  Gruberova



Erna Berger has a beautiful bell-like voice, her interpretation is somewhat lacking in drama, Kesting speaks of a “dolly-timbre”.

Martern aller Arten  –  Berger



Erika Köth sings this aria with much brilliance in the heights, but not with Moser’s richness of colour.

Martern aller Arten  –  Erika Köth



Next we hear an interpretation by the 30 year old Elisabeth Schwarzkopf from 1946 accompanied by Herbert von Karajan. The high passages are beautifully sung and she sings the aria very movingly and with her rather lyrical voice amazingly energetic, but of course not comparable to the power of Edda Moser.

Martern aller Arten  –  Schwarzkopf



Ivogün, who had her career climax in the 1920s, possessed a beautiful bell-like tone and tremendous coloratura abilities. Commenting on her Martern Aria, Kesting said: “Nevertheless, there is considerable suspense in her best recordings, and none more so than in Konstanzes Martern Aria. She articulates vividly, gives the sound intensity and sings with unreserved commitment. Miraculous, the high C jumping from a held trill on the G – the usual end of the aria at that time.

Martern aller Arten  –  Ivogün





Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to the aria “MARTERN ALLER ARTEN ” from the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.







2 replies
  1. Natali
    Natali says:

    Have you got pdf file of aria Marten Aller marten.It would be super if you have it-i am looking for it.

    Best wishes,


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