Select the sentence from the passage that best answers the question.
In Don Giovanni, what is perhaps Mozart’s best-known opera, there exist two distinct endings, a phenomenon not entirely unknown during the composer’s time, but one that invites the obvious question: Why did Mozart decide to include alternate endings for Don Giovanni when he did not do the same with his other famous operas, Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro?
Indeed, Don Giovanni falls more under the rubric of opera serie than opera buffo, In that case the fate of Don Giovanni
Select the sentence that describes an explanation of Mozart’s contemporaries regarding the composer’s objective in choosing a tragic ending.
Click on a sentence in the passage to make your selection
The sentence that begins the third paragraph, “this alternate ending…didacticism” answers this question.
FAQ: Why isn't the sentence "Da Ponte, however, insisted that...feeling ambivalent."the correct answer?
The question asks us to select the sentence that describes an explanation of Mozart’s contemporaries (= lived during the same time as Mozart) regarding the composer’s objective in choosing a tragic ending.
It's true that Da Ponte was one of Mozart's contemporaries. But the questions asks us about an explanations of Mozart's contemporaries, which gives us a hint that we should look for a sentence that refers to the views of more than just one of Mozart's contemporaries.
Second, Da Ponte doesn't discuss Mozart's objectives regarding the use of a tragic ending here. Rather, he's asserting something about the effect of this ending on the audience.
Here's the correct sentence:
"This alternate ending—Don Giovanni is suddenly cast down to Hell, and instead of being redeemed, the hero emerges from the underworld chastened, and the curtain falls—was interpreted by the critics of the day as heavy-handed didacticism."
This is the best choice because it 1) refers to "the critics of the day", so we know it refers to Mozart's contemporaries, and 2) it refers to their judgment of Mozart's objective in the use of the tragic ending. In referring to it as "heavy-handed didacticism," the critics were arguing that Mozart was trying to teach a moral lesson by sending Don Giovanni to Hell—and that this moral lesson was illustrated a bit too obviously.
FAQ: Why not the sentence: "Libard—trading the sensible for the pat—offers little more than that such an ending reflects the political climate of the day."?
The main reason why this sentence isn't as strong as the one that comes after is that Libard doesn't make much of an attempt to explain Mozart's objective in composing a tragic ending. He gives a much longer and more detailed explanation as to why Mozart provided an alternate traditional ending, but he does little to explain Mozart's motivation in writing a tragic ending.
Meanwhile, in the sentence afterwards, Mozart's contemporaries do indeed give an explanation as to why Mozart also wrote an alternate tragic ending--"heavy-handed didacticism." Since writing that didactic is intended to teach a moral, in this sentence, Mozart's contemporaries are saying that Mozart wrote an additional tragic ending to try to teach the listeners a lesson (though in their opinion, he did so in a way that was too heavy-handed, meaning that it was clunky and without nuance).
FAQ: Why not the sentence "One answer offered recently by musicologist Gustavo Lucien is that Mozart balked at including a traditional ending, feeling that it was incongruous with the serious tone of most of the opera."?
So, "contemporaries" refers to people that lived at the same time as Mozart. Therefore, we cannot select this sentence because it says that Lucien offered this answer "recently," which means he wasn't a contemporary of Mozart.
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