I gave Idomeneo a shot and enjoyed it quite a bit!In late 18th century style? The "Erwin! O schau, du wirst gerochen" from the same opera, or the Elettra arias from Mozart's Idomeneo [ www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba9K_T5ivTQ&t=27m10s / www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba9K_T5ivTQ&t=2h22m10s ]. (Btw, when the score of Idomeneo first appeared in print in 1806, Reichardt called it "the purest art work that even our Mozart ever completed.").
the bVI in A flat (altered, A flat minor) acts as a pivot to the I of E major, to transition from A flat major to E major. The iv6 in E major (altered, E minor) acts as a pivot to the V7 of F minor, to transition from E major to F minor. Also note the common-tone diminished 7th chord, CTo7 (the kind of device Schubert famously has in the beginning of his string quintet, and Brahms in his 3rd symphony).
It counts as opera (though there are elements of liederspiele in it. Consider the "Sieh mich, Heil'ger, wie wie ich bin", "Welch ein Lispen, welch ein Schauer", "Ihr verblühet, süße Rosen", or "Kannst du nicht besänftigt werden?".)
This might be the sign I should give Mozart's operas a fair shakeIs it just me who hears connotations of Magic Flute? Maybe I'm going mad.
Lovely music, by the way. Thanks. I've got my hands full with so much other music, that I really don't want to get drawn in to 18th century opera -- but this is so agreeable it's tempting!
Both of those examples would be among the highlights for me in the entire suite. But I think what really butters my toast is when there's a liberal use of diminished chords and beats being heavily emphasized, often with a preceding eigth note (or triplet eigth). The result is a strong militaristic effectAre there specific elements you especially find dramatically intense? Howabout the Neapolitan 6th (prolonged for 2 measures) at 2:33 in the "Mit vollen Athemzügen saug' ich, natur aus dir" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsh7xnPS4bw&t=2m33s), or the minor and major second clashes (the flattened submediant and the diminished triads on the dominant pedal) at 1:10 in the "Erwin! O schau, du wirst gerochen" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye06cbLrEi8&t=1m10s).