This is Zerlina’s Aria “Batti, batti, o bel Masetto”

Basically, Don Giovanni was seducing Zerlina (and she was liking it) but she of course is engaged to Masetto, who got really angry.

In this aria, Zerlina begs for forgiveness from Masetto. She sings: “go on and hit me (batti, batti), pull my hair out”- knowing that, of course, he’s not going to do that. Instead, they fall into each other’s arms, because it’s opera after all.

When Zerlina figures out she’s won him over, she switches her “batti, batti” offer for a peace deal (pace, pace) – and the music shifts into a celebratory 6/8 dance.

Little mystery why Masetto, in his following recitative, calls her a sorceress.

Don Giovanni Cello Excerpt

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Carlo Maria Giulini: Philharmonia Orchestra, 2009

Riccardo Muti: Wiener Philharmoniker, 2007

Sir Georg Solti: London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1997