Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Mozart concerto & a Haydn symphonie: Uplifting, crash in a river and still walk away OK, renew your hope music

Let's have some sounds resplendent with hope, positivity and the constructive interrelations of the elements that get involved!

Franz Haydn
Symphony No. 83

Wolfgang Mozart
Sinfonia Concertante, K.364

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
Ivan Fischer, conductor
Rachel Podger (violin)
Pavlo Beznosiuk (viola)

Wednesday 21 May 2008 
from a BBC RADIO 3 broadcast of the concert

Deft, vibrant beats from the Enlightenment crew make for a constantly rewarding experience. They have such a great name, too- fitting for the challenge around us.

A Haydn symphony to begin because, well, it's Haydn. All undertakings should perhaps begin with this sort of thing. Especially with a skewering  of overly serious and drama-heavy approaches, as happens in the first movement. The initial theme, with its big knotted brow, and dark, intent stride gets turned onto the "poultry-like waddling of the second subject", as David Hurwitz described it. 

Then, the usually period-obsessed violinist Rachel Podger, a personal favorite, is half the soloist team in the Mozart double concerto. Ever since her recording of the Bach Partitas and Sonatas, those pieces get competition in the listening cue, alongside recordings by Szeryng and Kremer (1980), some Grumiaux. 
The slow movement of K.364 always holds the most interest for me; here the interweavings of viola and violin create a tapestry of mindful discussion with some really emotionally naked digging in. 
Then, the finale! So dancy and bright, makes it all sound like just the beginning...

"Sinfonia Concertante"

01  Allegro Maestoso
02  Andante
03  Presto

Symphony No. 83

04 Allegro spiritoso ["Hens are like people, and their conflicts caricature       our own"- the composer]
05 Andante
06 Menuetto allegretto/Trio
07 Finale: Vivace

Some notes from the BBC website regarding its broadcast:
"...The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment turn the clock back to Paris on the eve of the French Revolution, in the last concert in their acclaimed The Age of Revolution series, recorded [May 21st, 2008] at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

...Haydn...visited pre-revolution Paris in 1785 and his Hen Symphony was one of the six Paris Symphonies he composed for public concerts in the city.

...This is the Paris where vibrant new ideas clashed with the stasis of the Ancien Regime, where philosophers rubbed shoulders with Catholic priests and encyclopaedists with noblemen. Into this environment came a young Mozart, and it was here that he received the impetus to compose his Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola..."

Allright then. On to it.


Guillermo said...


maready said...

I've already given thanks for some other posts ... let me now deeply thank you for this one. Believe or or not, I had never listened to the Sinfonia Concertante before (at least intentionally). That sad defect has now been remedied, and how! I downloaded this for the Haydn, and left totally overwhelmed by Mozart & Rachel Podger (another new acquaintance). Thank you very much.

Guillermo said...

Yes, but thank Podger, Fischer et al., they did all the real work! I can't wait for one of them -or all!- to come to town (NYC), I really want to see them live. There's a whole bunch more to come!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for such a great concerto! Best regards

Guillermo said...

Thank you, for reminding me to re-discover this all over again myself! It's been awhile since I put it into rotation with the mp3 player.