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Featuring works from Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, Jane Jones serves up favourite music from the Classical Era.
Mozart composed the Piano Concerto No. 17 early in 1784 - a year in which he wrote no fewer than six piano concertos - and it was premiered in Vienna that June. The piece was a big hit; it is one of only six of Mozart’s concertos which were published during his lifetime. It's said that the composer had earlier purchased a starling that learned to whistle the first 17 notes of the finale of this concerto! The bird's rendition was spot on - except it sang one note too sharp and held another for too long.
Vienna also saw the first performance in April 1800 of Beethoven's Symphony No.1 in C major. It's a work that summons up the spirit of Mozart - who had died less than a decade before - as well as Beethoven's teacher, Haydn. Beethoven had moved to Vienna the year after Mozart died and, in the famous words of Count Waldstein, received 'Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands'. The symphony is an accomplished first crack at the form with a graceful slow movement and a spirited finale a la Haydn.
Michael Haydn was the younger brother of the great Joseph. Born in 1737, he followed in Joseph's footsteps as a choirboy but with a soprano voice that was more admired than the older boy's. Michael remained as Kapellmeister at Salzburg for 43 years, during which he wrote more than 360 compositions including both church and instrumental music. Thie evening Jane presents his Flute Concerto in D major, performed by Emmanuel Pahud (pictured above).
Tonight's concert climaxes with Josef Haydn's Symphony No.103 in E flat major, known as the ‘Drumroll’. Haydn’s last three symphonies, numbers 102 to 104 are the most impressive of his entire career, bringing together everything he had learned in almost 40 years of writing symphonies. At this time, Haydn was the toast of London and the premiere audience liked the slow movement so much that the orchestra played it again. It's a set of variations on two folk tunes from around Esterházy, where Haydn had worked for 30 years in relative obscurity.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.17 in G major
Piano: Angela Hewitt
Hannu Lintu conducts the Orchestra da Camera di Mantova
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.1 in C major
Douglas Boyd conducts Manchester Camerata
Michael Haydn: Flute Concerto in D major
Flute: Emmanuel Pahud
Hansjorg Schellenberger conducts the Haydn Ensemble of Berlin
Josef Haydn: Symphony No.103 in E flat major (‘Drumroll’)
Adam Fischer conducts the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra