“Mozart and Mahler”: graceful musical poetry always stirs the senses…

David Geffen Hall-Lincoln Center/ Wednesday January 31st, 2024: Mozart’s “Ch’io mi scordi di te?…Non temer, amato bene, Scene and Rondo, K.505” (1786), Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major K.503” (1786), and Mahler’ “Symphony No. 4” (1892 and 1899-1901, rev. 1901-11).

Welcome back friends!

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Welcome this week, to the sublime, vibrant, and often filled with wonderfully, intimate, yet, rich and inspiring, emotional world of classical music, performed by the New York Philharmonic.

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Welcome this week, to a truly inspiring, poetic, vibrant, dazzling, exciting, glorious, evening of European sounding classical music, featuring 2 top Austrian composers, from various eras, at the height of their powers: first, of course, from 18th century, iconic, from the Classic period, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), and second, from end of 19th century-early 20th century, Romantic, and a musical “bridge” between Austrian-German traditions and early 20th century modernism, the illustrious, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).

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And all, conducted with great contrasts and amazing shaping, by Italian conductor extraordinaire, Gianandrea Noseda (b. 1964), currently Music Director, of the National Symphony Orchestra, in Washington D.C.

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1) With Mozart’s “Ch’io mi scordi di te?…Non temer, amato bene, Scene and Rondo, K.505” (1786), we admired one of Mozart’s most monumental “concert aria”, lasting 10 minutes, and whose text is absolutely charming. The librettist is unknown, although many think that Lorenzo Da Ponte (1749-1838), Venetian and later, American opera librettist, for Mozart and many others, especially for Mozart’s 1786 “Le Nozze di Figaro”, 1787 “Don Giovanni”, and 1790 “Così fan tutte”, could have “penned” this beautiful “Ch’io mi scodi di te?” concert aria.

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And basically this aria, as in many Mozart operas, is about an “ask” to be forgotten, from one lover to another, which of course the singer says is impossible, as she sings “Fear nothing my beloved, my heart will always be yours”.

Awww.

And Golda Schultz (b. 1983), was pure perfection, smooth and effortless, with a beautiful color.

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And here, is a short 3 minutes excerpt, from a few years back, during a rehearsal, in Paris, by a different orchestra, with Sandrine Piau as the soprano.

Enjoy!

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Just gorgeous.

2) With Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major K.503” (1786), also written the same year, this piano concerto exemplifies Mozart’s popularity, as a pianist, in Viennese concert life.

Wow.

And this one was written at the end of a prolific production of piano concertos, for a series of 4, hope- infused, Advent concerts, planned in December 1786, as his acclaim as an uber talented performer, steadily increased, and also because his livelihood depended on such pieces, when Mozart arrived in Vienna a few years before.

Wow.

And Swiss-Italian pianist phenomenon, and a regular guest at many of the world’s leading orchestras, Francesco Piemontesi (b. 1983), in his New York Philharmonic debut, was just marvelous.

Sensitive, yet joyful, dreamlike, and what a virtuoso!

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And let’s now, listen to an excerpt of this piano concerto, from a few years back, in Salzburg, with Uchida on the piano, and Muti conducting.

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Enjoy!

So uplifting, fast, inspired, delightful, and encompassing perfectly, Mozart’s lighthearted spirit, at times.

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3) With Mahler’s “Symphony No. 4” (1892 and 1899-1901, rev. 1901-11), we can definitely feel that we are entering more modern times, and of course, the complexity of a symphony is always incredibly striking, especially, when it captures different types of feelings, as it does here, with this bucolic and “heavenly inspired” symphony, written in the summer, in the region of Carinthia in Southern Austria.

Wow and yay!

And here, the last movement especially dream-like, with its celestial atmosphere, is symbolic of heavenly bliss with a beautiful text “Das himmlische Leben”(“The Heavenly Life”), which concludes with stunning final words: “angelic voices gladenning our senses so that everything awakens for joy”.

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And these words were sung with great expression, subtlety and happiness, one again, by the wonderful soprano, Golda Schultz.

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Yet, my favorite movement of the symphony though, was the slow and serene Poco Adagio, which is absolutely gorgeous.

Here is another rendition of this awesomely beautiful and slower movement, with Hannigan, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

Listen especially at the beginning of the movement, to the first 3 to 9 minutes which are just, pure bliss.

Enjoy!

Just incredible, and heavenly to me.

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So, to sum up my feelings, about my NY Philharmonic “Mozart and Mahler” program, admired last Wednesday, in great company: what tremendous, uplifting, and sizzling music, from 2 hugely talented Austrian composers, whose incredibly beautiful and poetic works, still bewilder audiences centuries later. And how wonderfully performed!

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Just awe-inspiring.

Until next time friends.

Soft…

Fluttering…

Sunny…

Joyful…

Happy…

Loving…

Eternal butterflies 😊