Leif Ove Andsnes – ‘Mozart didn’t write straightforward music’

“I believe there needs to be a component of enhancement,” says Leif Ove Andsnes modestly (he isn’t recognized to be probably the most show-off pianist). “The music delights in its inventiveness and has a powerful sense of desirous to shock its viewers.”

Regardless of the lockdowns in Europe, Andsnes has a significant venture in sight. The unique plan was to tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in applications specializing in Mozart’s golden years in Vienna within the mid-1780s and, though concert events didn’t happen, the recording survived.

This “demonstration” refers back to the piano concertos that Mozart wrote at the moment to play himself. There will likely be three within the first of a pair of CDs – Piano Concertos Nos. 20-22 – together with different solo piano and chamber music from the identical productive interval.

They had been heady years. Mozart had given up his hated job with the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, thrown off his father’s yoke and left for a lifetime of freedom in Vienna. Younger and energetic, he units up his personal subscription concert events, rents the halls, chooses the orchestra, even prints tickets. Briefly, he had grow to be unbiased, dealing a blow to the composers of the longer term.

Leif Ove Andsnes says there will likely be ‘a point of demonstration’ at Mozart’s piano concertos © Helge Hansen / Sony Music Leisure

All the things went to white warmth. When Mozart’s father arrived at his son’s house on February 11, 1785, he discovered him frantically copying a brand new concerto to be carried out that night. As quickly as he was completed, the servants wrapped Mozart’s piano in blankets to guard it from the winter snow and carried it to the ballroom of the Mehlgrube restaurant. There, the darkish and dramatic Piano Concerto in D minor, Okay.466, had a triumphant premiere, even supposing there was no time to rehearse the finale.

“After all they used to play [the new music of their time]»Says Andsnes. “I am positive orchestras shortly took issues into their very own palms, however Mozart didn’t write straightforward music for them. Take a look at the bassoon components. He will need to have recognized he had a great bassoon, in any other case it will have been suicide.

“Plus, there was this concept of ​​stunning audiences, and whereas we did not know the way a lot the improv was occurring, I am including adornments and transitions.”

The subscription concert events had been an enormous success. In three years, Mozart composed for them at least 12 of his best piano concertos, leaving a legacy unparalleled for another composer. In a single yr, 1784, his biographer, Maynard Solomon, estimated that he had earned 3,720 florins, “a stage loved solely by well-to-do Viennese.”

As all the time, the humanities responded to the political and social local weather. The last decade wherein Joseph II dominated the Austro-Hungarian Empire was an Enlightenment, embracing financial reform and wider entry to training, beneath a patronage of the humanities.

“There was a liberal window of alternative for composers [in Vienna] within the 1780s earlier than the French Revolution, ”says Andsnes. “In consequence, there have been plenty of composers there, so Mozart needed to grow to be sharper and use his talents to the fullest. He needed to construct relationships along with his viewers, and past along with his colleagues and the competitors. Then there was additionally his entrepreneurial facet. He was actually profitable, which is why he made some huge cash.

The 1780s were a frenetic and fertile period for Mozart

The 1780s had been a frenetic and fertile interval for Mozart © Heritage Photographs / Getty Photographs

The sensation of impending political upheaval feeds straight into the music itself. “These concertos present a growth that for one more composer would take 20 years,” says Andsnes. “The concerto in D minor, for instance, is revolutionary, so dramatic, and for the primary time within the historical past of the piano concerto, the soloist enters with model new orchestral materials.

“It’s a reflection of the restlessness of the person in society. We see it within the coming French revolution and likewise in Mozart’s personal rejection of authority, as he stepped down on his personal.

For Andsnes, this Mozart venture turned the pure successor to his cycle of Beethoven piano concertos, additionally with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He carried out and performed, as he does with Mozart, and the venture lasted three years, which he stated was “a revelation”, displaying what he was in a position to obtain due to a devoted interval with a single collectively.

Now that he has simply turned 50, Andsnes is in a great place to take inventory. He made his debut in his native Norway within the Nineteen Eighties (“I performed Mozart in D minor as a primary concerto with an expert orchestra on the age of 14”) and a global profession quickly adopted. For a pianist who has spent his life touring with the world’s best orchestras, this intensive work with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will need to have been a giant change of tempo.

“It led to a freedom in concert events that was new and particular to me,” he says. “Mozart’s concertos naturally lend themselves to this intimate approach of working, as a result of they’re performed by a soloist, and there’s a lot of dialogue. [between soloist and orchestra]. As a pianist and conductor, it is psychologically fascinating to be always within the circulation of music, not simply sitting there as a soloist, questioning if you happen to can bear in mind your subsequent entry.

Throughout the lockdown, he used his time to discover much less traveled musical territory. What he calls his “Covid Mission” is an hour-long piano cycle by Dvořák, the Photos of your poetic, Op.85, which Andsnes has simply recorded. It’s, he says, “prime time Dvořák”, and it is going to be a shock to many listeners that such great music is never performed outdoors of the Czech Republic.

And what in regards to the administration? “No, I do not aspire to be a conductor,” he stated calmly. “It was troublesome [in these concerto projects] that the emphasis ought to be on the orchestra at first, in order that your piano taking part in will endure, then nearer to the live performance, you deliver all the pieces collectively. However I’m not a certified conductor. At occasions in my previous life, in fact, it appeared like a good suggestion, however what musician does not assume so?

Leif Ove Andsnes’s’Mozart Momentum 1795‘will likely be launched by Sony on Might 28

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