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Concert Mozart. Symphony No 40. Requiem. Conductor Andrei Petrenko
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Mozart. Symphony No 40. Requiem. Conductor Andrei Petrenko (Concert)
Schedule for Mozart. Symphony No 40. Requiem. Conductor Andrei Petrenko 2014/2015

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Orchestra: Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra

The programme includes: 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
Symphony No 40 in G Minor, K. 550 Requiem, K. 626

Mariinsky Theatre soloists, Chorus and Orchestra 
Conductor: Andrei Petrenko

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart created his final three symphonies in the summer of 1788. It is noteworthy that he wrote them with no external commission, and it is not known if Mozart even managed to hear his works performed, works that are today acclaimed “hits”. The opening of the first movement of Symphony No 40 in G Minor, well known through all possibly popular music interpretations and mobile phone ring tones, has long become one of Mozart’s well established and easily recognisable calling cards. Like other instrumental works he wrote, Symphony No 40 is closely associated with theatre aesthetics. The themes of the symphony are like a love for characters that have been sketched out, living, loving and suffering, and each of the four movements is like an act in an operatic production. The themes of Fate, like the inherently evil image of the Stone Guest, are touched upon in each movement, introducing a note of confusion and anxiety. The one and a half hour long symphony reflects all human life, with its highs and lows, wisdom gained and naivety, strength of spirit and weakness, faith and doubt.


There is perhaps no piece of music that is surrounded with as many legends and mysteries as Mozart's Requiem.

A man dressed in black 
Bowed respectfully, commissioned a 
Requiem from me, then disappeared. 

And subsequently: 
My man in black gives me no peace 
Day and night.

The mysterious story of the man in black and the Requiem formed the basis for Pushkin's short tragedy Mozart and Salieri, written in 1830. The same theme was also the central feature in Milos Forman's sensational film Amadeus a century and a half later. The mystique of the legend was largely instrumental in the film's success, as it was in the popularity of the great composer's unfinished work (it was completed by Sussmayr from Mozart's sketches), though the true circumstances of the commission became clear quite soon afterwards. 
The mysterious stranger, presented in Pushkin's work as "a vision of the grave", was no more than the servant of Count Walsegg, a great lover of music who played several instruments reasonably well. The count was not content with his fame as a performer – he particularly wished to gain renown also as a composer, but did not have the requisite ability. However, his ingenious inventiveness helped him to overcome this "insignificant" difficulty. He anonymously commissioned works from leading composers for large sums of money, then passed them off as his own. The "creative" idea of the Requiem came to him on the occasion of the anniversary of his wife's death. 
Contrary to the legendary version, Mozart was in no hurry to start work on the commission. After agreeing to take it because of his acute need of money, he put it off in the hope of earning money from a composition by himself, not from somebody else, and only seriously started work on the Requiem when he was confined to bed by his fatal illness. This illness became the cause of rumours about Mozart's violent death, and played a cruel joke on the outstanding opera composer and teacher Antonio Salieri, who has gone down in history only as the poisoner of his brilliant rival. In fact, it is hardly likely that Salieri was responsible for Mozart's death, though it is certainly true that they had fallen out. 
The Requiem, written for soloists, choir and orchestra, is a setting of the traditional Latin text and develops the traditions of the oratorios of Bach and Handel, whose scores Mozart studied attentively. The composer's operatic experience can be felt in the solo, choral and orchestral passages. Its brilliant expressiveness has guaranteed the success of the Requiem on the concert platform, and Mozart's interpretation of the movements has become a yardstick that continues to have an influence on composers to this day (Slonimsky's Requiem). 





Schedule for Mozart. Symphony No 40. Requiem. Conductor Andrei Petrenko 2014/2015


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