Mozart in Viterbo with Sebastiano Brusco and the Harmoniae Aureae Ensemble

After two solo recitals it was refreshing to hear a true chamber music ensemble in two of Mozart’s early Piano Concertos. Mozart decided in the autumn of 1792 to start composing three new works, K. 413, 414, 415. Mozart in a letter to his father: “The concertos are just a cross between too complicated and too easy – are very brilliant – easy to listen – of course without the feeling of emptiness – here and there – can provide satisfaction for connoisseurs, too – but in a way – the amateurs might be pleased even without knowing why”. Like all three of the early Vienna concertos that Mozart wrote, it is a modest work that can be performed with only string quartet and keyboard (i.e., “a quattro“). As per 18th century performance practice a string orchestra could also have served as a suitable option for the “quattro” accompaniment.

Two Mozart Piano Concertos played with great sensibility by Sebastiano Brusco with string quintet.An ensemble that really listens is the greatest compliment that one can pay to an ensemble that can even cope with one or two uneven passages and never loose sight of Mozart’s genius.
I remember hearing Fou Ts’ong play the three concertos that Mozart conceived also for this chamber formation K 413,414,415.It has stayed in my memory all these years as being one of the most beautifully satisfying concerts.
It was a great treat to be reminded of that in the splendid season on line devised by the artistic director Prof.Ricci.

K 414 was the first of a set of three keyboard concertos (with K. 413 and 415) that Mozart performed at his Lenten concerts in 1783. The concert rondo in A, K. 386, has often been discussed as an alternative finale to the work; however, K. 386 cannot be performed a quattro, and autograph evidence shows that the current finale starts on the same sheet as the end of the slow movement. Despite the modest nature and scoring of this concerto, it stands out in Mozart’s early production. Although the three early Viennese concertos (Nos 11, 12 and 13) represent in some senses a formal regression compared to their immediate predecessors, especially No. 9 in E-flat major K 271. ‘Jeunehomme’ which is a remarkable forerunner of the mature works in terms of its musical effect. The second movement of K 414 is notable for its quotation of a theme from the overture to La calamita de’ cuori by J.C.Bach, Mozart’s former mentor in London, who had just died on 1 January 1782.In view of the fact that at this point Mozart also wrote back to his father concerning Bach’s death, saying of it ‘what a loss to the musical world!’, we may also regard the moving Andante as a musical epitaph by the younger man for the old master.

Today too even though only time for two concertos K 414 was given a beautiful sparkling performance the conductor/soloist playing without the score as Mozart himself would have done – probably improvising the cadenza too.The highlight of the two concertos is without doubt the beautifully simple but poignant slow movements played with a freedom and sensibility that only a chamber music ensemble can allow.The very fine Harmoniae Aureae Ensemble followed every note of the soloist as they listened so intently in true chamber music fashion.It was in the slow episodes of the last movement of K 415 where moments of sublime beauty were reached that only the genius of Mozart could capture with so few notes meaning so much.

Just a year ago with a full audience

Mozart and Befana an interesting mix in Piazza Navona in Rome with Martha Noguera and Franco Carlo Ricci. A concerto using the old pitch of 432 that gave a more mellow sound to Mozart as Curzon too used to prefer

Sebastiano Brusco with Prof Ricci
With the distinguished pianist Martha Noguera outside the church in Piazza Navona
The distinguished pianist Alessandro Drago,disciple of the legendary Guido Agosti listening last January to his student /colleague Sebastiano Brusco
Remembering the audiences last January

Una risposta a "Mozart in Viterbo with Sebastiano Brusco and the Harmoniae Aureae Ensemble"

  1. Grazie. carissimo, per il bell’articolo dedicato al concerto di ieri che ho inoltrato a Sebastiano Brusco: complimenti ancora per la bellissima casa.

    Il giorno dom 24 gen 2021 alle ore 19:46

    "Mi piace"


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