Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Le nozze di Figaro, overture to the opera
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E Flat Major K 495
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 39 in E Flat Major K 543
“The result is a thrilling bit of gladiatorial combat, and Mälkki and the orchestra delivered it with abundant power and precision.ˮ
Chicago Classical Review, October 2015
A much sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, Susanna Mälkki’s versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony and chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and opera houses around the world.
The 2017/2018 season marks Mälkki’s debut year as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic – highlights will include orchestral works by Berlioz, Mendelssohn and Strauss. Mälkki also enters her second season as Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, directing works by Mahler, Bartók and Mozart, among others, as well as a concert tour to Salzburg and Paris with cellist Truls Mørk. In 2017 she concluded her four-year tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra.
A guest conductor at the highest level worldwide, Mälkki begins the 2017/2018 season with a return to the Berliner Philharmoniker (Berliner Festspiele). She recently returned to the San Francisco, The Cleveland, Chicago Symphony and Swedish Radio Symphony orchestras, and in March 2017 made her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra (she returns in April 2018). Other forthcoming engagements include returns to the New York Philharmonic and Gothenburg Symphony orchestras, as well as her Czech Philharmonic Orchestra debut. She has previously conducted the New World Symphony, Bayerischer Rundfunk, London Sinfonietta, Oslo Philharmonic and Philadelphia orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC Proms), Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Teatro La Fenice.
A former student at the Sibelius Academy, Mälkki studied with Jorma Panula and Leif Segerstam. Prior to her conducting studies, she had a successful career as a cellist and from 1995 to 1998 was one of the principals of the Gothenburg Symphony. In June 2010 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and she is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2011, Mälkki was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland’s highest honours, and in January 2016 was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in France.
Started to play the french horn at age of nine with Tomáš Krejbich. She graduated at the Prague Conservatory in the class of prof. Bedřich Tylšar in 2012. At present time she is a student at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with professors Zdeněk Divoký and Radek Baborák.
Kateřina has already earned reputation and prizes on prestigious international competitions. On the International Brass Competition in Brno she won the 1st prize repeatedly in 2005, 2009 and 2011. She was awarded the 1st prize on the international competition “Federico II di Svevia” in 2009. On the international french horn competition held as a part of the Festival “Moravian Autumn” she earned the title of “absolute winner”.
She appeared as soloist with the Prague Philharmonia and the Prague Symphony Chamber Orchestra. She cooperates with leading Czech orchestras and ensembles, as the Czech Philharmonic, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra or the Baborák Ensemble. From 2009 she is a regular member of the Prague Philharmonia. Kateřina Javůrková has been recently awarded 1st prize and the title of laureate of the prestigious Prague Spring International Music Competition 2013.
In the late 1780s, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was at the peak of his creative powers. He lived in Vienna at the time and, as before, went on tours of Europe. His first sojourn in Prague took place in January 1787, thanks to the extraordinary success of The Marriage of Figaro Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), first performed at Prague’s Nostitz Theatre in December 1786. Vienna had received The Marriage of Figaro coolly; no wonder that Mozart was so enthusiastic about the contrasting atmosphere in Prague, writing in a letter to Gottfried von Jacquin: “I looked on, with the greatest pleasure, while all these people flew about in sheer delight to the music of my ‘Figaro’, arranged for quadrilles and waltzes. For here they talk about nothing but ‘Figaro’. Nothing is played, sung, or whistled but ‘Figaro’. No opera is drawing like ‘Figaro’. Nothing, nothing but ‘Figaro’. Certainly a great honour for me.” This comic opera in four acts uses an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, which itself is based on a stage play by the French playwright, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Mozart started to compose in late October 1785 and finished his opus in April 1786. Although the overture is an integral part of the opera, it has enjoyed its own life on the concert stage as a joyful work full of vitality, laughter and sparkling musicality.
Like The Marriage of Figaro, the Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major, K. 495 is dated 1786. It is the last in a series of horn concertos that Mozart dedicated to his friend, Joseph Ignaz Leutgeb (or Leitgeb; 1732–1811), a French horn player, occasional composer and cheesemaker in one person. The autograph of the fourth concerto is written in red, green, blue and black ink, and in the past, this was sometimes interpreted as a prank of some sort, since Mozart allegedly shared such jokes with Leutgeb on occasion; but it is more likely that the colours were used to clarify nuances of dynamics and declamation. The opening movement (Allegro maestoso) in sonata form is followed by a Romance and the concluding Rondo “à la Chasse”, reminding us of the original use of the horn as a hunting, signalling instrument. The work was first published in Vienna in 1803. There has been a tendency recently not to number Mozart’s horn concertos, as their order is not entirely unambiguous.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote the last three of his forty-one symphonies in summer 1788. Symphony No. 39 in E-flat major KV 543 has an extensive, freely composed introduction; in its heavy chordal strokes it intersperses noble calm with dissonant urgency. The unusual pathos then reverberates throughout the rest of the composition: in the harmonic construction of the first subject of the Allegro proper, in the harsh disquiet of its most important episode, in the passionate middle section of the sweet Andante, and in the aggressive subject of the third movement, which is a minuet only by name. Yet none of this disturbs the fundamental tenor of the composition, which is cheerfully Mozartian from the outset, and ultimately triumphs in a playful and brilliant final movement. This finale is monothematic (the first, second and closing subjects and some of the episodes, however extensive and contrasting, are all based on the same motif) and elaborated with a fantastic precision of which perhaps Mozart alone was capable.
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