Time to Celebrate Zubin Mehta with pianist Denis Matsuev

זובין מהטה

Date

07.10.2019

Monday 20:00

Hall

The Lowy concert hall

Venue

Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv

Venue

Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv

Hall

The Lowy concert hall

Artists

Zubin Mehta, conductor 

Denis Matsuev, pianist 

Concert Program

Mozart: Symphony no. 41, K. 551 (“Jupiter”)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto no. 3

Event Info

The 2019-20 season's opening concerts are Maestro Zubin Mehta’s last before his retirement. As a personal tribute to him, a host of stars and close friends of the Maestro and Orchestra are set to perform. In this concert, as part of the closing festivities of the Jubilee celebrations, we hear the Piano Concerto no. 3 by Rachmaninov, played by Dennis Matsuev, and Symphony no. 41 ("Jupiter") by Mozart.

1909 was a fascinating year. Robert Edwin Peary reached the North Pole. Henri Matisse created "The Dancer," Richard Strauss's opera "Elektra" premiered in Dresden, and the world heard the first performances of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto. Rachmaninov came to the United States for the first time at age 36 with a new piano concerto in hand: monumental in scope and extremely demanding for the pianist. Walter Damrosch, a talented conductor with a well-developed business savvy, conducted the premiere with the New York Symphony Orchestra at the new Central Park Theater with the composer as soloist. Damrosch (in 1909) and Zubin Mehta (in 2019) both thought the necessary connective link to this concerto was a Mozart symphony. The 41st Symphony was played at the premiere in 1909 and again the following week at Carnegie Hall—both with great success. These very first performances of Rachmaninov's Third Concerto garnered great enthusiasm from the audience. Only six weeks (!!!) after the premiere, New York Philharmonic Music Director Gustav Mahler conducted another performance of the concerto with Rachmaninov at the piano, about which he marveled. The secret of the concerto may lie in the successful mix of melodic lyricism (Rachmaninov explained "The first theme of the concerto is an expression of my desire to 'sing' a piano melody"), conquering virtuosity, and structural accessibility (the last movement of the concerto repeats themes from the first movement). And it may be the human experience he conveys, the emotional complexity of Rachmaninov, as eulogized after his death by pianist Joseph Hofmann, to whom the concerto was dedicated: "Sergei Rachmaninov was a man whose hands were hands of steel and his heart - pure gold." This humanity, along with the artistic sincerity of his style—in an interview in 1930 Rachmaninov said: "I wander the world like a ghost, I cannot write old-style music and cannot embrace the new aesthetic. I've made real efforts to try to internalize this 'spirit', but without success"—were passed on to listeners so successfully that the work became a staple in every pianist and orchestra's repertoire.

There are many ways to look at Mozart's Symphony no. 41. One can celebrate the wonder that this work was written in 1788, one of the most difficult years in Mozart's short life. It is hard to believe that his last three symphonies (Symphony no. 39 in E-flat Major, Symphony no. 40 in G Minor and Symphony no. 41 "Jupiter") were composed while the Viennese audience was seemingly losing interest in him, his economic condition was deteriorating rapidly, and on top of everything, he was amid a deep sorrow over the death of his daughter Teresa. There is a heart-wrenching record of letters Mozart wrote to friends and potential supporters requesting a financial loan; in one of them (to his friend and Freemason member Michael Fuchberg) he indicates an opportunity that emerged for the performance of three new symphonies which might allow him to repay the loan. The idea that these three symphonic masterpieces were written in only nine weeks is almost inconceivable. One could even surmise that Mozart wrote each movement of these symphonies in five days and a few hours – also a remarkable thought.

And there is another way to look at Mozart’s last symphony: one can see it as an extraordinary compositional achievement of a mature, skilled and... extremely original composer. Sometimes, due to the quality and lightness of Mozart's music, one may forget the complexity in combining  multi-line Baroque writing, that reached its peak with the fugue, with the harmonic structures of a symphonic movement. In Mozart’s writing, the use of a fugue in a symphonic movement seems obvious, but it is not. And if we add to this the fact that the four-note theme of this finale movement is based on a thirteenth-century hymn, then the complexity of the styles and materials that Mozart manages to incorporate into the work is almost unimaginable!

The nickname "Jupiter" was most likely given to the work by violinist (and promoter) Johann Peter Salomon, and it first appeared in concerts in England and Scotland.

 

Price Range

190 - 580 NIS

Duration

approx 90 minutes including intermission

Duration

approx 90 minutes including intermission

Price range

190 - 580 NIS

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