Thursday, 28 September 2023, 19.00
“Enescu – Bartók” Concert Hall
Virtuosity and Emotion
Conductor: Cezar Verlan
Soloist: Emil Vișenescu – Clarinet
On the programme:
W. A. Mozart – Moments from the ballet suite Les petit riens
Overture, No. 3 (Andantino); No. 5 (Larghetto); No. 6 (Gavotte); No. 7 (Adagio); No. 8; No. 10 (Pantomime); No. 11 (Passepied))
W. A. Mozart – Symphony 29 in A major, K.201
I – Allegro moderato; II – Andante; III – Menuetto: Allegretto – Trio; IV – Allegro con spirito.
W. A. Mozart – Concert for clarinet and orchestra in A major, K622
Allegro; II. Adagio; III. Rondo: Allegro.
W. A. Mozart – Symphony No. 35 in D major “Haffner”, KW 385
Allegro con spirito; II. Andante; III. Minuet; IV. Hurry.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the most important composer of the Classical period. He was born on 27 January 1756 in Salzburg and died on 5 December 1791 in the Austrian capital Vienna. Despite his death at the young age of 35, he left behind more than 800 works in all musical genres of the era. Many of them are considered to be landmarks of the universal repertoire. Mozart is considered one of the greatest composers of Western culture, and his music is admired for its beauty, elegance, harmonic richness and texture.
Mozart was born in Salzburg, the son of composer and violinist Leopold Mozart. His prodigious musical abilities meant that little Mozart learned to play the piano and violin at a very early age and was already composing at just 5 years old. He spent his childhood and teenage years touring Europe, even performing in front of royal families. He was then employed as a musician at the court in Salzburg, but he was always looking for a more favourable position. He spent the last 10 years in Vienna, where he won the admiration of the public, but never enjoyed a favourable financial status. Here he composed most of his important works in the symphonic or operatic genre. His last work, “Requiem in D minor” remained unfinished and was continued by his disciples.
“Les petits riens”, in translation “Little nothings”, is a ballet in one act and three tableaux by Jean-Georges Noverre, set to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It premiered in Paris on 11 June 1778. The three paintings were later described in the Journal de Paris. The first was called “Love caught in a net and put in a cage” and was brought to the stage by Madame Guimard, Auguste Vestris, who was joined by a child. The second was named after a character, Jeu de Colin-Maillard, a legendary warrior who fought, even with his eyes gouged out. He was portrayed by Jean Dauberval, and the character appeared in Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s painting “Le Collin-Maillard”. The third painting entitled “The Ludicity of the Game” puts a pastoral scene in the spotlight, in which a woman, played by Mademoiselle Asselin, disguises herself as a shepherd and two other shepherdesses (Madamoiselle Guimard and Mademoiselle Allard) fall in love with the disguised shepherd. In the end, the disguised woman is forced to unmask herself.
Mozart’s “Symphony No. 29 in A major” was completed on April 6, 1774, when he was only 18 years old. Together with “Symphony No. 25” it is one of the most famous symphonies of his youth. Musicologist Stanley Sadie characterizes it as a combination of the intimate chamber music style in a fiery and impulsive manner. The two symphonies are probably the best Mozart works of the period in terms of expressiveness and form.
Symphony No. 29 begins with a theme played softly by the strings, which is then repeated in octaves by the oboe and horn. The second theme features a trill on violin I. The second part of the symphony is the warm heartbeat, a serenade for violins that reveals Rococo ornamentation and a delicate texture that feels more like a string quartet than a symphony. The third part, after its elegant opening, follows a minuet with a dotted rhythm and sudden fortissimo indications. The reference element in this fragment is the unison octaves on wind instruments. The finale is impetuous and harmonically rich, written in the style imprinted by Haydn.
Mozart’s last major completed work is considered his “Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A Major, K622”, considering that his famous “Requiem” was not completed by Mozart. The instrumental concerto was born in October 1791, two months before the Austrian genius died. The latter work was dedicated to the clarinettist Anton Sadler and in terms of its form, it is written in three parts: Allegro in A Major and sonata form, Adagio in D Major and tripartite form and Rondo Allegro in A Major and of course, rondo form.
The mastery of the concerto, as well as the period in which it was written, are the dates that characterize it as the “swan song” for Mozart. The date of its premiere is not known with certainty, but it is possible that it was 16 October 1791, taking place in Prague. The evidence that brings this closer to the truth is the concert Stadler gave in Prague that day, supposedly performing the Mozart concerto, but there is no certainty of the dates, due to the lack of survival of the hall programme. The concerto was written to be played by a bass clarinet, which can play lower notes than the normal clarinet. However, after Mozart’s death it was published with changes in the solo part, so that it could also be played with a conventional clarinet. The manuscript of the work has been lost, but in recent decades attempts have been made to reconstruct the score, and it is frequently performed in the clarinet-bass version.
Anton Sadler was a close friend of Mozart, a virtuoso clarinetist, and one of the co-inventors of the bass clarinet. Mozart composed scores for this instrument for the first time in 1787, including it in the orchestration of Così fan tutte, composed in 1789. The bass clarinet was no longer used after Stadler’s death and there are no original instruments dating from that period. The instrument was revived in the second half of the 20th century. There have been attempts to reconstruct replicas of the instrument from that time, and the new bass clarinet was built specifically to play the “Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K622” and “Clarinet Quintet, K581”, both of which are Mozart works. The first concert in which the bass clarinet reappeared took place in 1951.
The version written for normal clarinet was published after Mozart’s death and was arranged by anonymous composers, who transposed the low notes into the ambit of the normal clarinet. However, there were objections in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung that it would be ideal to publish the original version written by Mozart, despite the fact that the transpositions made the work playable on the normal clarinet.
Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385, also called “Haffner”, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782. The name “Haffner” is attributed to it because it was commissioned by the Haffner family, a noble family from Salzburg, on the occasion of the ennoblement of the young Sigmund Haffner. An earlier work written by Mozart for the same noble family is the Haffner Serenade, composed in 1776.
Mozart did not originally envision the work becoming a symphony, but rather a serenade to serve as ambient music for the high-profile event for the Haffners. The relationship between the composer and the Haffner family was a close one, but also a beneficial one, as the young Sigmund Haffner’s father, who bore the same name, helped Mozart to tour Europe at an early age. Despite the fact that Sigmund Haffner Sr. He died in 1776, the two families kept in touch in the years that followed.
The Serenade written in 1776 was commissioned on the occasion of the marriage of Marie Elizabeth Haffner to Franz Xavier Spath. It became known as the “Haffner Serenade”, and the piece was so successful that it was a foregone conclusion that Mozart would be asked to compose music to accompany the 1782 ennoblement event. At the time he was asked to compose this work, Mozart had a lot of work to do: he was teaching private lessons and rewriting parts of the score of The Rape of the Serai, on top of which he had asked Constanze Weber to marry him, and their marriage had been prevented by several complicated situations. However, Mozart complied with the order and sent fragment after fragment to his father, as he had mediated the communication between the Haffner family and Mozart. The Serenade he wrote this time was quite different from the previous one, with a march in the introduction and two menuet. There is no historical record to confirm that Mozart completed the work on time, but he certainly expanded it later to the point where it became the “Haffner Symphony”. When he completed the work, the composer himself marvelled at its quality, as it was composed in a very short time. Later he made a few more changes, creating a fuller sound by adding two flutes and two clarinets in the first and last sections of the symphony, but these did not add any new melodic material, only doubling other wind instruments at the octave. In its present form, the Haffner Symphonie premiered on 23 March 1783 at the Burgtheater Vienna.
Clarinetist Emil Vișenescu was born in Bucharest on March 10, 1969 and graduated from the National University of Music in Bucharest, in the class of professors Ioan Cudalbu and Valeriu Barbuceanu. After completing his studies he was employed in the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest. His further training continued at the specialisation courses he completed. For two years he studied at the University of Music in Bern-Biel with Ernesto Molinari. The professionalism shown in his stage appearances has been awarded numerous prizes. Emil Vișenescu has an international career, performing as a soloist or member of ensembles with orchestras from home and abroad. As a member of the Mosaic trio he has been invited to perform on stages in Romania, Switzerland, France and Belgium. He also made recordings for the Romanian Radio Broadcasting. Since 2002 he is also a professor at the National University of Music in Bucharest.
Cezar Verlan was born in Drobeta-Turnu Severin on 9 July 1984 and is a conductor of choral music as well as symphonic music and opera. He graduated from the Faculty of Music and Theatre in Timișoara with specializations in Music Pedagogy and Interpretive Stylistics. He also studied orchestral conducting with Dumitru Goia at the George Enescu Academy of Arts in Iasi. He is a founding member of several important ensembles in Romania: the chamber choir “Cantemus”, the chamber orchestra “Intermezzo” and various ensembles of the West University of Timisoara. He deepened his knowledge of conducting with masters such as David Crescenzi, Petre Sbârcea and others. Between 2008-2015 he was an assistant professor at the Faculty of Music in Timisoara, and since 2016 he has been the second conductor of the National Chamber Choir “Madrigal – Marin Constantin”, where he still works today. He has collaborated with renowned musicians from the international scene: Aura Twarowska, Istvan Konya, the Early Music Ensemble “Codex” and the list goes on. The repertoire that Cezar Verlan tackles is vast, ranging from ancient to contemporary music.
Dear guests of the Oradea State Philharmonic,
Our main goal is to provide you with a memorable experience during each event of the Oradea State Philharmonic, which is why we ask you to support us in the following aspects of performance etiquette, rules present and respected in major concert halls or operas around the world, defining in the conduct of successful and, above all, enjoyable performances among the audience.
Your tardiness causes serious inconvenience to the performers, but also to those already present in the hall. This can be avoided by paying more attention to the length of your journey to the Philharmonic and possible factors that might prevent you from arriving on time. Entry to the auditorium after the start of the performance is allowed only at intermission.
Check and make sure your mobile phone is switched off!
The use of mobile phones is prohibited. The light emitted by the screens being switched on is extremely disturbing to other show attendees.
Photography and/or video recording are not allowed during the performance
As your flash will distract the performers and your movements will disturb both the concentration and the enjoyment of the audience seated nearby, filming and photography are strictly forbidden.
Video recordings on any media are not allowed and may be subject to copyright infringement complaints.
Access with food and/or drinks is strictly forbidden in the hall of the State Philharmonic Oradea
After the start of the performance, avoid talking, whispering, whistling, humming while the music is playing, so as not to distract the other participants.
Standing up, wandering around or leaving the auditorium before the end of the performance is unanimously considered disrespectful and can lead to being banned from the auditorium.
The Oradea State Philharmonic wishes you an unforgettable evening!
Have a nice hearing!