Mozart Day 4 - Violin Concerto and Symphony

Liszt Academy - Grand Hall

MOZART: Violin Concerto No.1 in B-flat major, K.207
MOZART: Symphony No.33 in B-flat major, K.319 

Performed by Kristóf Baráti violin, Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra

Mozart transformed his lifestyle from spring 1773: whereas he had spent two-thirds of the previous decade or more on the road in various parts of Europe, touring as a triumphant wunderkind-marvel teenager, he spent the remaining years of the 1770s largely in Salzburg. Later, Mozart himself painted this period in somewhat grey tones, notwithstanding the scandalous breakup with the prince-archbishop and retrospective resentment, implying that the life of the young man in Salzburg, if not actually captivity, was severely restricted by the small-town environment. But actually, as Maynard Solomon writes in his Mozart biography: “At Salzburg in the 1770s, to judge only by the evidence of the works he composed there and his widespread performance opportunities, Mozart was understood, encouraged, and given extraordinary leeway to exhibit his abilities as a virtuoso and to develop his powers as a composer.” The programme of Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra – founded in 2010, named after the “soul of music”, and holding the title of National Youth Orchestra since 2018 – represents this period of the composer’s career. It is dominated by the key B-flat major frequently associated with the adjective masculine. Thus to start we have Mozart’s first violin concerto, with solo by no less an artist than Kossuth Prize laureate Kristóf Baráti. Despite the captivatingly dynamic finale also bringing the performer’s virtuosity into motion, this composition is generally not as frequently performed as the concertos with a higher catalogue and Köchel number. Albeit more frequently heard, still the B-flat major symphony, No. 33, originally composed in a three-movement form in 1779, similarly cannot be considered the most known piece of the Mozart repertoire, to which the composer inserted the third, Menuetto movement, only later, at some point in the first half of the 1780s.