Mozart & Berg

Guest: Roland Pöntinen

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This is the beautiful Mozart piece that perhaps you did not realise you knew but that you have likely heard – several times.

The real name of Mozart’s work subtitled Gran Partita is Serenade No. 10 for Winds, and this piece is frequently used in popular culture, especially on films and TV. One of the best-known examples is the famous scene in drama film Amadeus from 1984 when Antonio Salieri meets Mozart for the first time. Salieri is far from impressed by Mozart’s impolite and imprudent behaviour before a performance, but after having seen the music on paper he describes the beauty of the oboe’s entry followed by the clarinet in the third movement as such:

“This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I had never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God.”

Alban Berg’s Chamber Symphony from the 1920s comes with a unique story. In 1924, fellow Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg disclosed his theory about twelve-tone serialism. He was due to turn 50 in September of that year and his protégé, pupil and friend Alban Berg wished to compose a work – for winds – for this special occasion to honour Schönberg. He notified Schoenberg about this by letter. However, owing to health problems and other work, his composition for Schönberg’s 50th birthday had to be put on hold.

Just a month before his birthday, Schönberg made some sharp comments about Berg’s lack of progress, which got Berg started on the work again. However, the work was not completed until the following summer in 1925.

This is precisely the work the audience at Stormen will hear tonight. The soloists are the Arctic Philharmonic’s friend Roland Pöntinen (piano) and Ulf Wallin (violin).

Dress code: informal
Tickets can also be purchased at the venue