The Mozartists announce a new album release and two new concerts continuing their ground-breaking MOZART 250 series
The Mozartists’ highly acclaimed ‘Sturm und Drang’ series of recordings continues with this thrillingly dramatic selection of works dating from between 1771 and 1788. The programme again culminates with one of Haydn’s great ‘Sturm und Drang’ symphonies – this time arguably the greatest of them all, the ‘Trauer’ – and, for the first time in the series, Mozart is also represented in the form of his extraordinarily visceral and darkly chromatic Adagio and Fugue in C minor. The other orchestral work is an outstanding G minor symphony by the Czech composer Leopold Kozeluch, whose quality, sweep and lyricism will surprise many listeners, and the two vocal works are genuine rarities. Schweitzer’s Alceste was one of the earliest attempts to create German tragic opera in the vernacular and it launches with an aria of searing intensity. The scene from Paisiello’s Annibale in Torino – the twenty-third of his eighty-seven operas – features an exquisite but brief arioso before leading into a stormy G minor aria. The soloist is the American soprano Emily Pogorelc, an Associate Artist of The Mozartists, with Ian Page once again conducting his award-winning period-instrument ensemble. The first two volumes of this series were both selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone.
MOZART 250 – The Mozartists’ ground-breaking series – which between 2015 and 2041 is following the chronological trajectory of Mozart’s life, works and influences – continues its survey of the musical scene 250 years ago with two further concerts exploring the music that was being written and performed in 1773.
Ian Page, The Mozartists’ Founder, Conductor and Artistic Director, writes: “I’m really excited about these two concerts. It’s been hugely rewarding to see how our MOZART 250 journey has incorporated rarely performed works that throw fresh light on Mozart’s output while at the same time being surprisingly accomplished, beautiful and dramatic in their own right. We included Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate” in our concert at Wigmore Hall last January; however given that it was originally written for a castrato but has nowadays become the sole domain of sopranos, I particularly wanted to revisit the work with a mezzo-soprano as soloist.
“This concert also includes the UK première of an aria from a Paisiello opera whose première Mozart attended and a duet from the same opera features in our November concert, providing an intriguing thematic link with Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate”. Putting this programme together required hours of musical archaeology, but I’m delighted to have ended up with such an enchanting and high-quality selection of long-forgotten rarities.”
‘Arias for Rauzzini’ incorporates music composed for the celebrated castrato Venanzio Rauzzini in Milan during the 1772-73 season. The programme culminates with the celebrated “Exsultate, jubilate” and also includes two arias from Mozart’s Lucio Silla, as well as the UK première of an aria from the opera that followed it in the Milan opera season. The soloist is the exciting young Swedish mezzo-soprano Rebecka Wallroth, a new Associate Artist of The Mozartists who is here making her UK début. The programme also includes two vibrant symphonies that Mozart composed in 1773, beginning with the ‘Sturm und Drang’ drama of the G minor Symphony No. 25.
‘1773 – An Opera Kaleidoscope’ provides a fascinating cross-section of largely forgotten operas dating from 250 years ago. The programme begins with Mozart’s Symphony No. 26, a work whose dramatic flair has prompted several musicologists to wonder whether it was originally conceived for a theatrical context. The arias and duets that follow – several of which have never previously been performed in the UK – include music that we know Mozart was familiar with, settings of texts that Mozart himself subsequently set and other highlights that help to contextualise Mozart’s operatic output. The Mozartists have a distinguished track record in nurturing young singers and this concert is designed as a Young Artist Showcase, featuring several outstanding emerging artists.
The Mozartists’ extensive outreach programme, in partnership with John Lyon’s Charity and Ealing Music Service, with generous support from The Vernon Ellis Foundation, continues to expand. As well as continuing its work in mainstream primary and secondary schools, the company has developed a new strand of workshops for SEN pupils, delivered through ARP schools, delivering over 80 workshops to over 900 children in this academic year.
The Mozartists have welcomed two new trustees to their board: Alistair Buchanan and Mark Pemberton.
Alistair Buchanan CBE is one of the most established names in the UK’s energy and utilities sector, and is currently Chair of Electricity North West. In 2003, he served as CEO of Great Britain’s energy regulator, Ofgem, for a decade. Since then, he has held the roles of executive Chair and Partner of KPMG’s UK energy practice until 2018 and, from that date, a number of non-executive director posts. He has also been on the University Councils of Durham (his University) and Royal Holloway. Prior to Ofgem he was an investment banker, based in both New York and London, where he won the accolade of top investment analyst for a number of years in the 1990s. Before joining the investment community, he qualified from KPMG as a Chartered Accountant.
Mark Pemberton OBE served as Chief Executive of the ABO (Association of British Orchestras) for 15 years, departing his post in September 2022. During his time at the ABO, he undertook the gargantuan task of guiding the organisation through Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, secured Orchestra Tax Relief, got orchestral musicians included on the Shortage Occupation List, launched the All Party Parliamentary Group on Classical Music, and curated and grew the ABO Conference into Europe’s largest gathering of the orchestral sector. He was awarded an OBE for services to music in the New Years Honours List 2022, as well as the ABO Special Award in the same year.