Mozart Piano Concerto No.21
Mahler Symphony No.6
Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Jonathan Biss piano
Sir Andrew Davis and the MSO reach Mahler’s Symphony No.6. Subtitled The Tragic, this mammoth 80-minute work is indeed fateful — although with a sublimely pastoral slow movement, complete with cowbells. In the final movement, though, doom is not far away. Indeed, the score calls for three hammer-blows of fate (later reduced by the composer to two), specifying the exact sound: ‘Short blow, powerful, but dull in resonance, with a non-metallic character (like an axe-stroke).’ Mahler’s instructions were adroitly interpreted by a contemporary percussionist : ‘It has to be jump-out-of-your-seat loud.’
Before the Mahler, is the sink-back-in-your-seat sheer joyousness of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21, with the American pianist Jonathan Biss as soloist. ‘I think the aspect of playfulness is one of the most important things there is to be communicated in music,’ Biss says.
30 June, 1 and 2 July at 7pm, Stalls Foyer, Hamer Hall
MSO Director of Artistic Planning Ronald Vermeulen will present a talk on the artists and works featured in the program.
Duration: 2 hours and 10 minutes, including a 20-minute interval