“They love to play together, and you can feel it with every note,” Leif Ove Andsnes enthuses about the musicians of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. The members of the orchestra call themselves a collective of musically possessed nomads who come together in a free and autonomous way to realise unique artistic projects all over the world. The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1997 by Claudio Abbado and former members of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and is now considered one of the leading chamber orchestras of our time. Their performance in the Chamber Music Hall constitutes the end of a series of concerts organised by the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation to mark Claudio Abbado’s fifth death anniversary.
The programme with compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn subtly refers to this anniversary. The concert opens with the Masonic Funeral Music that Mozart, a member of the Freemasons’ association from 1784 onwards, composed for the funeral obsequies of two noble fellow Freemasons. In addition, all the works on the concert are in dark, mournful minor keys. What else do the pieces have in common? The year they were composed: 1785. Joseph Haydn wrote his Symphony No. 83 for a Paris concert series in that year; its “clucking” secondary theme later earned it the nickname “La Poule”. In the same year Mozart experienced not only significant artistic and financial successes, but also blazed new trails compositionally: with the piano quartet K. 478 he established a new chamber music genre, while with K. 466 he composed the first of his great symphonic piano concertos. Leif Ove Andsnes, quoted above, will take on the piano part in both works. Matthew Truscott will conduct the Mahler Chamber Orchestra from the concertmaster’s desk.
In the run-up to this concert, an event entitled Unboxing Mozart will take place with the collaboration of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. In the process, participants will become active players in an artistic experience space at the juncture between music, urban gaming and performance. With the help of a digital soundbox you can experience yourself in a playful way what it means to be a part of an ensemble. Josa Gerhard and Sebastian Quack from Netzwerk Invisible Playground will provide technical support. The start time and the place of this experiment had not yet been finalised at the time of going to press.