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Belle Époque and First Viennese School

Fri, 2. June 2023 | 20:00 UhrKursaal Engelberg

Concert in the Kursaal Engelberg

Worklist
  • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847)

    • Sinfonie Nr. 4 in A-Dur op. 90, „Italienische“ (MWV N 16)

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

    • Klavierkonzert Nr. 20 in d-Moll, KV 466

From his hotel bed, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy looked out directly onto Engelberg Monastery. That was in August 1831, and this view so inspired the young composer that he painted watercolours of Engelberg. “I have done nothing all day but draw and play the organ. This morning I was on organist duty. It was splendid. The organ is right next to the high altar, next to the choir stalls for the priests.” There is no doubt that Mendelssohn was very taken with Engelberg and its monastery. His visit was part of a two-year educational tour that also took him to Italy. It was here that he was inspired to write his “Italian Symphony”, his fourth. This work of sunny brilliance and spirited exuberance has an authentically Italian feel.

Mozart also visited Switzerland as part of his “wunderkind” travels (the young composer and pianist was only seven years old at the time). Whilst he didn’t make it to Engelberg, he left his mark on the Mittelland, which he crossed from Geneva via Lausanne, Berne, Zurich, Winterthur and Schaffhausen. He did not write any “Swiss” compositions of particular note, being still so young, but a good twenty years later – now in Vienna and at the height of his creative powers – he wrote what is probably his most important piano concerto, the D minor concerto K.466. It is especially significant because of its sombre key; Mozart’s Requiem is also in D minor. This is highly unusual for a piano concerto, and for this reason it stands out like a monolith amongst Mozart’s 27 magnificent piano concertos.

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