DE I / DESILLUSIONIST magazine
DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES LATER, THE WORLD STILL CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH OF MOZART DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : Kostya Tzyu Sans Gloves DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : The Paradox of Josef Nadj DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : Editorial. Roksolana Chernoba DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : Theo Angelopoulos: Verdict to Directorsy DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : Pan Leshek DE I / DESILLUSIONIST (  ) #06 : Table of Content
DE I / DESILLUSIONIST magazine#06

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DE I #06: TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES LATER, THE WORLD STILL CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH OF MOZART

TWO  AND  A  HALF  CENTURIES  LATER,
THE  WORLD  STILL  CANNOT  HAVE  ENOUGH  OF  MOZART

The world marks many an anniversary but none is the cause for a celebration as lavish and as ubiquitous as Mozarts 250th.

Somewhat strangely, the composer never made it to Russia. Indeed, he traveled pretty much everywhere in Europe and spent a quarter of his life on the road. In fact, less than three months before Mozarts passing Russias Great Duke Razumovsky and Prince Potemkin discussed the possibility of bringing the composer to Russia.
Despite the maestros conspicuous absence, his music struck deep roots in Russia, in the rival capital cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg and in provinces alike.
As a matter of fact, in those days, geographic borders were very much transparent in Europes cultural continuum: just like Mozart, Russian composers (and more or less at the same time) would train in Italy. Russian travelers were exposed to Mozarts music very early - already in 1781 the Great Duke (later Tsar Paul I) attended a musical playing contest between Mozart and Clementi in Vienna.
Throughout the first three decades of the 19th century, the repertoire of just one Russian theatre the German musical theatre in St. Petersburg included not one or two but seven operas by Mozart. The composers popularity greatly benefited from the publishing of his works to the point where his music quickly became a household staple and a requisite component of an aristocrats education.
With a brief period of relative seclusion within the confines of the Conservatory in the early 20th century, Russia has been a consistent Mozartland since it discovered the great Austrian.

These days, as the musical (and not only) world celebrates Mozarts anniversary Russia will not be outdone. Major music events are galore and it is all about Mozart here.

Thus, the Greek Theodor Kurrentzis who, in just a few short years, has become an idol to Moscows music connoisseurs has offered Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte for two nights in a row and with a cast consisting primarily of Russian talent. Moscow was left breathless and for a good reason: rather than guests at somebody elses party, this time Muscovites felt like they were playing host in the house of Mozart.
Never a slouch to experiment, Maestro Kurrentzis then proceeded to perform Mozarts Don Giovanni in Moscow with all the parts sung by Westerners and with a guest orchestra. Despite coming perilously close to a nervous breakdown, Kurrentzis pulled it off for a first-rate performance. The mischievous Austrian could have been smiling from above that night.
Caving in to his wandering spirit, Theodor Kurrentzis also conducted a brilliant Le Nozze di Figaro in Novosibirsk, Siberia. There, he teamed up with the German director Tatiana Gurbaca to create an ironic, densely layered and thoroughly detailed performance. Placed somewhere in the 20th century world', the production is innovative and features brilliant singing from an international cast, including Simone Alberghini, Veronika Jioeva, Anna Aglatova, and Valeria Vaigant.

What about Mozarts hometown?
The Magic of Salzburg

It would seem that Europe is trying to play the entire Mozart catalog on this, 250th anniversary of his birth, making it almost meaningless to take an even brief look at the entire scene. Ones curiosity is probably best served by peeking inside the composers hometown.
(At least according to our own Alexei Parin), the surefire way of experiencing celestial bliss is to kick back on the upper floor of the cafe Tomaselli in Salzburg and, savoring a coffee and a slice of Apfelstrudel, watch the motley crowd flow down below.

The Salzburg Festival runs for four summer weeks from late July through the end of August and, this year, places a special focus on the hometown musical hero.

So star-studded has this summer been that even Anna Netrebko who took Salzburg by storm with her Donna Anna in Don Juan and who became a bona fide superstar with her last years rendition of La Traviata has found herself making room for other mega-talented singers. Netrebkos Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro has to vie for admiration against Christine Schafers phenomenal Cherubino who, owing to the singer, emerged as the operas principal character.

Generally, conductors and female singers have been the brightest stars of Mozart's Salzburg, but not directors. In addition to the Russian beauty Netrebko and her Le Nozze di Figaro co-star Schafer, there are Germanys Dorothea Roschman and Anja Harteros, and the Czech Republics Magdalena Kozena.

Among the conductors, the following commanded particular appreciation on the part of the discerning Salzburg opera-goers: Sir Roger Norrington (much beloved in Moscow) whose Idomeneo was vibrant and immediate as if it had barely come off the composers desk; Robin Ticciati, at 22 the youngest director in the festivals substantial history, who did a brilliant job resuscitating Il Sogno di Scipione; the harsh and merciless Michael Hofstetter. The great Nikolaus Harnoncourt wrote his final chapter at Salzburg Le Nozze di Figaro and La Clemenza di Tito. In both pieces, he managed to lend the music a global humane dimension.

© DE I / DESILLUSIONIST #06.  TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES LATER, THE WORLD STILL CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH OF MOZART


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