Mozart: 250 Years and Counting

Mozart: 250 Years and Counting
With the remarkable Mozart 250th anniversary year drawing to a close, two new Mozart tributes join the celebrations this month: John Tavener's new oboe concerto Kaleidoscopes (A Tribute to Mozart) and Rolf Wallin's percussion concerto Das war schön!

W.A. Mozart, 1777, by an unknown
painter for the Padre Martini Collection
Rolf Wallin
Das war schön!   20'
Percussion; orchestra
Das war schön! explores Mozart's fascination with the infinite possibilities of sound production. "...All this inventing," penned Mozart in his diary, "this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream...I simply follow my feelings..." The concerto takes its name from the story of Mozart's reaction when he heard his pet bird singing the finale of his Piano Concerto No. 17. Das war schön! premieres on the 17th with the Vienna Radio Symphony, featuring percussionist Martin Grubinger. John Axelrod conducts the work — a co-commission with the Oslo Philharmonic, which presents the Norwegian premiere on 21 February 2007.
John Tavener
Kaleidoscopes   30'
Oboe; perc, 18 str
"I have always regarded Mozart," Tavener shares, "as the most sacred and also the most inexplicable of all composers. Sacred, because more than any other composer that I know, he celebrates the act of Being; inexplicable, because the music contains a rapturous beauty and a childlike Kaleidoscopes, I attempted to pluck Mozart's music from out of the harmony of the spheres, and to meditate on it..." Kaleidoscopes, written for oboe and four distinct string quartets that surround the soloist, premieres on the 6th with the Britten Sinfonia, and Nicholas Daniel as soloist and director.