Vladimir Spivakov’s Mozartiana in the Philharmonia-2

March 10, 2024 | Rachmaninoff Concert Hall («Philharmonia-2»)
Subscription series No. 71: «Vladimir Spivakov presents»
Soloist – Shio Okui, piano
Conductor – Vladimir Spivakov
Mozart. "La clemenza di Tito" Overture
Mozart. Concerto No. 21 for piano and orchestra in C major, KV 467
Tchaikovsky. Serenade for strings, Op. 48


The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia is opening the Vladimir Spivakov Presents series at the Philharmonia-2 with a concert featuring Japanese pianist Shio Okui, new rising star of the world stage. The future artist was born and first taught in Tokyo, then studied at the Gnessins College in Moscow with Tatyana Zelikman, has been a grant holder of the Spivakov Charity Foundation for many years and performed with the maestro's collectives. Since 2023 she has continued her schooling at the Geneva University of Music with Nelson Goerner.

Shio Okui has garnered awards at competitions in Europe, Asia, Russia (The Nutcracker, Grand Piano Competition, Vladimir Krainev Competition), Kazakhstan (Astana Piano Passion), in 2022 she got a prize at the Paderewski Competition in Poland. Now she will play Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 (1785) with the NPR directed by Vladimir Spivakov.

The author first performed the Concerto on March 11, 1785, in Vienna at the Mehlgrube Concert Hall accommodating not more than 150 spectators. A special place in the hall was given to a curious new piano made especially for Mozart by Viennese master Gabriel Anton Walter. The piano was equipped with a special feet keyboard that made low notes stronger which was very important for performances with orchestra. The device, making the piano nearer to an organ, required from the player great mastery and athleticism, and did not live long though the Concerto No. 21 had been played on it.

The night will start with the Overture to La Clemenza di Tito, the opera written by Mozart in his last year to the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. The composer used the libretto by Italian poet and playwright Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782) written fifty years earlier and based on Pierre Corneille's tragedy “Cinna”. The writing of the opera score took only 18 days. Mozart completed it just on the eve of the premiere (September 5, 1791, in the Estate Theater of Prague), hastily composing the Overture which reflected all the intricacies of the drama. The production did not have much success with the Prague audience, however for the following several decades after Mozart's death it was the most performed of all operas by Mozart.

The concert under Spivakov's baton will end with the Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky. First performed on November 21, 1880, in the Moscow Conservatory the Serenade was written together with the Mozartiana Suite in the period of Tchaikovsky's fascination with stylization. He remarked that 'In the first movement I paid tribute to my adoration for Mozart: it is an intentional imitation of his maniere, and I would be happy if people find that I was not far from the model.'


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