Mozart Everywhere

by Anne Payot-Le Nabour
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

«What fascinates me is the connection between singing and speaking, which also seems to me particularly important in piano playing. And with Mozart it is literally vital. Mozart, after all, was the great opera composer, but there is also a pronounced singing quality in his instrumental works,» the pianist Alfred Brendel writes in his book Me of All People. Complementing a performance of the opera La clemenza di Tito by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg at the Grand Théâtre in September, this instrumental side of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s incomparable «cantabile» will be highlighted this season at the Philharmonie. Among the programmes presented by the pianist Kit Armstrong – a student of Alfred Brendel, incidentally – two evenings will be dedicated to the genius from Salzburg: one with orchestral accompaniment, the other featuring chamber works, for which he collaborates with talented members of the world’s leading orchestras, for example Noah Bendix-Balgley, the concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic.

This Mozart season at the Philharmonie also includes two key figures of Mozart interpretation at the piano: Grigory Sokolov gives a piano recital in December, and Maria João Pires performs the august Piano Concerto No. 21 K. 467. Les Siècles and its music director François-Xavier Roth will juxtapose the composer with one of his 20th-century colleagues, György Ligeti, whose opera Le Grand Macabre seems to have been inspired by his famous senior colleague.

Nor will choral music get short shrift, as the Requiem is performed by the Collegium Vocale Ghent under the expert baton of Philippe Herreweghe. The opulent Vesperae sollennes de confessore, will be conducted by William Christie, an expert in historically informed performance practice who returns to direct the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.

Unlike Franz Liszt, who gave one of his last concerts here, Mozart never visited Luxembourg, despite his extensive journeys – but his music will have a stronger presence than usual during the 2023/24 season.

We’ve got something similar coming up soon at the Philharmonie: