The Friday Concert offers three works that show three sides of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The sensitive interpreter of unrequited love, the refined creator of powerful choral music and the brilliant symphonist.
The program begins with the concertarian Ch’io mi scordi di te, a title that can be translated as "Do you want me to forget you?" It was written for the English soprano Nancy Storace (1765-1817), who sang the original Susanna in Figaro's Wedding in 1786.
Mozart was a devout man and set the tone for the Catholic Mass a total of seventeen times.
The coronation mass is the fifteenth in a row. The name is not set by Mozart himself, but he simply called it Mass in C major.
Symphony No. 41 became Mozart's last work in the genre. Of course, the 32-year-old composer did not know this when he wrote it, in the summer of 1788. It was a hectic period for him. During the year he wrote two more symphonies, a piano concerto, a violin sonata and a large number of smaller pieces. He gave piano lessons, his wife Constanze was ill and they lost their little daughter. In the midst of all this emotional chaos, Mozart found the power to create this symphony, which is often regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote the concerto Ch'io mi scordi di te in December 1786. The title can be translated as "Do you want me to forget you?" and the text is about a woman who expresses sadness that her beloved has asked her to forget him and choose someone else instead. "How could I try to warm myself at another flame?" She sings. She states that she would rather die and curse the stars because they look down on her so coldly, when she suffers such anguish. The piece is divided into two parts: a recitative and then the aria itself, which begins where the piano enters after just under two minutes.
Mozart was very well acquainted with the Catholic liturgy. A total of seventeen times he composed the mass, which at that time was held in Latin. The coronation mass from 1779 is the fifteenth in a row. Here is a summary of the six sentences:
Kyrie: A desperate cry for mercy, the music expresses great sorrow and pain.
Gloria: Temperament turns into joy. "Glory be to God in the highest!" - a phrase first uttered by the angels at the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
Credo: The Creed, which is a summary of what unites Christians around the earth, and which begins with the words "I believe in a God, almighty Father, creator of heaven and earth." Note the sad tones at "crucified, dead and buried" and the stormy joy at "on the third day of resurrection".
Sanctus: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts."
Benedict: "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord." A toned-down sentence, which offers respite before the emotional finale.
Agnus Dei: "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."
The summer of 1788 was very productive for Mozart. During a nine-week period, he created three symphonies that became his last - and each of which is often emphasized as a symphonic miracle: Nos. 39, 40 and 41. The latter has been nicknamed Jupiter by posterity, after the supreme god of Roman mythology. The name was probably chosen for the introduction's powerful orchestral shocks and the grandeur of the first movement; Jupiter is associated with the firmament, storms and thunderstorms. The slow second movement has something veiled over it, the third is an elegant minuet and the finale ends with a masterful fugue.