Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) conducting his oratorio "Seven Gates of Jerusalem" at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg, in 2001. Photo by Dmitry Lovetsky

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor – Jan Lisiecki, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Stanisław Skrowaczewski

Jan Lisiecki performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under Stanisław Skrowaczewski. Concert Master is Per Enoksson. Recorded in Gothenburg Concert Hall on February 19, 2015.

The eminent scholar H. C. Robbins Landon called Mozart's decade in Vienna (1781-1791) the composer's "golden years" in the title of one of his publications. In the first five or six years of that period, Mozart was in the center of the imperial capital's musical life. His works, pouring forth from his pen at an astonishing speed, were performed and admired. He made many friends among the influential Viennese aristocracy and high bourgeoisie, and even the emperor, Joseph II, followed his activities with interest (even though Mozart never received the court position he was hoping for). In short, as Landon writes, "Mozart's name was on every tongue".

Mozart's Piano Concerto No.20 – one of only two written in a minor key – is one of his most "Romantic" works. The minor mode had a special meaning to the Viennese classics, in whose works the choice of a minor key goes hand in hand with a heightened sense of drama and a whole set of specific harmonic, rhythmic and textural devices that we don't often encounter in compositions written in the major. It is in such works that we may perceive the first signs of musical Romanticism, before it became the dominant style of the early 1800s. The D minor was the only Mozart concerto Beethoven ever performed (he even wrote down the cadenza he played in it). This work appealed to 19th-century ears more than any of the other concertos; it reminded listeners of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, which shares the concerto's principal key and its dramatic intensity.

Like most of the piano concertos Mozart composed for his own use at his subscription series in Vienna (a total of 14 works), the D minor was written in great haste and completed just a few days before the performance. Mozart's father Leopold, himself a decent composer and renowned violinist, was visiting from Salzburg at the time, and wrote to his daughter Anna Maria (Nannerl), a talented pianist, after the concert: "…Then we heard a new and very fine concerto by Wolfgang, where the copyist was still copying when we arrived, and the rondo of which your brother didn't even have time to play through, as he had to supervise the copying".

The unique character of the concerto is apparent from the start. Whereas most Mozart concertos begin either with a powerful statement for full orchestra or a soft lyrical melody, the D minor opens with more amorphous material: a syncopated rhythm on a single repeated note that only gradually evolves into a recognizable theme. Syncopations (that is, important notes that don't fall on the strong part of the beat) and chromatic pitches (outside the ones that make up the main key) are two of the "irregular" features prominent throughout this Allegro. The entrance of the solo piano, on a new theme filled with intense pain and longing, adcdcs a new dimension to the movement's emotional range. The tension is so strong that a coda of unusual length is required after the cadenza before the music can calm down.

The second movement "Romanza", in B flat major, is lyrical and peaceful, or so it seems at the beginning. Its G minor middle section, however, thrusts us right bak into the stormy atmosphere of the first movement. (In his excellent book on Mozart, Maynard Solomon memorably calls this section "trouble in Paradise".) Mozart connects this agitated passage to the return of the serene opening theme with inimitable mastery: the note values in the solo piano part become gradually longer while the harmonies smoothly shift from G minor back to the original B flat major.

The final Rondo returns to the impassioned mood of the first movement, but moves from there to a brighter, more cheerful section in D major, representing, in the words of a previous commentator, "a victory of serenity over the tumultuous anxiety of earlier moments".

Source: Peter Laki (

Το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο αρ. 20 σε Ρε ελάσσονα, έργο 466, του Βόλφγκανγκ Αμαντέους Μότσαρτ, ερμηνεύει ο 22χρονος σήμερα, Πολωνοκαναδός πιανίστας-φαινόμενο Γιαν Λισιέτσκι. Τη Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα του Γκέτεμποργκ διευθύνει ο 92χρονος Πολωνός αρχιμουσικός Stanisław Skrowaczewski. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στο Μέγαρο Μουσικής του Γκέτεμποργκ, στις 19 Φεβρουαρίου 2015.

Στις αρχές του 1785, ο 29χρονος Βόλφγκανγκ Αμαντέους Μότσαρτ, στην ακμή της δημιουργικότητάς του, έγραψε το Κοντσέρτο για πιάνο αρ. 20 σε Ρε ελάσσονα, το οποίο φέρει τον αριθμό 466 στην εργογραφία του, που συνέταξε ο Γερμανός μουσικολόγος Λούντβιχ φον Κέχελ (1800-1877). Το κοντσέρτο αυτό, από τα σκοτεινά έργα του Μότσαρτ, παρουσιάστηκε για πρώτη φορά με τον ίδιο στο πιάνο στις 11 Φεβρουαρίου του 1785 στο Καζίνο της Βιένης.

Το έργο είναι ενορχηστρωμένο για σόλο πιάνο, φλάουτο, δύο όμποε, δύο φαγκότα, δύο κόρνα, δύο τρομπέτες, τύμπανα και έγχορδα. Ήταν ένα από τα αγαπημένα έργα του νεαρού Λούντβιχ βαν Μπετόβεν ο οποίος το είχε συμπεριλάβει στο ρεπερτόριό του.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

♪ Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466 (1785)

i. Allegro
ii. Romance
iii. Rondo. Allegro assai

Jan Lisiecki, piano

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Stanisław Skrowaczewski

Gothenburg Concert Hall, February 19, 2015

(HD 720p)

First publication: May 5, 2015 – Last update: March 29, 2017

Just 22, Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. The New York Times has called him "a pianist who makes every note count". Lisiecki's insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age.

Jan Lisiecki was born to Polish parents in Canada in 1995. He began piano lessons at the age of five and made his concerto debut four years later, while always rebuffing the label of "child prodigy". His approach to music is a refreshing combination of dedication, skill, enthusiasm and a realistic perspective on the career of a musician. "I might be lucky to have talent, but it is also about dedication and hard work", says Jan.

Lisiecki was brought to international attention in 2010, after the Fryderyk Chopin Institute issued a recording of Chopin's Piano Concertos, performed live by Jan at age 13 and 14. BBC Music Magazine wrote of the "mature musicality" of his playing and commended the "sensitively distilled" insights of his Chopin interpretations; the release was awarded the prestigious Diapason Découverte. Confirming his status among the most imaginative and poetic pianists of his generation, Deutsche Grammophon signed an exclusive contract with Jan in 2011, when he was just 15 years old. Lisiecki's first recording for DG, released in 2012, features Mozart's Piano Concertos K.466 and 467. It was followed in 2013 by Chopin's Études Op.10 and 25, praised by Gramophone magazine for being "played as pure music, given as naturally as breathing". His third album was released in January 2016 and features Schumann's works for piano and orchestra, and as ClassicFM wrote, "he may be young but Jan Lisiecki plays Schumann like a legend". In early 2017, Jan Lisiecki's rendition of Chopin's seldom performed works for piano and orchestra with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Krzysztof Urbański will be published by Deutsche Grammophon.

Jan says his aim is to always perform in a way that carries forward the beauty and brilliance of the original work. He has demonstrated that he is capable of rendering compositions remarkably close to the way they were intended. "Going into a concert hall should be like going into a sanctuary. You're there to have a moment of reflection, hopefully leaving feeling different, refreshed and inspired."

In March 2013, Lisiecki substituted at short notice for Martha Argerich, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4 in Bologna with the Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado. He crowned that season with a sensational account of Schumann's Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms. The following year he performed three Mozart concertos in one week with the Philadelphia Orchestra, making his debuts as concerto soloist with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, and with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. The same season, Jan gave debut recitals at Wigmore Hall, Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and in San Francisco. The pianist's development has taken place in company with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony, at venues such as Suntory Hall, the Kennedy, Lincoln, and Barbican Centres, and Royal Albert Hall. Jan has cultivated relationships with prominent conductors including Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniel Harding, and Pinchas Zukerman.

The remarkable 22-year-old musician made his debut in the main auditorium at New York's Carnegie Hall in January 2016 with Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In its rave review, the New York Times noted that it was an "uncommonly sensitive performance". Other significant dates in his 2015/2016 schedule were performances with the Bamberger Symphoniker in Lucerne, subscription series debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and multiple tours, including one of Europe with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, which Jan lead from the piano.

In the 2016/2017 season, Jan will perform extensively across the world. Highlights include a tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and performing in the opening festival of the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg with Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

Foremost radio and television networks in Europe and North America have extensively broadcast Lisiecki's performances, he was also the subject of the CBC National News documentary The Reluctant Prodigy. In 2013 he received the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and was also named as Gramophone magazine's Young Artist of the Year.

Jan is involved in charity work, donating his time and performance to such organizations as the David Foster Foundation, the Polish Humanitarian Organization and the Wish Upon a Star Foundation. In 2012 he was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada having been a National Youth Representative since 2008.


Είκοσι δύο ετών μόλις (γενν. 23 Μαρτίου 1995), ο Πολωνοκαναδός πιανίστας-φαινόμενο Γιαν Λισιέτσκι φημίζεται για την εκφραστικότητα και την ωριμότητα της ερμηνείας του. Δίνει ατομικά ρεσιτάλ στις μεγαλύτερες αίθουσες του κόσμου ενώ συνεργάζεται με ορχήστρες όπως η Συμφωνική του BBC, η Συμφωνική της Ραδιοφωνίας της Λειψίας, η Ακαδημία της Αγίας Καικιλίας της Ρώμης, η Ορχήστρα του Παρισιού, κλπ. Το 2012, έκανε το ντεμπούτο του με τη Φιλαρμονική της Νέας Υόρκης στο Avery Fisher Hall (τώρα έχει μετονομαστεί σε David Geffen Hall). Σε ηλικία δεκαπέντε ετών υπέγραψε αποκλειστικό συμβόλαιο συνεργασίας με την Deutsche Grammophon. Το 2010 το Ινστιτούτο Φρεντερίκ Σοπέν κυκλοφόρησε ζωντανές ηχογραφήσεις του με τα δύο Κοντσέρτα του Σοπέν (με την ορχήστρα Sinfonia της Βαρσοβίας και τον Χάουαρντ Σέλλεϋ), δίσκος που βραβεύτηκε με το Diapason Découverte. Για την Deutsche Grammophon έχει ηχογραφήσει πρόσφατα τρία ακόμη άλμπουμ: Κοντσέρτα για πιάνο αρ. 21 και αρ. 22 του Μότσαρτ, Études του Σοπέν, καθώς επίσης και όλα τα έργα για πιάνο και ορχήστρα του Ρόμπερτ Σούμαν, με την Ορχήστρα της Ακαδημίας της Αγίας Καικιλίας της Ρώμης υπό την διεύθυνση του Αντόνιο Παπάνο. Από τα Gramophone Awards, το 2013 του απονεμήθηκε ο τίτλος του Νέου Καλλιτέχνη της χρονιάς.

See also

Jan Lisiecki at Carnegie Hall with Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Frédéric Chopin: Études - Jan Lisiecki (Audio video)

Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor – Jan Lisiecki, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra – All the posts

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